06NR05 - NHTSA announces update to existing highway safety program guidelines

Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Suite 510
Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations
jeff@mrf.org (e-mail)

February 18, 2006

#06NR05 - NHTSA announces update to existing highway safety program guidelines

NHTSA Amendments to Highway Safety Program Guide Lines: Open Comment Period

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced its intention to update the existing guidelines for state highway safety programs. Guideline Three: Motorcycle Safety, is one of the six guidelines facing revision.

NHTSA undergoes an amendment process every four to six years to expand its areas of focus. NHTSA’s charter favors the promotion of highway safety however, if a topic is not specifically mentioned in the safety program guidelines, NHTSA can not advocate on its behalf.

The twelve amendments to the motorcycle safety component are generated by NHTSA behind closed doors with no input from the riding community. The open comment period affords our nation’s motorcyclists the only opportunity they will have to voice their opinion on the potential revisions.

To inspect the amendments printed in the Federal Register and to submit comments to the Docket go to the following website: http://dms.dot.gov. To view the amendments perform a "simple search" for Docket number 23090. In order to submit comments, register on the government’s site and proceed by following the on-screen instructions.

You may also mail hard copies to: Docket Management Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.

"The Motorcycle Riders Foundation commends NHTSA for putting a strong emphasis on the development of sound rider education and training. The MRF also appreciates the Administration’s attempt to address the growing backlog in rider education programs. However, we are troubled with NHTSA’s position which contends all states should have a mandatory helmet laws" says Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations. "The US Senate voted down a mandatory helmet measure, the Lautenberg Amendment, just last May. The resulting veto should have sent a message making it clear this is a subject NHTSA needs to stay away from" Hennie added. "The Motorcycle Riders Foundation supports states rights and contends each one should be able to determine the type and extent of helmet use law in their particular state."

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation encourages all motorcyclists to read the proposed amendments and use this unique opportunity to submit clear, straightforward comments. The current submission deadline is March 13th, 2006 but MRF is requesting a deadline extension to allow additional time for a complete review of these important items. The proposed amendments do not place any restrictions on the motorcycle safety grant program contained in the recent Highway Bill (PL 109-59).

For any additional information contact the MRF Washington DC office by phone 202-546-0983 or by email at jeff@mrf.org.


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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.

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