New law honors motorcyclist killed in crash

May 26, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - More than 150 people came out in the rain to witness the ceremonial signing of "Danny's Bill" by Gov. Joe Manchin on Thursday.

Senate Bill 473 became law last month and is named after Daniel Lee Kneisly Sr., 43, who was killed in September 2004 when his motorcycle was hit by a pickup truck. The driver received a citation for failure to yield the right of way and was fined $20.

Danny's Bill was lobbied for two years in a row by his wife Jeannie Kneisly and ABATE (American Bikers Advocating Training & Education) members, said Kirk Clark, vice president of the West Virginia chapter of ABATE.

The new law establishes harsher penalties for those convicted of reckless driving causing serious injuries, and comes with a sentence of up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine, he said.


Clark said Sen. John Unger, D-Berkeley/Jefferson "was instrumental in getting this done. He did a lot of work for us in Charleston."

Standing in the tent erected for the ceremony, Manchin said, "Something good must come from a tragedy like Danny's Law. There was a lot of campaigning and lobbying, and this is the way it's supposed to be done. More and more of us are riding today. This will make West Virginia a safer place."

To Jeannie Kneisly, Manchin said, "Jeannie, it takes putting a face to it to pass this legislation."

Jeannie Kneisly said her friends told her she needed to find an organization.

"I found ABATE, and they got behind me," she said.

"It's a great start," Clark said. He said he would like to see a mandatory six-month license suspension.

"Law enforcement needs to go further in cases like this," he said.

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