MRF APRIL UPDATE
by Andy Kelly
I wanted to start off by talking about the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC). MAC is supposed to serve and advise the Federal Highway Administration on issues critical to motorcyclists across the nation. The intent of MAC was to give motorcyclists the opportunity to discuss how we are affected by highway design, and the emergence of intelligent transportation systems. The newly re-established council will have ten members and the Federal Highway Administration in their divine wisdom feels only one member of that Council needs to actually be a motorcyclist. With the far from routine happenings in Washington D.C. these days we must keep in mind our rights and freedoms that we enjoy as motorcyclists and have fought hard for. So with that in mind what we need to do is contact our Representative in Washington and ask them to contact Elaine Chao, the newly appointed Secretary of Transportation, to tell the Federal Highway Administration to increase the number of members on the council that are actual motorcyclists. There has to be great engineers out there that also ride a motorcycle and could give a positive insight to the design of motorcycle friendly highways.
Scott Pruitt, is the newly appointed Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Mr. Pruitt is the former Attorney General of Oklahoma. As the Attorney General, he fought against many things which included environmental regulations as a self-described “leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.” Mr. Pruitt has also been a vocal opponent of the Renewable Fuel Standard. That is the regulation that mandates ethanol into our nation’s gasoline supply.
Mr. Pruitt had been an advocate for the motorcycle community while serving in the Oklahoma State Senate. Megan Ekstrom, Vice-President Government Affairs and Public Relations Motorcycles Rider Foundation, had a chance to talk to Charlie Williams, of ABATE of Oklahoma, about Mr. Pruitt. Charlie informed Megan that Pruitt has always been a friend of the riding community. He opposed helmet bills which came before the State legislature when he was in the State Senate and also helped to champion a rider’s education bill for Oklahoma.
There are two pieces of legislation in Washington dealing with the EPA. Senate bill S203 and in the House HR350. These bills are going to stop the EPA from regulating vehicles used solely for competition. I would like to thank Representative Mike Kelly, Representative Lou Barletta, Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson, and Representative Tim Murphy for being co-sponsors of HR350.
The three bills listed below are being monitored by the MRF:
HR 736 -A bill to require automobile manufacturers to disclose to consumers the presence of event data recorders, or “black boxes”, on new automobiles, and to require manufacturers to provide the consumer with the option to enable and disable such devices on future automobiles. I would like to see motorcycles added to this.
HR 777 -A bill to provide for a comprehensive assessment of the scientific and technical research on the implications of the use of mid-level ethanol blends, and for other purposes.
HR 701-A bill to direct the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a study to determine appropriate cyber security standards for motor vehicles, and for other purposes.