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Ask Our Lawyer - December 2001

Question: I seem to recall that way back last year, you promised that there would be a website that would allow us to report road hazards. WHERE THE HELL IS IT?

Answer: Ask and ye shall receive, as the Good Book says. By the time you read this, www.roadhazard.org will be live and ready for your use. For those of you who don't yet know what I'm talking about, let me give you some background.
For several years, ABATE Legal Services has sponsored the Little Yellow Card program. These post cards allowed riders to report hazardous situations on the nation's highways and byways to the proper authorities. Now, that same service will be available on the Internet.
The notification provided by the Road Hazard program is important for a couple of reasons. Generally, the problems we run into as we ride are ones that can and should be corrected. However, under most laws, a rider injured by a road hazard can't sue the government for damages unless the government agency is on notice of the hazard. The Road Hazard program makes sure that the government is on notice of the hazard. Our experience has been that once the government entity is on notice, the hazard gets corrected quickly.
The website will make this process even easier. It allows a rider to describe a hazard easily and quickly. This information will be sent to ABATE Legal Services for sending on to the appropriate governmental agency. This will allow ABATE Legal Services to keep up-to-date on the hazards and their repair. Also, if the road doesn't get repaired and another rider gets hurt, we have the proof we need to recover damages for that rider's injuries.
Remember, check out www.RoadHazard.org and report those hazards. We will be upgrading and modifying the site in the coming months, but it is live right now and waiting for you. We hope to expand the site to all fifty states, the provinces of Canada, and anywhere else we bikers are wont to go. If you have comments or suggestions about the site, feel free to contact us. And for those of you who aren't on line yet, the little yellow cards will still be available.

If you have any questions you would like to ask the lawyer, please submit them to: ASK OUR LAWYER, P.O. Box 2850, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206-2850.