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NCOM Coast To Coast Biker News for July 2017


By Bill Bish, from NCOM and the Confederation of Clubs

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THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
U.S. motorcycle sales for Harley-Davidson, which represents about half of America’s big-bike market, were down 3.9% last year, and investment management firm Alliance Bernstein recently downgraded the Motor Company’s rating while citing the millennial generation as a key contributor in the brand's downturn.

"Our data suggests the younger Gen Y population is adopting motorcycling at a far lower rate than prior generations," AB analyst David Beckel told AOL’s Business Insider. "Gen Y's are aging into the important 'pre-family' cohort of riders and Boomers are increasingly handing over their keys to the smaller Gen X population."

Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers in numbers to become the largest generation pool in the United States, and these 18 to 35-year-olds grew up during a recession, which has impacted their spending habits.

"I think we have got a very significant psychological scar from this great recession," according to Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger. "One in every five households at the time were severely negatively impacted by that event. And, if you think about the children in that house and how the length and depth of that recession really impacted people, I think you have an entire generation with permanently changed spending habits."
Drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle often claim they didn’t see the bike. Their smaller size, quickness and maneuverability makes motorcycles more difficult to identify in traffic. Autotalks, the world leader in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions, is launching its bike-to-vehicle (B2V) solution, a technology for the prevention of motorcycle accidents. The solution is based on the B2X (Bike-to-Everything) chipset developed by the Israeli company.

Research conducted by Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, finds that motorcycle-to-car communication could prevent almost one third of motorcycle related accidents, which has encouraged the German company to develop what they call a “digital protective shield” for riders. Digital visibility would warn the driver of a car about a motorcycle’s close presence, even when it’s not visible to the human eye.

The goal of the new technology is to prevent accidents from occurring, by providing warning notices on dashboards. The data would be exchanged by vehicle transmitters through public WLAN and ITS-G5. Potential hazards and nearby motorcycles would then show up on satellite navigation, including direction of travel, position, speed, acceleration, and vehicle type.

Advantages of the Autotalks’ B2V solution include simple integration, low power consumption, the smallest form factor, highest range of operating temperature and smallest physical size, which results in its resistance to the strong vibration and challenging environmental conditions of motorcycles.


A “Right-of-Way” or R-O-W law has been enacted in Oregon, as House Bill 2598 was signed by Governor Kate Brown on June 20, 2017. The bill also known as the “Milkman Mike Act” or the “Driver Responsibility Bill” will become law on January 1, 2018 and expands the offense of vehicular assault to include contact with motorcycle, motorcycle operator or motorcycle passenger that causes physical injury.

“This means that if a reckless driver injures a motorcycle rider or their passenger, the driver can be charged with vehicular assault and will be a Class A Misdemeanor,” reports the Oregon Confederation of Clubs. The punishment can be doing time up to one year in prison and a maximum fine up to a $6,250.

“This is a great win for Oregon riders!!,” states the Oregon COC on their website (www.oregoncoc.org). “Now we have something that has some teeth in it to punish drivers who are determined to be ‘reckless’. We have had too many brothers and sisters run down by car drivers getting a ticket for nominal money or no ticket at all. At best they get a slight bump in their insurance rates. And in the case of no ticket, their insurance company never really has a clue they have a high risk client on their hands.

“All it took was a sharp attorney (Oregon A.I.M. Attorney Christopher Slater) to do a very simple thing. He had the great idea to look to see if there is existing legislation. He found legislation that covered bicyclists and pedestrians (ORS 811.060). From there it was easy to add a few words…’motorcycle rider and passenger.’ It was so simple it was brilliant. Much thanks to Christopher and his efforts. Many thanks to BikePac of Oregon and ABATE of Oregon who also worked hard to make this bill a reality.

“And may Milkman Mike rest in peace forever. This legislation is something he worked hard to achieve for many years. He was unable to see it done due to a health issue and we lost him several years ago. Mike was constantly working within the motorcycle rights community. He also worked as the coordinator for the Coalition of Independent Riders (COIR). He spent a great amount of time adding non affiliated and independent riders to his communication roster.”

Similar to a measure recently adopted in Louisiana to teach new licensees how to interact with police during traffic stops, House Bill 21 “Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops” has been approved unanimously by the North Carolina legislature and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on July 12, 2017.

HB 21 provides that “The Division, in consultation with the State Highway Patrol, the North Carolina Sheriff's Association, and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, shall include in the driver license handbook a description of law enforcement procedures during traffic stops and the actions that a motorist should take during a traffic stop, including appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers.”


During a lame-duck legislative session ending last December, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 154, commonly referred to as a “Dead Red” law, allowing all vehicles and bicycles to treat a malfunctioning traffic signal as a stop sign and to proceed through a red light after a reasonable time has elapsed, as long as the intersection is clear and you must yield to oncoming traffic with the right of way. Signed by the governor, the new law was to take effect in March, but an amendment was introduced and fast-tracked as an emergency measure to remove all motor vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles) from the law, and House Bill 9 amended the red light section to apply to bicycles only.

Under the language of HB 154, if drivers think they have waited long enough at a red light, they can go through it, explained Representative Kyle Koehler (R-Springfield), primary sponsor of the amendment bill HB 9 “To amend section 4511.132 of the Revised Code to specify that the alternative protocol for proceeding into an intersection with malfunctioning traffic lights due to a failure of a vehicle detector applies only to bicycles, and to declare an emergency.”

Unlike when a stoplight is out or blinking because of a mechanical failure, there is no way for a driver to know for sure if an otherwise functioning light has been signaled to change, so legislators worried that the law would allow motor vehicle drivers to treat intersections like stop signs. Lawmakers rushed to fix the law, and HB 154 passed both chambers unanimously and was signed into law as an emergency measure by Gov. John Kasich, taking effect right away.

While ABATE of Ohio maintains that all Traffic Control Devices should be in good working order at all times and is working with the Ohio Department of Transportation to report/repair malfunctioning devices (Red Light Hotline (614) 387-0722 or biker.report@dot.state.oh.us), the organization reports that “Legislation granting motorcycles the ability to treat a malfunctioning traffic signal as a stop sign is planned for the future.”

Basically, “Dead Red” laws allow a motorcyclist stopped at an intersection who has not been detected by a traffic signal sensor to run the light legally, when done so safely. Currently, 20 states have enacted such laws, varying in specificity from 45 seconds to 3 minutes, or 1-2 cycles of the light, or “when safe”: AR, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MN, MO, NV, NC, OK, OR, NJ, PA, SC, TN, UT, VA, WA, WY.

On Thursday, June 22, 2017 the New Jersey Senate and the Assembly voted unanimously to pass Senate Bill No. 1750, and Assembly Bill No. 2729, to create a Veteran license plate for motorcycles.

This establishes "U.S. VET" plates for any honorably discharged Veteran. There will be an annual $10 charge for these plates and all monies collected will be deposited in a fund to be used by the Department of Military and Veterans' Affairs for the support of programs benefiting New Jersey military veterans.

“When the Governor signs this legislation, it will end an over eight year campaign by ABATE for these plates,” announced Frank C. Maimone of ABATE of the Garden State.


Legislation to allow motorcyclists to travel on shoulder lanes in congested traffic passed through the Hawaii legislature but was vetoed by Governor David Ige on July 11.

House Bill 727, introduced by Representative Henry J.C. Aquino (D-Waipahu), passed both the House and Senate with only two ‘No’ votes, and would “authorize the operator of a motorcycle or motor scooter to proceed cautiously upon the shoulder of the roadway, in the same direction at a reduced rate of speed of no more than ten miles per hour” until the adjacent lane cleared.

The intent of the measure was to alleviate congestion and reduce the risk of injury or loss of life, but in his veto message, Gov. Ige countered that “There is concern that this will compromise road safety. The shoulder lane is designed to accommodate stopped vehicles and emergency vehicles on highways, and bicycles on arterial roadways. While the intent of the bill is to reduce risk or injury or loss of life, there is concern that allowing shoulder lane use to these types of vehicles will instead create more danger for the operators of these vehicles.”


The city of Hanoi, capital of Vietnam, has over 7.5 million inhabitants, and between them these citizens own more than 5 million motorcycles and half a million cars. In addition to the city progressively developing public transportation and banning certain vehicles from certain locations at certain times to combat congestion and pollution, Hanoi has stated intentions to ban all motorcycles in 2030.


A growing list of countries plan to ban conventional vehicles running on gasoline, diesel or other fossil fuels. Several European and Asian countries have already laid out ambitious plans to eliminate fossil fuel-powered vehicles:

- Norway & The Netherlands have designed the most aggressive plans, wanting to switch to electric vehicles by 2025.
- India wants to get all of its vehicles switched to battery power by 2030, not only ending the sale of internal combustion vehicles, but will convert or replace all vehicles on the road.
- France announced plans coinciding with the G20 summit to have 80% of its fleet electrified by 2023.
- Germany is pushing to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2030.
- China is increasing sales of so-called New Energy Vehicles by putting strict limits on the number of new vehicles that can be registered in major cities, exempting NEV models.

Sales of all battery-based vehicles dipped globally in 2016, and in the U.S. sales of hybrids, plug-ins, and BEVs (Battery Electric Vehicles) collectively accounted for barely 3% of the overall new vehicle market.


In recognition of Ride to Work Day in June, the Motorcycle Industry Association in the U.K. released figures highlighting the benefits for everyone if just 10% of car drivers made the switch to two wheels -- including a 20% increase in parking spaces, a 40% reduction in road congestion and financial savings from less cars on the road.

The figures come from a Belgian study, which modeled traffic for one of Europe’s congested roads and found that if 10% of car drivers swapped four wheels for two, congestion for all road users went down by 40%. If 25% of drivers rode, congestion was completely eliminated.

The INRIX Global Traffic Scorecard calculated the cost of congestion to the economy at around £30 billion a year ($39 billion USD) – a figure that would reduce if more people switched to two wheels. Drivers could gain up to the equivalent of four days (32 hours) annually stuck in traffic.

“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity.”
~ Amelia Earhart (1897 - ?), American aviation heroine

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Reader Comments

Ironically Vietnam wants to cut down on traffic congestion by banning motorbikes.


Thursday, July 27, 2017
Editor Response I know. Makes no sense.

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