From the Desk of Phil Franckle April 2015

philFrankelPotholes, Sand & The FBI Admits All Registered Motorcycle Owners Are On A Classified Gang List

Every year, we get calls during March, April and sometimes in May from experienced motorcyclists hurt after hitting a pothole or riding over sand left behind by snowplows. Motorcyclists will not be able to obtain compensation from a lawsuit for most of these accidents because usually no one is at fault.

At the last ABATE meeting, I made an announcement to remind people to watch for potholes and sand on curved areas of the roadway during March and April if they don’t want to put off riding until May. This year, the roads will likely be bad even through the month of May.  If you can, don’t start riding until May.

Tragically, David Decarle died at Peconic Bay Medical Center after his motorcycle hit a pothole in Riverhead on March 17.

Did the FBI admit to placing all registered motorcycle owners on a classified gang list?  It’s not even April 1 yet, but someone shared on Facebook a Washington Post article about the confidential list and asked me “is this legal? Or true?”

I’m always amazed about the things I see passed around on Facebook sometimes as true and sometimes as a joke, yet many people believe it. This time, the article was a joke. The first clue is that there is no rational reason to cause the FBI to even want to do that and the class of people to monitor is gigantic. The second, slightly less obvious clue was the domain name of the website which was WASHINGTONPOST.CO instead of .com.

The “reporter” quoted the “government official” as saying “We may not like to admit it, but the truth of the matter is that those that own and operate motorcycles are 67% more likely to be involved in illegal or criminal activity than those that do not own or operate a motorcycle.”

The article omitted a statement that 1% clubs are now considering changing their patch to 67%.

The article was originally published on a fake news site and then republished on a look-alike website having nothing to do with the real Washington Post. However, it’s not just readers on Facebook that believe everything they read.  The automotive blog Jalopnik actually republished the joke article as a real article and quickly published a second article about it when someone pointed out their mistake.

The moral of the story is don’t believe most of what you see on Facebook and question everything, even if it isn’t April 1.

If you have a question you would like to submit, please send your question to

Philip L. Franckel Esq. and Rob Plevy, Esq. are attorneys with FRANCKEL & PLEVY, LLP representing people hurt in motorcycle and other accidents.  Disclaimer: This article should be considered advertising for accident clients; is for informational purposes and should not be relied upon because it could contain errors; the correct information may be different for your set of facts even though they seem similar; and is not legal advice which should only be obtained by contacting Phil Franckel, Esq. or Rob Plevy, Esq. for a free consultation to discuss your specific circumstances at 1-800-HURT-911.

Our web sites are, and  If you have been hurt in a motorcycle accident, speak directly to Phil Franckel 24/7 at 1-800-HURT-911 — 1-800-487-8911.

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