MRF February 2019 Update
By Andy Kelly
In case you have not heard, on the evening of December 11, the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (S. Res 154), passed the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent. All of the hard work that Megan Ekstrom along with William “Rocky” Fox, and his colleagues at HBS did to get this resolution passed payed off.
The thousands of bikers contacting their senators was one of the most important things that helped get this resolution passed unanimously, by highlighting this issue at “Bikers inside the Beltway” during our grassroots lobbying.
The next day, December 12, the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) held their third meeting. Just a reminder, these meetings are open to the public and are held at the National Highway Institute in Arlington VA. Tiffany Copoletti was showing the wear from the previous few days of activity getting the bill through, but was still present representing the MRF.
The MAC committee was established as part of the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, something we all fought for. The MAC is responsible for providing advice and making recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation concerning infrastructure issues relating to motorcycle safety including barrier design, road design, construction and maintenance practices. It is also responsible for the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies. Back on July 28,2017, the Secretary of Transportation appointed 10 members to the MAC.
At this meeting, the Council had a few additional presenters from paving companies, technology firms and signage firms. It was brought up that nationally motorcycle fatalities are down by 3%, while overall highway fatalities are down by only 1%.
In the discussions that the Council was having, some of the members were bringing up the term “vulnerable users “ and I had to interrupt the meeting and state that under no circumstance is a motorcycle a vulnerable user and should never be considered a vulnerable user like a bicyclist or pedestrian. Putting a motorcycle in the category could lead to limited road use on highways and bridges. We pay for registration and insurance, and have to be licensed to operate a motorcycle so we should always have full access. Yes, give motorcycles consideration during road construction and when the potholes get big enough to swallow a small car think what it can do to a motorcycle. The Council never brought up what the deterioration of a roadway has on the safety of a motorcyclist. There will be one more “face to face” meeting, in December, of this year, under this currant charter. I do think it was a good start and I do think there needs to be more at the Federal level to insure motorcycle safe highways and byways
Everything contained in this article are just a few things going on at the national level. This is why it is so very important that you show your support of the MRF by becoming a member and contacting your Federal Representatives when asked to. And importantly, attending “BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY,”on May 21 of this year.