MRF November 2018 Update
By Andy Kelly
Just in case you have not heard, Megan Ekstrom has excepted a position in Global Government Affairs with Proctor and Gamble. At the Meeting of the Minds she told us that she was recruited and was made an offer the she could not refuse. When I had a chance to talk to Megan at the Meeting of the Minds, I told her that everyone in Pennsylvania wishes her the best and that she will be sadly missed by everyone in Pennsylvania and the MRF.
In the Legislative Report, that Megan presented, at the Meeting of the Minds, there was presently, no real movement, of any Legislation in Congress. There is hope that during the Lame Duck session of Congress, after the election (Nov. 14 through Dec 31 ) we could see some movement or attachment to other legislation to become law.
Here is the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s 2019 Legislation & Regulatory Priorities:
2019 HIGH PRIORTIY OBJECTIVES:
• Continue to lobby for the passage of Legislation (H.Res.318 & Res.154) promoting public awareness of and condemning instances of motorcycle profiling by law enforcement officials.
• Advocate for targeted changes to the Renewable Fuel Standards including the following actions:
The indefinite and universal availability of approved fuel blends, containing no more than 10 percent ethanol by volume.
Additional research and independent studies concerning the effects of higher blends of ethanol on motorcycles as well as targeted consumer education programs.
Where higher ethanol blends are available, ensure separate pumps (i.e. no blender pumps) to minimize the risk of damage to motorcycle engines.
• Advocate and monitor for motorcyclists concerning laws and regulations related to connected and autonomous vehicles, specifically, (AV START Act, S.185);
Required testing for motorcycle recognition and responsiveness
Strong standards to ensure safety of motorcycle users as it relates to electronic and cyber security systems
The inclusion of motorcyclist’s perspectives in decisions regarding intelligent transportation system (ITS)
Clarification of the rights of data ownership of any recorded data in the context of connected and autonomous vehicles
• Fully engage the EPA and Congress on any activity related to motorcycle admission regulation (i.e. RPM Act-H.R.350 & S.203).
• Work with appropriate stake holders concerning the federal definition of a motorcycle, ensuring that crash and fatality statistics continue to be separate from other classes of vehicles including autocycles, non-motorcycle powered vehicles such as mopeds, scooters, and various cabin-based steering wheel type vehicles.
• Consider limiting funding of any government entity with increasing involvement in advocating for a universal helmet law or similar initiatives.
• Continue to promote our theme of crash avoidance versus safer crashing urging NHTIS to focus on crash prevention and rider education.
• Fiercely oppose any federal mandatory helmet, apparel, or conspicuity standards.
• Pursue and monitor efforts related to the next highway bill (expiring in 2020). Ensure the following previsions are included:
Motorcycle Education and Awareness Program Grant Funding
Continuation of the NHTSA lobbying ban
Continuation of Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) To advise the FHWA
Oppose any motorcycling related federal blackmails or federal sanctions
Monitor for any action that would negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists
Continuation of ban on federal funding for motorcycle only checkpoints
2019 MEDIUM PRIORITY OBJECTIVES:
• Pursue safer roadway design strategies in federal infrastructure legislation or discussion (i.e. MAC).
• Oppose any motorcycling, motorcycle, or motorcyclists-based discriminatory legislation or rules proposed by the U.S. Congress or by any federal agency.
• Monitor and ensure that the term “Vulnerable Road Users” does not include motorcyclists.
• Work to discourage All Forms of distracted driving.
• SAE Motorcycle Roadside Sound Testing (addressed by individual states).
• Continued participation in motorcycle related activity in the European Union, United Nations, and Canada informing membership of key developments.
• Continue monitoring any federal studies concerning motorcycles (i.e. Federal Crash Causation Study MSF Naturalistic Study)
• Monitor and strongly oppose any federal standard proposing stamping and certifying of motorcycle exhaust systems.
• Monitor private and public organizations that oppose the legislative agenda or mission for the MRF.
• Monitor fare tolling concepts on federally funding roadways and projects supported by federal bonds.
• Monitor and support federal efforts to study and review the benefits and concerns of lane splitting and lane filtering.
• Monitor and respond to federal to legislative or regulatory activity concerning the usage of the terms gang, club, known associate, and associate when referring to motorcyclists.
• Monitor and report on any litigation related to motorcycle admissions violations.