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The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Releases Its Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2013-2014

Here Are the Battles We Face Next Year!

from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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At the 2013 Motorcycle Riders Foundation's (MRF) Meeting of the Minds Conference held in September in Columbus, Ohio, the MRF's Legislative Committee hosted a Legislative Strategy Session. As has been done for the past several years, the MRF requested that it be attended by Sustaining State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (SSMRO) Legislative and/or Executive Officers. We welcomed several representatives from our Sustaining Motorcycle Clubs and Organizations as well. The goal was to set the MRF's Federal Legislative Agenda for the 2013 Meeting of the Minds to the 2014 Meeting of the Minds annual cycle.

The MRF's SSMRO partners responded once again with a majority attendance and an increased participation over last year. The MRF Legislative Committee remains extremely pleased at the aligned and clear direction we experienced again this year from our SSMRO partners. This level of agreement continues to allow for solid action plans to be effectively employed by our Government Relations Department and our SSMRO partners while in Washington D.C. and in working federal issues in their home states. Additionally, we continue to see productive gains in state legislative activities that support our federal efforts when it comes to protecting on-road motorcyclists, motorcycling, and its associated lifestyle.

The MRF Legislative Committee continued the practice instituted three years ago of recording one vote per SSMRO in attendance. A full breakdown of each vote can be seen in the upcoming issue of the MRF Reports. The session this year was moderated by MRF Vice President, Jay Jackson, with support from MRF Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs, Jeff Hennie, and MRF President, Kirk "Hardtail" Willard. 

  • MAP 21 upcoming reauthorization (the Highway Bill) - To include Motorcycle 2010 Grant Funding (the MRF to pursue the current levels of funding along with a request to tighten up language for qualification and use), continuation of the NHTSA Lobbying Ban, pursue reinstatement of the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) to advise the FHWA, oppose any motorcycling related federal blackmails or federal sanctions contained in the highway bill; closely monitor for any action that would negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists; seek to include HR1861 language to ban motorcycle specific roadblock grant funding 

  • SAE Motorcycle Roadside Sound Test - The MRF to NOT promote the use of the SAE Sound Test as a National enforcement standard, majority considered this a state issue 

  • Continue to closely monitor the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and other developing health care law for motorcyclist specific discrimination 

  • NHTSA motorcycle-specific checkpoint grant program - MRF to carry out a full effort to cut off specified use of funding for this motorcycle-based discriminatory practice, HR1861 has been introduced to accomplish this, encourage states to pass their own anti-checkpoint laws 

  • Continue monitoring the Federal Crash Causation study and the MSF Naturalistic study 

  • Strongly oppose any federal standard proposing stamping and certifying of motorcycle exhaust systems 

  • Continue to oppose federal agency activity regarding EPA Sound Emission User studies and the encouragement of state activity with federal resources-again deemed to be a state issue 

  • Work to discourage ALL forms of distracted driving, and oppose all forms of funding blackmails or withholding of funds as related to motorcyclists, watch this issue closely for motorcycle specific discriminatory language 

  • Right to Repair Act - MRF to remove this as an agenda item citing significant progress, the MRF's D.C. Office will continue to monitor and participate in the Right to Repair Coalition as warranted 

  • Continue participation at the federal level where the definition of a motorcycle is under review taking advantage of any opportunity available to enhance and further clarify

  • MRF will oppose any motorcycling, motorcycle, or motorcyclist-based discriminatory legislation or rules proposed by the U.S. Congress or by a federal agency 

  • MRF to seek a legislative vehicle to include motorcyclist anti-profiling language this session 

  • Continue participation in motorcycle related activity in the European Union, United Nations, and Canada 

  • MRF to fiercely oppose any mandatory helmet or apparel standards

  • MRF to encourage additional federal research of E15 fuel related to use in a motorcycle prior to any recommendations; continue to seek recommendations on its use from motorcycle original equipment manufacturers, MRF and SSMRO's agreed to pursue passage of HR875 

  • MRF to actively pursue inclusion of motorcycles in ongoing Intelligent Transportations System (ITS) emerging technologies 

  • Pursue safer roadway design strategies at the federal level, include safer cable barrier research similar to European improvements in the discussion 

  • Continue to promote our theme of crash avoidance versus safer crashing, using the principles of House Resolution 1498 urging NHTSA to focus on crash prevention and rider education 

  • MRF to pursue limiting of funding of Center for Disease Control (CDC) on their involvement in motorcycling safety issues through a relevant appropriations bill, pursue CDC lobby ban, seek to remove language where CDC suggests motorcycle crashes are preventable injury events, MRF to continue to support efforts to refocus the CDC on their mission as stated in the letter from Congressman Petri to the CDC on September 27th, 2013 

  • MRF to monitor private organizations that oppose the legislative agenda or mission of the MRF and investigate their funding sources to make certain they are not receiving federal tax dollars

  • MRF to monitor public organizations for funding sources when in opposition to our legislative agenda or mission, respond appropriately if they receive federal tax dollars 

  • MRF to continue to closely monitor the federally mandated Affordable Health Care Act for potential motorcyclist and motorcycling discrimination 

  • MRF to monitor the EPA for upcoming activity on motorcycle emission regulations and motorcycle drive train mandates 

  • MRF to support the Black Box Protection Act, HR2414, to regulate black boxes in motorcycles, seek to clarify the rights of the vehicle owner to ownership of the recorded data 

  • While the MRF believes strongly in crash prevention and avoidance, if a crash does occur we support the development of a motorcycle specific training module for Emergency Medical Services, Technicians, and 911 Dispatch personnel, we believe the increased training should be required of all new EMT's as well as those seeking re-certification 

  • MRF to research fair tolling concepts on federally funded roads and roads supported by federal bonds

  • Federal Agency Motorcycle Design Standards - MRF to oppose non motorcycle manufacturer mandated specific design standards 
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With the current U.S. Congress, combined with our comprehensive and aggressive legislative agenda, the MRF Legislative Committee strongly encourages our SSMRO partners and our MRF members to actively engage in a lively motorcycling dialogue with their U.S. House of Representative and U.S. Senate Members as an immediate priority. If your SSMRO needs any assistance in planning a trip to Washington D.C. to begin or strengthen the dialogue with your members of Congress, contact Jeff Hennie in the MRF office at 202-546-0983 or Jeff@mrf.org. We would also like to encourage you to finalize your plans to attend our national biker lobby day event in Washington D.C., Bikers Inside the Beltway, on Thursday May 15th, 2014. See our website at www.mrf.org for more details.

MRF Legislative Committee Members:

Keith Ball, Garry Canaday, Dave Dwyer, Jeff Hennie, George Gorman, Cindy Hodges, Jay Jackson, Jim "Legs" Korte, Boyd McFail, Bob Myers, John Pierce, Todd Riba, Kirk "Hardtail" Willard (Chair) 

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Reader Comments

I joined the MRF in 2011

ramona, 92065
Sunday, January 26, 2014
Editor Response Hey, we all need to join motorcycle rights groups and the NRA. I'm not going to tell you which one to join, but join one. We needs these guys, bad. You will be astounded by their level of expertise and knowledge. Some have been fighting the good fight for 45 years.

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