Monthly Letter to the membership
Message for all A.B.A.T.E. of PA members this month is to continue to “Think
Local!”. Our State Legislators began a six-week break in early March and are not scheduled to return to the floor until April 24th.
Work doesn’t stop for Senators and Representatives they are in committee meetings, strategy sessions and out in their Districts.
The time they are taking from Harrisburg is a chance for members to meet face to face with lawmakers close to home. I cannot emphasize how impactful A.B.A.T.E. members have been at the local level. While making the rounds during the session days and being face to face with dozens of Legislators most tell me how much they value the direct contact with A.B.A.T.E. members
Makes me proud to hear how much respect you have achieved and how we move together As a Grass Roots Organization our future depends on using local events and reinforcing them in
Harrisburg. Supporting Local Fundraisers is a great way for BikePAC to have a lot of bang for the buck. Reach out through your Chapter LC and Coordinator when you see these events scheduled in your area. Know that you all are making an impact when you “Think Local”! When talking to legislators keep it simple and share what I am bringing forward while you have their attention.
1. Rider Education. Accelerate effectiveness by reducing student no-shows. Program would gain from Legislative help by adding language allowing collection of a refundable deposit. Worth a mention.
2. Motorcycle Lemon Law. Pass SB155 or the House version. This has been batted around for many sessions without any clear objections. Any insight to who needs to be lobbied to get this to the Governor’s desk would be welcome.
3. Highly Automated Vehicles. Bikers need a voice at the table before these robots run us all over. Despite the testing and development progress bikers do not believe these systems see us.
4. Motorcycle Profiling. With 5 States having passed profiling legislation and the passage of US Congress resolutions the time is right for this to come back on the table.
MUNICIPAL PRIMARY ELECTIONS MAY 16TH
While we’re on the Local subject, plan ahead for an often-overlooked Election Day.
Local officials like School Board (sets your property tax rate), DA, Magistrates, Coroner and Tax Collectors will be on the ballots. Check your local listings and do your homework. There is a vacant 10-year Pennsylvania Supreme Court Seat open. The trend has been for these Justices to become more political. I for one would like to see that reversed. Equal, fair and Constitutional should be what the Courts provide. Important deadlines for the Primary:
Last Day to register May 1st.
Last day to request absentee or mail in ballot May 9th.
RIGHTS RALLY JUNE 5TH
Fountain Plaza will be the location we use to assemble at 11:00 AM. Right with or bikes parked on Commonwealth Avenue. No need to walk around or through the building. Last two checkpoints on the ride to the Rights Rally will be Red Lion Hotel and then Fort
Hunter Park to stage the procession to the Capitol. DELAYS AND SLOW START IN HARRISBURG Much of what is normal did not happen in Harrisburg for almost two months. Because of
this a number of Co-sponsorship Memos make it to the reports to try to look as far ahead as possible.
SENATE ITEMS OF INTEREST TO A.B.A.T.E.
SB155 EXTENDING LEMON LAW PROTECTION TO MOTORCYCLES,
An Act amending the act of March 28, 1984 (P.L.150, No.28), known as the Automobile Lemon Law, further providing for definitions, for repair obligations, for manufacturer's duty for refund or replacement and for presumption of a reasonable number of attempts.
Last Action: Laid on the table. March 1, 2023
SB 453 DUI OFFENDER REFORM, PHILLIPS-HILL
An Act amending Titles 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) and 75 (Vehicles) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in sentencing, further providing for sentence of total confinement; in licensing of drivers, further providing for driving while operating privilege is suspended or revoked and for ignition interlock limited license; and, in driving after imbibing alcohol or utilizing drugs, further providing for ignition interlock. Last action:
March 1, 2023
SENATE CO-SPONSORSHIP MEMOS
ORGANIZED MOTORCYCLE PROCESSIONS, BROOKS
Legislation that will allow for organized motorcycle processions, giving them the same rights on the road as funeral processions.
Last session this was introduced as SB481 and co-sponsored by Senators Barlotta, Hutchinson, Stefano, Browne, Dush and Pittman.
ENHANCED DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY (WHILE OPERATING AN
INTERACTIVE WIRELESS COMMUNICATION DEVICE) BROWN
Similar to House Bill 37 of 2021-22, prohibiting the use of hand-held interactive wireless communications devices (cellular phones and similar items) while operating a motor vehicle on the roadways of the Commonwealth. This legislation aims to remove the device
from the driver’s hands and impose the behavior of utilizing technology behind the wheel with stricter deterrents.
SCHEDULED SENATE SESSION DATES
April 24, 25, 26
May 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10
June 5, 6, 7, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ITEMS OF INTEREST TO A.B.A.T.E.
HOUSE CO-SPONSORSHIP MEMOS
ORGANIZED MOTORCYCLE PROCESSIONS, STAMBAUGH
Reintroducing HB113 which passed the House last session which affords organized
motorcycle processions many of the same rights that funeral processions currently receive. It will bring these “Rides” for charitable purposes into compliance with the Vehicle Code
VULNERABLE HIGHWAY USER PROTECTIONS, MILLER
Legislation that will amend Title 75 (Vehicles) to define the term “Vulnerable Highway User” and increase the penalties for a person convicted of reckless or careless driving that results in
either the death, serious bodily injury, or bodily injury of a Vulnerable Highway User. Extending Automobile Lemon Law Coverage to Motorcycles, Pisciottano Legislation will add coverage for motorcycles under the Automobile Lemon Law. The law requires a manufacturer to fix any default which substantially impairs the use, value, or safety of the vehicle during the first year of ownership. This measure is critical to the safety of motorcycle riders and the public. We cannot allow potentially problematic, unsafe vehicles on our roadways.
RIDING MOTORCYCLES & HEADPHONES, MAKO
Legislation (former HB 1504) that would allow motorcycle riders to wear one or more headphones/earphones or a helmet with these built in capabilities. Currently under Commonwealth statute, a motorcycle rider is only able to wear a headset that provides sound through one ear in conjunction with a cell phone or other communication device. I believe this law should be updated to better reflect the times, with the advent of wireless headsets, earbuds/earphones and Bluetooth communication/speakers built into helmets that a majority of riders use and should not be penalized for.
HOUSE SESSION DATES
April 24, 25, 26
May 1, 2, 3, 22, 23, 24
June 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30