MRF December Update
By Andy Kelly
By the time you are reading this the Elections for 2016 will be over. Needless to say but this election was historical and like no election in the past.
I hope everyone took an interest in their own district Congressional race. If you are fortunate enough to have a motorcycle friendly representative I hope you took the time to help that person get re-elected. If your representative is not motorcycle friendly but their opponent was then hopefully you took the time to help them get elected.
At this time you my want to think about planning to go see your federal representative. “Bikers In the Beltway” is right around the corner and is the perfect time. In preparing to see your Senator or Congressman you should decide what issues are important to you. I would suggest that you keep it to one subject, hopefully motorcycle rights, and to just one or two issues that mean the most to you and that you are familiar with. An example on the federal level is MAP21 – the Transportation Bill, RPM Act, which is about modifying your motorcycle. And there is HR 831 Profiling, just to name a few. If you have any questions or need more information contact me.
The autonomous cars and also trucks are still in the news and on the highway. Budweiser is actually making autonomous deliveries. In a partnership between OTTO and Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser in Colorado Springs recently made a pre-dawn run from Fort Collins, Colorado through downtown Denver before arriving at Colorado Springs. All the driver had to do was drive the truck onto the interstate and take over when it left the interstate, which was 120 miles later.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced a new Federal Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation. The primary purpose of the committee, known as ACAT will be assist DOT’s current research, policy and regulatory abilities to advance the safe and effective use of autonomous vehicles. More specifically, the committee will gather information and present recommendations to the Secretary on automated transit vehicle technologies, and other advanced technology deployment in the area of surface transportation.
Ric Mellon, an active member of both the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and ABATE of Wisconsin, has been nominated to serve on the Advisory Committee given his expertise in the area of motorcycle safely and information technology. Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, President of the MRF, had this to say in a letter of endorsement. “Ric has a record of reliability in being able to speak to the impact that Intelligent Transportation Systems and autonomous vehicles will have on almost ten million registered motorcycles on our nation’s roadways….Mellon can provide critical information, advise and recommendations to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation on the safety, societal, ethical, and real life impacts this emerging class of vehicles may impose on motorcycles.”