LEGISLATIVE


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
 
FIRST TWIN PEAKS CASE GOES TO TRIAL IN WACO
Following more than two years of examining trials, hearings, motions to recuse judges and to disqualify prosecutors, appeals court rulings and a host of speedy trial demands, the first case in the Twin Peaks melee has finally gone to trial in Waco, Texas.
 
Jacob Carrizal, President of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, appears before Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court on charges of directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
 
Carrizal is the first to stand trial of the 154 bikers indicted in the Twin Peaks shootout that left nine bikers dead and dozens injured while attending a Saturday, May 17, 2015 meeting of the Coalition of Clubs and Independents, an affiliation of motorcycle groups.
 
Many questions will hopefully be answered, at long last, including how much of the bloodshed was due to a biker turf war and how much resulted from law enforcement actions.
 
Authorities tightened security measures around the McLennan County Courthouse, including a metal fence around the 115-year old building, and black curtains over the windows, while attorneys have whittled down a jury pool from nearly 150 prospective jurists to 11 men and three women, with two serving as alternates.
 
“LOWEST FIGURES ON RECORD” FOR U.K. MOTORCYCLE FATALITIES
In a promising message for motorcyclists, statistics recently released by England’s Department for Transport (DfT) show that U.K. motorcycle deaths are down by 13%, the lowest figure since records began in 2006, despite an overall increase in motorcycle traffic last year and amidst the highest total of overall road deaths since 2011.
 
In fact, statistics from the DfT’s “Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2016 annual report” reveal that motorcyclists were the only road user to see a decrease in fatalities from 2015-16, even though they rode 2% more to cover 2.8 billion miles.
 
AAA CLAIMS BABY BOOMERS AT HIGHER RISK ON A BIKE
A new report from AAA claims that the baby boomer generation that made motorcycles cool are now more likely to sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries in a crash than younger riders.
 
The organization, analyzing federal crash data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), says older riders make up a disproportionate number of motorcycle fatalities. The mortality rate for riders who are 60 or older is more than four times the overall increase in motorcycle deaths for 2015-16, says AAA, with motorcycle fatalities rising 5.1% while deaths among older baby boomers increased 22%.
 
Important to note, the increase in overall motorcycle fatalities is partially the byproduct of a corresponding rise in the number of motorcycles on the road, increasing to 8.6 million motorcycles in 2015 compared with 8.4 million in 2014, according to Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) data cited by the organization.
 
LIFE SENTENCES PROPOSED FOR KILLER DRIVERS
U.K. drivers or riders convicted of causing death by dangerous driving could face life imprisonment if new Government proposals are adopted to increase maximum penalties.
 
The move follows a public consultation in which 70% of respondents believed that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving should be increased to life -- the top penalty that British law offers.
 
Under the same proposal, the crime of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will also be increased to life.  Currently, both offenses carry a maximum term of 14 years imprisonment, while the average sentence imposed is four years.
 
The Government also proposes the creation of a new offense of causing serious injury by careless driving, with a prison sentence up to five years, a measure supported by 90% of those surveyed.
 
The punishment for cases that involve mobile phones, street racing or speeding would carry a sentence equivalent to manslaughter.
 
THE FUTURE OF THE ENGINE IN QUESTION
Some world governments are already acting to curtail or eliminate gasoline-powered engines, and now the Governor of California, Jerry Brown, has announced that he is also considering ways to ban the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines.
 
During a recent public meeting on U.S. Climate Alliance in New York, Brown stated; “We're doing something in the face of inaction."
 
“Eventually, Washington will join with us, because you can't deny science forever, you can't deny reality.  And the reality is climate change is occurring."
 
With a zero-emissions mandate currently in place, California is one of the U.S. states that is fully committed to carrying out the objectives of the Paris Agreement -- which is an ambitious project from the United Nations aiming to tackle the problems caused global climate change.
 
Gov. Brown’s announcement follows a similar diktat from the British and French Governments, reflecting plans to move to electrically-powered vehicles within the next few decades.
 
SELF-DRIVING CARS CLOSER TO HOME
The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved a bipartisan bill called the SELF-DRIVE act, the first of its kind to drive the unmanned market forward by putting federal regulators in charge and barring states from blocking autonomous vehicles or setting performance standards.
 
This legislation would supersede state-by-state rules, making it possible for autonomous testing to proceed on a level playing field across the U.S.
 
If it becomes law (which still requires it to pass the Senate), then it would make it possible for companies working on self-driving to field a lot more vehicles per year – as many as 100,000 autonomous test cars annually, in fact.
 
The proposal would make it possible for car companies such as Ford, GM and others to bypass certain safety standards that currently apply to human piloted cars, including equipment and controls.
 
The Senate has also been working on its own self-driving bill, which may cover trucking as well.
 
CALIFORNIA MEASURE WILL ENSURE TRAFFIC LIGHTS DETECT CYCLES
Two-wheelers will be detected by all newly installed and replacement traffic signals throughout California, as recently passed Senate Bill 672 will “ensure that local transportation agencies will replace current traffic-actuated signals during the course of regular maintenance and upgrade cycles to adopt motorcycle-and bicycle-sensitive signals.”
 
Existing law due to sunset provides that, in due course of maintaining or replacing traffic control devices, local governments ensure that the systems are set at a level to that can detect cyclists and motorcycles, thus this bill indefinitely extends these provisions without a specific mandate from Sacramento.
 
“Since I authored the original law ten years ago, this common sense measure has proven to be effective at making our roads safer,” said Senator Jean Fuller (R-Bakersfield).
 
Signed by Governor Jerry Brown on October 3, 2017, SB 672 specifies that “Upon the first placement of a traffic-actuated signal or replacement of the loop detector of a traffic-actuated signal [responding to the presence of traffic detected by mechanical, visual, electrical, or other means], the traffic-actuated signal shall, to the extent feasible and in conformance with professional traffic engineering practice, be installed and maintained so as to detect lawful bicycle or motorcycle traffic on the roadway.”
 
Advanced by ABATE of California, the motorcycle rights organization says of the legislation; “Thanks to Governor Brown for signing this permanent extension,” stated Chairman of the Board Glenn Phillips, adding that “With over a Million Motorcyclists in our state, this legislation is imperative to protect riders on California roads.”
 
NEW YORK MEASURE WOULD BAN CHILDREN FROM RIDING
Assembly Bill 8700 would prohibit children under the age of twelve from riding on a motorcycle.  Introduced by Assemblymember Aileen M. Gunther (D-Dist.100), the bill states; “No person shall operate or ride a motorcycle on a public highway, road or street in this state with a child under the age of twelve on such motorcycle.”
 
A8700 has been referred to the Assembly Transportation Committee.
 
HELP “LEMON LAW” PASS FOR RIDERS IN PENNSYLVANIA
ABATE of Pennsylvania has issued a Legislative Call To Action regarding House Bill 74, a bill introduced by Representative Pam Snyder that would include motorcycles in the current PA Automobile Lemon Law. HB 74 was introduced and referred to the House Consumer Affairs Committee.  On June 12 the House Consumer Affairs Committee approved HB 74, and the measure is now facing consideration by the full House.
 
“Contact House of Representative members and ask them to support HB 74 to include motorcycles in the state’s “Automobile Lemon Law,” urges the state office of ABATE of PA.  “You can call them, email them or visit them.  But you have to do something if we are to have success in having HB 74 pass the House and be sent to the Senate for their consideration.”
 
MOTORCYCLE THEFTS ARE ON THE RISE
The annual theft report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau shows bike thefts rose 2% nationally across the U.S. in 2016, with a total of 46,467 motorcycles were reported stolen, up from 45,555 in 2015.
 
For the second year in a row, California is the top state for stolen bikes, where 7,506 motorcycles were reported taken -- compared with 4,482 stolen in Florida and 3,692 in Texas, the next most troublesome territories.  Vermont had only 24 motorcycle thefts in 2016, the least amount of all the states.
 
New York was the most-plagued city, followed by San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, while Los Angeles County was the top county.
 
The NICB study reveals that the bulk of motorcycle thefts predictably occur during the summer months, when more bikes are on the street.  August was the top month, when almost twice as many motorcycles disappeared than in December or January.
 
Some bikes are more popular targets than others or are simply easier to steal, and a disproportionate number are Japanese models top the theft list: Honda (9052 thefts), Yamaha (7,723), Suzuki (6,229), Kawasaki (5,221), Harley-Davidson (4,963).
 
The recovery rate for stolen bikes isn’t encouraging, according to the NICB report, with only 17,463 of the 46,467 motorcycles reported stolen in 2016 being returned to their owners, about a 40% nationwide rate of recovery. The recovery rate in Hawaii was highest at 94%, while the New York rate, at 19%, was the lowest in the nation.
 
By brand, Honda owners had about twice as good a chance of getting their bikes back than owners of Ducatis, which had only a 29% chance of coming home.
 
On a more positive note, bike thievery is down considerably -- about 30% -- from what it was a decade ago.
 
PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT SEEKS STRICT HELMET LAW ENFORCEMENT
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in the Philippines is seeking to strengthen enforcement of the Mandatory Helmet Law (RA 10054) nationwide.  In a Memorandum issued Sept 6 to all governors, mayors and others, the DILG directs local officials “to implement said (Helmet Law) Act, and ensure that the provisions are strictly complied with.”
 
Congressman Cesar V. Sarmiento directly addressed DILG during the department’s budget hearing in Congress and said he observed that several motorbike riders and drivers forget to use their helmet resulting in road accidents and deaths.
 
The Subject of the memo calls for the “Observance of the provisions of Republic Act No. 10054; an Act Mandating All Motorcycle Riders to Wear Standard Protective Motorcycle Helmets While Driving and Providing Penalties Therefor (sic).”
 
QUOTABLE QUOTE:  "A man wearing a helmet defending our country is more valuable than a man in a helmet defending a football."
~ Seen on a T-Shirt

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Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s
Meeting of the Minds
September 21-24 2017

The meeting this year was held in Williamsburg, VA. and hosted by two Sustaining States Motorcycle Rights Organizations (SSMRO), Virginia Bikers Association (VABA) and Virginia Coalition of Motorcyclists. Like most other MMOTMs this one was packed with energy and it refueled the mind with the thoughts and actions for the freedoms of motorcycling. This year Idaho was represented at the conference by Lane Triplett, Chairman of ICMS and Ted Vanlunen, assistant to the Board of ICMS, and me, Dave Cazel Idaho’s MRF State Rep and legislative liaison for ANI.

                The four day event started two days early for me as I attended the committee meetings of the MRF. This is where the nuts and bolts of the organization are configured to make the MRF the viable organization that it is today. I sit on the Legislative Committee, The Reps Growth Committee and the Finance Committee. The functions of each committee are accurately described by the title of each committee. In the legislative committee we discussed the successes and the future areas of effort of the MRF along the 2017 legislative agenda. In the Reps Growth committee we strategized ways to grow the MRF on a grassroots level through the state reps program and in the Finance committee we reviewed the financial condition of the MRF along with the picture going forward in 2018. There are sixteen separate committees and I am on only three and I can assure you that is enough. In each committee meeting the issues are prioritized and formulated to be presented to the Board of Directors at the BOD meeting held the following day. As you can imagine, the BOD meeting is pretty intense. The mental acuity of the committee and BOD members is outstanding. These are members of the motorcycling community who volunteer their time and energies besides holding down jobs, raising families and finding time to ride. The effectiveness of this small group of volunteers is amazing to have led the MRF to the legislative successes it has achieved on the national platform.

                After a full day of the board meeting on Thursday, the evening was full of “Meet the Board”. After introduction of the board members, there is what is referred to as “speed dating for motorcycle rights” by state. A representative of each of the states in attendance, 27 by my count, was offered 3 minutes for the opportunity to name legislative actions from their states in the last year. (I have attached an addendum to this report for those who want to review what’s going on around the country).

                Friday’s general sessions started with the posting of the colors. The American flag was brought into the hall with an honor guard of the fife and drum in full regalia. It was the most inspirational opening of A MOTM that I have experienced. I would have expected nothing less as the conference was held in Williamsburg, Va. We were just down the road from the first colonial settlement in the new world, Jamestown, established in 1604.

                The general session was comprised of comments on the general health and ambitions of the MRF with the theme of “how BAD do you want it?” (legislative successes)  by MRF’s VP. Jay Jackson.

Jay was followed by Frank Carbone, treasurer, on the soundness of the MRO. It is sound but as usual we need more members. We’re ahead of schedule and under budget. The next BOD member to speak was Megan Ekstrom VP of Government Affairs, our lobbyist, addressing our progress on the legislative front.

Although we have been making headway on five of the six issues we brought before our federal delegations in May in D.C. at the Bikers in the Beltway (BITW) we, the engaged motorcyclists of the SSMROs, totally collapsed on the sixth. The motorcycle riding “rights” representatives on the Motorcycle Advisory Committee (MAC) were limited to just one seat on the committee, not four like we had in the past. NHTSA didn’t budge on the appointment of only one rights representative. Megan also touched upon the new software that we started using this year. “CQ” is what I have been urging our members to use to contact their federal delegation regarding motorcycle legislation. It now can also be used to track state legislation and hopefully in the future to contact representatives in the state house. (It, like most software on the market today, can give feedback statistics on when, on what subject and how often members contacted their delegates. Idaho’s level of activity was considerably lower than I was hoping it would have been.)

                The last speaker of the general session on Friday was “Slider” Gilmore of Iowa. Slider is a renowned speaker who will keep you engaged. As a lifelong rider who spent many years in the medical first responder field in what is now known as EMT, he discussed the “first five minutes of the golden hour” following a motorcycle accident. Not medical work applications but rather accident scene management. After checking ABCC (airway, Breathing, consciousness, cervical stability) remain calm and call the EMTs immediately with the location. Solicit help from others around for traffic control and keep the patient calm and talking. Be a good witness. Observe the scene. These were just some of the items he highlighted.

                The afternoon was made up of breakout sessions. Three sessions were offered in each of two 1½ hour blocks. Attending the 2018 SMRO Legislative Planning/ Strategy were Lane Triplett representing ICMS and me representing ANI. The attendees, one from each SMRO, were asked to vote on each issue to decide which of three groups to place the issues; high priority, medium priority and monitor. The list of issues was quite lengthy. The items in the high category, as you can imagine, were the 5 items remaining from the lobby day (BITW) last May in D C:  profiling, ethanol, autonomous vehicles/intelligent systems, emission regulations (RPM act) and federal definition of a motorcycle vs. autocycle. (I will distribute the 2018 legislative agenda when it is published including the medium priority and monitor categories.)

                The second session I attended was the Executive Director’s Town Hall Meeting. The objective was to get questions and answers about how the MRF works to support our SMROs’ needs, the protocol for press release forwarding, state lobby assistance and explanation of the MRF Reps program. The evening was comprised of a fund raiser which was a walking poker run/scavenger hunt.

                 Saturday’s general session started with the presentation of numerous awards including the Ron Shepard Safety Award. This year it was won by ABATE of Ohio. Following the award was a presentation by Sunshine Beer, the director of The Idaho STAR Program. Sunshine is also the chairman of the Executive Committee for the SMSA (State Motorcycle Safety Administrators).  Her presentation was aptly titled, “Why Crashes Happen”. It was fashioned from the Idaho crash statistics of the past five years compiled by Lane Triplett of ICMS, and it was a hit. Many attendees were very complimentary of her presentation. The general session following Sunshine was “Taking a Page from the NRA’s Playbook: How to stand out in today’s politics”. Dr. Todd Atkins is the lead lobbyist for the NRA in Washington D.C. You can imagine how effective he was. He described the ins and outs of how to be an effective lobbyist. 1).Just “Get it done” with showing integrity, reliability, applying the Golden rule, measuring wins and losses and avoiding the crowd (stand out). 2). “Legislative Thinking- Divisions of Influence a). Political: party allegiance, b). Personal priorities: family 3). Logic: make sense.  This guy has multiple graduate degrees; PhD and Law and is very cerebral but one hell of an effective speaker. No wonder he is the head lobbyist for the NRA and he rides a motorcycle.

                Saturday afternoon’s breakout session I attended was for the State Representatives. Each year we meet to introduce new state reps and assistant reps, discuss recruiting and retaining members, and communications.  This year we had a round table discussion on proven techniques that reps used to promote the MRF. As usual it was a good session and one heck of a motivator. We always seem to need some encouragement and get our batteries recharged. A year is a long time. We also reelected one of our two Reps to the Board of Directors. This year we will be represented again by Glenyce Jackson of Washington and we reelected Dave Monroe of Alaska.

                The annual fund raiser “Tug of War” was played out again for the joy of the attendees and to the sportsmanship of the competitors. This annual fund raiser places the “bibs” against the “kilts” for a show of competition of the best of three. Regardless of which team bests the other the MRF is always the winner. After some relaxation it was time for the Silent auction and Awards Banquet followed by the live auction. The keynote speaker was the State Senator from Virginia, a rider, who represents the 14th district, the Honorable Senator John Cosgrove. He has a strong history of working with the SSMROs in Virginia as a state member of the house and since 2013 as a state senator. Shortly after the dinner the live auction raised money to support the MRF. All in all it was a very successful conference.

                I feel it is imperative that Idaho continue to lead as it has for more than 30 years with a strong voice in motorcyclists’ rights in this great country. I serve at your pleasure and hope to continue to represent motorcyclists in both the state and national arenas. I would like to thank all the members of the Idaho SSMRO’s, both ABATE of North Idaho ( ANI) and the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety (ICMS) for giving me the opportunity to represent each of you before the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

Special thank you to the ANI members for their financial support to be able to attend this annual conference and to let Idaho’s voice be heard.

Sincerely,

Dave Cazel
Idaho Representative to the MRF

 

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Addendum by Doc D’Errico:

MRF Meeting of the Minds 2017 – Roll Call of States:

MA:
            2-year General Court – 1st year just started
            8½ (2 are the same – one house, one senate) bills filed, one opposed
            S.1949 – Motorcycle Safety Fund – establishes accountability though the Auditor for the fund & adds up to a $150 rebate for junior operators who take Motorcycle Training
            H.2725 – adds a provision to enforce objective testing for Motorcycle Sound Testing & removes the subjective measurement
            S.1923 – Helmet Choice
            H.1917 – Dead Red Bill (but MA started installing motion sensors)
            H.2752 – Right-of-Way – increases violations on a sliding scale based on level of injury
            H.2731 – Vehicle-Specific Checkpoints
            H.2750 & S.1948 – Equal Access – seeking to prevent prohibition of motorcycles to public access roadways, parking structures, etc., that are privately managed.
            H.1845 – Removes restriction of MSF for Massachusetts Rider Education Program
            Fighting H.1888 which enforces EPA +2dB as a measurement standard

NC - Charlie Boone
            9 Bills - 4 Bills passed house
            HB28 – Equal Access Bill (based on SC)
                                    Public facility has to be accessible to MC
            HB214 – Helmets not required for Autocycle Drivers or Passengers
                        Long-term strategy for MC Helmets
Anti-Profiling NOT successful – will try again next long session
Distracted Driving – filed but didn’t go anywhere
Money to external groups – trying to get grants against that funding for safety programs

SC – Shelly Holcomb
            Watching Helmet issues closely – want to stay Helmet Choice State
            Helmet Choice Rally celebrates Freedom of Choice
            Permit issue – people keep renewing permits without licensing
                        DMV wants to fix it by mandating training
                        S.456 - Compromise 3-strikes you’re out, then take Safety Course
                                    Full Senate, ran out of time, carry to next session

AZ – Mike
            Defeated Mandatory Helmet Bill 8-0!
                        Representative who filed the bill is now supporting the other ABATE AZ Bills!
                                    Will sponsor Anti-Profiling Bill!
            Motorcycle Safety Fund back through (MMA AZ)
            Teen Texting Bill
            Civil Forfeiture Language Changed
            Autocycle Language Change
            Anti-Profiling Resolution (8 Representatives on Board)
Distracted Driving penalties bill
Opening dialog around Lane Advancement
            Re-staring ABATE PAC

PA – Andy Kelley
            HB64 – Systematic Vehicle Inspections Bill
            HB74 – Adding Motorcycles to Lemon Law
            HB831 – Making group rides safer
            HB917 – Stop Motorcycle Profiling

CT – Sandra Clark
            4 Helmet Bills filed – 2 were scooters only
                        one was omnibus bill, helmet language already in it (HB755)
                        Defeated all 4 – retain choice for 18 & over
            Billboards for Motorcycles are Everywhere across states
            Red Light Laws – want the Red Lights to work
                        Signal Actuation changes across the State
                                    Sensitivity will even detect bicycles now
            Cable Barriers – AARP & AAA are also opposed

NY – Prospector
            Passed S2119A H7426A through both houses
                        5-hour Driver Education Class to include Motorcycle Component + Test
                        Pending Governor’s Signature
            Profiling Bill in Assembly
Senate won’t sponsor
Senate Republicans see it as anti-Law Enforcement
            Senate Panel to study efficacy of Motorcycle Helmets
                        Asking for Motorcyclists on the Panel
            Helmet Bill being held by Transportation Committee Chair
            No-Fault Bill in Assembly
                        Dropped by Senate Sponsor

OK – John Pierce
            Cleared the table since 2008
            All usual bills (Red Light, Helmet Choice, etc.)
Motorcycle Safety Fund - $1.8M Locked up so can’t be touched ($2-per)
Share the Road Program going great
            100 School Bus Drivers at one time

IA – Jody
            Helmet Bill went nowhere
            Share the Road Program
                        1 hour of Motorcycle Awareness – introduced in person
                        over 12,000 people have seen it in person
            Rider Education Program
                        4 mobile units & 1 permanent range
            Invited to help plan IA DOT Motorcycle Safety Forum
                        Focus was Autonomous Vehicles
                        Many AV’s being tested in IA
            DOT Director entered Private Sector, nominated to head FHA
                        New Director of DOT wrote Autocycle Bill (enacted!)
            Profiling – No Profiling Bills or Resolutions
                        Can’t find a problem in IA
            Fighting Insurance HF604
                        Intent to get uninsured drivers off the road, but instead penalizes muti-vehicle Owners

CO – Stump
MOST Program – fighting with CDOT regarding reimbursements
            Bill after audit – get new administrators to CO State Patrol
Automated Driving Systems – want to test in CO
            Automated don’t notice motorcycles
            0-3 Automation – don’t let vehicles on the road without pilot
Autocycle Definition – still a motorcycle, but you don’t need a helmet
            3-year-olds wearing beanie, but no restraining law for motorcycle
            Autocycle allows child-safety seat regulation

AK – Tom Evans
            Helmet Choice
            No Ethanol Issues
            Profiling not an issue
            DC giving AK (2 Senators, 1 Rep) strong support for anti-profiling
            Rider Education – permanent site, may be losing it
                        Municipality helping find another site
            SB91 – Prisons overcrowded, passed a bill to decriminalize Class C felonies
e.g.: Citation for theft, etc.
Bill to revert

MI – Vince C
            4306 – Rider Ed fee increase passed
            Look Twice, Save a Life program paid for by motorcyclists
            Tough because considered a fee increase / tax
5-year study looking at Helmet Law Repeal
            vs SMARTER.com’s study
            Plastic Surgeons reporting increase in business since Helmet Repeal
Governor looking at Autonomous Vehicles

MO – Amy Allmon
            Helmet Bill made it to committee – but meeting delayed due to 3 hours of announcements
            Bill Riders over 21 with insurance exempted from helmet – no movement
            Secondary Infraction – No Traffic Stop for just failing to wear a helmet – no movement
            Profiling Bill – no movement

TN – Ed D
            Last year, attempted to push through Helmet Law Modification Bill
                        Leveraging Tourism dollars argument
                        Finance Committee rules say Tourism can’t be used in financial analysis
                        Deputy Commissioner for State Police
            Looking at what to do next year
            New Governor expected next year (incumbent not running)
                        State Police Colonel retiring
            Shoulder Use Bill (allow Motorcyclists to use shoulder in stopped traffic)
            Road Guard issue – other organizations tried to push bill through
                        Attempting regulatory path instead
            Relationship with Homeland Security
                        2 State Grants received
                        “Required” to present “Don’t Ride Fried” to Legislators at State Capitol

SD – Jiggs
            Passed last of 5-years of bills
                        Opposition this time around
            Vertical plate – any position except upside-down
            40th Anniversary of ABATE of SD in 2018
            Congressional Delegation to sign onto all MRF bills
           
VA – Wes Hurst
            Full Helmet Repeal Bill current focus
            Do have Dead Red support
            No Handlebar Height
            Can ride 2-abreast for motorcycles (no trikes)

AL – Matt
            SB88 – signed into law May 19
                        Felony Offence for Homicide by Vehicle or Vessel

CA – State Rep
            AB27 – law required 2-day motorcycle class or skills test
                        Bill allows 1-day advanced class for experienced riders
            Traffic Actuated Signals – requires municipalities to check different vehicles
                        Sunset clause removed (made it indefinite)
                        On Governor’s Desk for signature
            Traffic Cameras – bill for 5-year test program
                        Was in San Francisco San Jose
                        Bill stalled because San Diego wants in
            All Motorcyclists should wear hi-visibility vests
                        ABATE of CA fighting it
            Anti-Profiling effort
                        Numerous hot spots in CA
                        Committee working on this – Monday weekly conference calls
            Lane Splitting Bill passed last year
                        CA Highway Patrol has always been supportive of Lane Splitting
                        Passed with no conditions
                        CHP, CADOT, ABATE of CA, & MSF would define guidelines
                                    Will limit to 15 MPH faster, up to 50 MPH

NH – Sherm Packard
            Left on Red – defeated (too many complications)
            Eliminated Handlebar Height
            Looking at Lane Splitting Bill extensively
            New NHMO officers – rebuilding
            In depth study of autonomous vehicles & autocycles

IN - Mike Myer
            Off-Highway Vehicle Helmet Usage
            Autocycle cleanup bill – anti-lock brakes
            Basic Rider Skills Curriculum
            Tar Snake sealant
            Ride with the Governor last year (current VP)

WI – Chubby

43-year anniversary
            4 years helmet free
17-years of share-the-road class
            200,000 students
3 program updates
            DOT now has an awareness program
            Motorcyclists Council with DOT
            Former Exec Director, Ric Mellon sits on Autonomous Vehicle Committee

            RoW Violations enhancements bill
                        Adding other enhancements (26!)
                        Passed Senate, scheduled for floor vote
            Black Box (Vehicle Data Recorder) Bill
                        Bill will be more restrictive than Federal
            No Profiling Bill, but researching
            Autocycle Bill – define a Motorcycle (reverse approach)

IL - Ryan Hubbard
            30th Anniversary ABATE IL
            Moving Tax Incentives for Ethanol – stalled intentionally
            Noise Monitoring on Lake Shore Drive (O’Hare airport-like equipment)
            Motorcycle Noise-Level Bill – council members in Chicago feel motorcycles rattle window
                        Now a bill talking about 100dB for sirens in cities with > 1M people
                        Would limit Ambulances and other emergency vehicles
            Recreational trail funds – passed – goes to Department of Natural Resources
                        Build State Riding Park

MN – Todd RIba
            Legislative session without any attempt to modify helmet law
            Bill passed – Motorcycle Safety Bill
                        Small part being diverted away ($20,000/year) – restored 100%
            Motorcycle Awareness License Plate - $10 for Motorcycle Safety Fund
                        Written that ABATE MN would design the plate
            Working on Profiling Bill
                        Seems that juts the fact of working on the bill has caused the problems to stop
MN will host MoTM 2018

NJ –
            10th Anniversary of ABATE of NJ
            Rebuilding

ID – Dave Cazel
            Anti-Profiling Bill went through house 69-0
                        Senate couldn’t find any evidence of Profiling
                        Lost 13-22
Largest Newspaper in ID wants a Helmet Law
            Legislative Liaison responded, quoted in national magazine
            “Motorcycle Helmets are not the panacea to Motorcycle Fatalities”
Reconstruct Motorcycle Training Manual

KS – Bill Cooper
            42ns Anniversary
            Checking into Profiling incident reports
            Finding pumps with zero Ethanol
            Pushing for stiffer penalties for inattentive driving
            New State Lobbyist

RI – Lou Petrucci
            43rd Anniversary
            Increased penalities for RoW violations
            Parking Bill – all public buildings with 30 or more parking spaces
                        Must have 1 space for motorcycles per 30
            Trade-in Bill – passed 7 years ago
                        Motorcycles not included – can’t get bill to move
            Where 1% groups are involved with runs, Law Enforcement won’t support as Road Guards
            Break-down lanes, Law Enforcement doesn’t want to allow
            Lane Splitting not enforced, so not pushing a bill
            Dead Red Bill not introduced – discussion turns to “running red lights”
                        DOT called when lights aren’t working well
            RI Safety Coalition – AAA, AGO, State Police, etc.
                        And now RIMA
                        Working on a number of bills at the State House
            Camera Bill – opposed by Law Enforcement
                        Put cameras around the state to take pictures of license plates
                        Goal was to find uninsured vehicles
                        Held for further study in Senate

St. Croix Valley Riders
            MN Legislative Director & WI Legislative Director
            Working with ABATE and other Motorcycle Safety Groups
            Toward Zero Deaths in MN
            Some killed by deer, many by too much speed
Motorcycle Plates in 2018
Lane Splitting Bill
            CA 17% Crash Rate in that situation – trying to work towards fixing those issues
            Expecting amendments
Free Rider Education – Class Reimbursement
Profiling concerns
Autonomous Cars
Freedom of Choice

WA – Glenyce Jackson
            Working on Helmet Choice
                        Made it through House and Senate, but stuck in Transportation Committee
            Lane Sharing Bill
                        Traffic atrocious on western side of state
                        Splitting at <35 MPH
            Municipalities ticketing 2 motorcycles per spot
                        Law states parallel to curb

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10/27/17

RIDING FREE FROM DC:
Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway
Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.
NEWS FROM THE HILL – One Week & Several Pissing Matches Later….
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee okayed Paul Trombino's nomination to be top dog at the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). He is going to be an important one for riders…the FHWA oversees policies that affect roadway design and other safety issues that impact our nation’s highways. His nomination vote was supposed to take place last week…but then a fight ensued between several Republican Senators and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt over the Renewable Fuel Standard…more on that in the section below.
Our anti-profiling legislation added another sponsor this week – Rep. John Katko from New York. I sat down with Rep. Katko’s Legislative Director recently. He reached out to me because the Congressman just got his endorsement and purchased a Road King. That’s right – we’ve added another Member of Congress to our “Reps Who Ride” List. The staffer told me that his boss is “ALL IN” when it comes to rider issues. And as an added bonus – he sits on the powerful Transportation & Infrastructure Committee.
EXECUTIVE & REGULATORY UPDATES – RFS Concessions to the Corn States
Last week I reported that several Senators from the nation’s corn belt threatened EPA Head Scott Pruitt over what they felt was a lack of support (FYI – threatening someone in Washington is verrrrrrry different then threatening someone in the biker world – just so ya know). And in short order, Pruitt made some concessions, to the frustration of many including yours truly. After the shakedown (again a “Washington” shakedown…not a biker shakedown) Pruitt released a letter outlining a number steps the EPA intends to take on the Renewable Fuel Standard. This includes a commitment to finalize ethanol volumes by Nov 30 at levels equal to or greater than those in the proposed rule that was recently issued AND directed EPA staff to "actively explore" whether the agency has legal authority to grant a waiver allowing year-round sale of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol. About five seconds later, President Trump’s nominees to the EPA were SHOCKINGLY (not really) given the ‘okay’ from a Senate Committee.
In other news, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao confirmed what I wrote about last week – that an attempt to overhaul the tax code is taking priority over a major infrastructure package. She spoke at an event put on by the American Trucking Association earlier this week and said, “Infrastructure will not be taken up until tax reform has been completed.” So, there you have it. Hope you took my advice and didn’t hold your breath.
STATE NEWS – Fraudulent Documents & Motorcycle Endorsements in Indiana???
From ABATE of Indiana and MRF’s own Jay Jackson:
It has come to our attention that some Indiana residents have been caught up in a scam regarding documents necessary to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. ABATE of Indiana represents all Hoosier motorcyclists and is very concerned anytime one of us is harmed.
Although we have not been given details from the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), it appears that someone has made copies of the state form used to issue a waiver for skills test and forged the signature of a former ABATE instructor. This unlawful act of greed casts an ugly and undeserved shadow on the instructor’s reputation, as well as that of ABATE of Indiana.     
We have heard a number of stories from people that have been caught up in this situation. One admitted to giving “a guy in the bar $100” in exchange for the paper. Others advise that they attended a makeshift course and spent “a couple hours riding around cones” before receiving the document. Some claim to have paid as much as $350 for this “class”.
At some point, the BMV suspected something (perhaps a large number of waivers with the same instructor, date, etc...) and began to look closer at how some folks acquired their motorcycle endorsement. If the BMV was unable to confirm that the applicant had successfully completed a legitimate rider course, they suspended not only the motorcycle endorsement, but also the operator’s license, and in some cases the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), of the individual.
ABATE of Indiana’s rider education program began in 1979 and has had a contract with the state to provide courses every year since the inception of the state legislated program (that we lobbied to create in 1986), except 2017. This includes 2015 when we were required to sign a contract to be able to offer a waiver (for skills test) even though we received zero assistance from the state. Our students bore the entire expense in their tuition, and we had to spend about a quarter of a million dollars for motorcycles while the Bureau of Motor Vehicles chose to park hundreds of bikes outside in the snow and let them deteriorate, rather than allow us to use this equipment to train students.
Furthermore, misinformation from the BMV advised riders that the course offered by ABATE of Indiana was not valid for a waiver, when in fact, it was. This issue continued throughout the entire 2015 and 2016 training seasons, despite repeated pledges from the BMV to correct it. In 2017, inaccurate and incomplete information persists, as the BMV advises Hoosiers that “ABATE... (is) not an option”.
While the BMV’s repeated mis-information to riders is frustrating for us, the reason we provided this brief history is because it is even more frustrating to the motorcyclists of Indiana.
Up until 2015, information regarding rider courses was pretty clear and consistent. Unfortunately, there is currently a great deal of confusion confronting riders and seemingly nowhere to obtain correct, consistent, definitive answers. With 20 or so contractors offering training, and no single source for registration, it is difficult for those persons seeking training to understand what is going on and just what “is an option”.
We managed to get along for about 25 years without any sort of fraud, using a card printed on card stock in blue ink, with a watermark. We controlled the distribution of these cards from our office and limited the personnel that had access to them. The BMV introduced a new form just a few years ago that was simply black ink on white paper. We expressed concern regarding the security of this document from the beginning.
It certainly looks like there are some victims here. It sounds like some of these folks truly believed that they were participating in a legitimate training course and have now had their license suspended, significantly impacting their lives and livelihood.
If you have any information related to this situation, please reach out and contact the Indiana State Police, or call the ABATE office if you are more comfortable doing so. We want to get to the bottom of this in hopes that it may assist those that were victimized.
              Ride Safe,  Ride Free,
              Jay Jackson
MRF NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
After a fairly depressing weekly bulletin, I wanted to end on a somewhat positive note?!
As you all know, the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (or MAC) has been a thorn in our side. We’re angry that they chose to only have ONE motorcycle association represented (which went to the AMA) and we are frustrated that the Council is instead made up of people who are there because of their expertise in things like roadway design, safety and construction. However, one of the people selected may in fact be one of our own. Joel Provenzano, a traffic engineering specialist from Florida, is a long-time rider and I’ve been told that he AND both of his parents are actively involved with ABATE of Florida and the motorcycle ministry. I was put into contact with Joel and he and I are going to meet in-person to discuss the MRF’s concerns and priorities regarding the MAC. We’ve also had some positive interactions with the AMA’s Mike Sayre who attended our Meeting of the Minds and who will be Chairing the MAC. With any luck, we’ll make sure our voice is heard…even if its unofficially for now.
RIDE FREE-

Megan Ekstrom
Vice-President of Government Affairs & Public Relations
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

Helpful Links 
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American Motorcyclist Association
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Idaho Coalition For Motorcycle Safety

A strike for freedom from bikers in Idaho. This bill was read by the committee on Feb. and unanimously passed by committee yesterday. On to the house and senate.





 

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The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

 

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National Coalition of Motorcyclist

NCOM Newsbites
CITY IN WASHINGTON SETTLES PUBLIC RECORDS LAWSUIT WITH BIKERS
(January 2015)

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ABATE of Southern Idaho



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