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02-27-17

MRF March Update

By Andy Kelly
If you have not heard, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is moving ahead with selecting participants for the newly reestablished Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC). MAC is being reestablished to allow motorcyclists the opportunity to discuss how we are affected by road design, barriers, construction, and also the emergence of intelligent transportation systems like driverless vehicles.

Now I know you will find this hard to believe that a federal agency would do this, but only ONE member of the TEN, to be chosen for the council, is going to be from a motorcycle organization. Yes, only one member of ten will be someone who rides a motorcycle.

The original MAC was established in a 2005 Highway Bill. The 2005 law called for the administrator of the FHWA to have a dialog with the motorcycle community on infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists. The council has ten members consisting of representatives of the motorcycle community as well as individuals with professional expertise in national motorcycle safety. According to the 2005 law, four of the ten council members were to include members of the motorcycling community from various state and federal motorcycle associations. The other six members would serve to provide the necessary technical expertise related to roadway design, safety and other issues.

At the time I am writing this, the House of Representatives are preparing a letter to the newly confirmed Secretary of Transportation, Elaine Chao, asking her to delay the implementation of the MAC, until a fair and balanced can be appointed. The Senate is drafting a similar letter. Please contact your Congressman and Senators to add their names to the letters.

One of the first bills introduced in the 115th Session of Congress was recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act). Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) reintroduced H.R. 350 which protects Americans rights to modify street cars and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles and industries right to sell the parts that enables racers to compete. Representative McHenry released a statement with the introduction of the bill, “Last year I was proud to lead the fight against the misguided EPA regulation targeting racing, but our work is not done” said the Congressman. “In the coming months I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new Administration to insure the RPM Act becomes law.” In the Senate a similar version of the RPM Act was introduced (S.203) by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).

I would like to remind everyone that on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the 9th Annual “Bikers In the Beltway” will be held. Right after the “Rights Rally” in Harrisburg, ride down to Washington, D.C. on Monday night, May 22nd, and the MRF will be hosting a “prep session” that evening to go over expectations and provide a deep dive into the issues. Kick stands up early Tuesday morning for the ride into Washington, DC, followed by a full day of meetings with legislators and staff.

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