MRF May Update
By Andy Kelly
On March 21, 2017 Megan Ekstrom, Vice-President, Government Affairs of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation sent a letter to Michael Griffith of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Office of Safety. The letter was about the concerns the MRF has with the ten positions on the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC). Past Motorcycle Advisory Councils had four motorcycle associations represented out of the ten seats.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is ignoring the fact that there are over 100 motorcycle associations across this great nation representing different riders, different styles of motorcycles and experience. For example, living in Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, the urban roads, City streets, and interstate congestion to the rural roads all call for a different and unique riding experience. To have only one motorcyclist on the council is not a good idea. Now riding across the beautiful country and how the different climates affect the design of roads and barrier design therefore call for a variety on MAC and not just one seat. The FHWA seemed to ignore Congressional inquiries and concerns over the intent of the Motorcycle Advisory Council.
All of following are letters sent addressing the issues of the number of seats for MAC.
On June 15, 2016 Congressman Reid Ribble and 20 of his colleagues from the House of Representatives sent a letter to the FHWA encouraging them to ensure that motorcyclists were represented from different organizations. The letter further urged the Agency to adopt similar language outlined in 2005’s SAFETEA-LU concerning the MAC and composition.
On February 6, 2017 eleven Senators sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Chao with concerns about the make-up of MAC.
On February 7, 2017 Congressman Tim Walberg and Mark Pocan sent a similar letter signed by 26 other Members og Congress asking Secretary Chao to allow motorcyclist to have a stronger voice on the MAC in order to make it an effective Council. The letter also suggested that the current vision for MAV “ignores the intent of Congress”
On February 10, 2017 Congressman LaHood send a personal letter to the FHWA asking them to revise the call for nominations as currently it did not allow for an adequate voice for Motorcyclists.
Please remember one important thing The MOTORCYCLE ADVISORY COUNCIL advices the FHWA about motorcycle safety in the design of highways but they do not want motorcyclist input.
Just as a reminder that on May 23, 2017 is the 9th annual Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers Inside the Beltway, held in Washington, D.C.
Also, the 33rd annual “Meeting of The Minds” is being held from September 21 through September 25 in Williamsburg, Virginia.