10-16-2003

03NR34 - NHTSA Awards Contract in Advance of White House Approval

MRF E-MAIL NEWS
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Wyld
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail)

October 15, 2003

#03NR34 - NHTSA AWARDS CONTRACT IN ADVANCE OF WHITE HOUSE APPROVAL

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that the "Characteristics of Motorcycle Operators" study proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in April 2003 was cast in concrete in a contract awarded six months before the agency asked for comments from the public and subsequently sought approval by the White House Office of Management & Budget.

Roundly criticized by the MRF, State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (SMROs), the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Harley-Davidson Motor Company and many others, the "study" envisioned personal, nominally 10-minute interviews with thousands of riders in some seven states.

NHTSA published its plan in Docket NHTSA 2003-14375 in the April 29, 2003 Federal Register. "Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from the public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB)," NHTSA noted. "Under procedures established by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, before seeking OMB approval, Federal agencies must solicit public comment on proposed information collections, including extensions and reinstatements of previously approved collections. This document describes one collection of information for which NHTSA intends to seek OMB approval."

Significantly, there was nothing in this information collection effort that was "proposed;" rather, it was already a matter of federal contract. At the request of the MRF, a Congressman queried the agency and learned today that NHTSA solicited bids in July 2002, awarded the contract in September 2002 and expects the "study" to conclude December 2004. The contract award was $310,510.00.

In a presentation to the White House on September 16, the MRF said, "This is tantamount to saying, 'Thanks for your comments, but you really needn't have bothered. You may be right, we may be wrong, and we may have even been duplicitous in our rationale for our study, but we are proceeding regardless.' Frankly, we are astounded by this agency's boldness...how can this agency forsake the community it purports to safeguard and expend taxpayer dollars in so cavalier a manner? And when will our word carry weight in the federal regulatory process?"

The MRF reported the news and repeated its objections in a phone call to the White House today. We urge riders to email, telephone or fax your U.S. Representative (www.house.gov). Explain the news. Then ask your Congressman to write a letter to NHTSA to protest its proceeding with a contract in advance of approval by OMB and despite the uniformly negative public comments.

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(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.

The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.
- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org



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