MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4980
For Immediate Release
8 May 2009
Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF
Vice President of Government Relations
Email: jeff at mrf.org
ANOTHER BUSY WEEK IN WASHINGTON
Bikers Inside the Beltway 2009
Do not be left out by missing
this historic ride to the nation's capitol
next week, May 14, 2009. Join many of your fellow motorcyclists from
across the country as they converge on Washington for a day. The
Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has reserved parking along the national
mall, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. Come
join us as we educate members of Congress on the importance of motorcycle
safety. Contact the MRF's DC office if have any questions about attending
or local accommodations. You can find more event details at www.mrf.org.
The MRF is pleased to report
that the United States House of
Representatives has passed House Resolution 269. The bill "supports the
goals of May is Motorcycle Safety Month." Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and
Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) who both also chair the U.S. House of
Representatives Motorcycle Safety Caucus, introduced the bill.
Congresswoman Giffords had this to say in the House chamber the day of the
vote, "H. Res. 269 also serves as a reminder to all riders and motorists
to always share the road respectfully. I have been riding and racing
motorcycles for over 20 years — so the issue of motorcycle safety is of
great importance to me. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the
Motorcycle Industry Council, the American Motorcyclist Association, and
the Motorcycle Riders Foundation for all that they do to support
The MRF would like to thank
Mrs. Giffords and Dr. Burgess for the
commitment to motorcycle safety.
The National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) gathers
together, on a quarterly basis, government safety officials and the
stakeholders in the motorcycle safety community to update the group on
private and public motorcycle safety initiatives that are ongoing or
recently completed. The MRF, AMA, MIC, MSF, ASMI, and Harley Davidson, to
name a few on the private side, attended the meeting on May 6. Also in
attendance were staff members from National Transportation Safety Board
(NTSB) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The newly appointed
NHTSA boss, Chuck Hurley, did not attend.
Nothing especially earth
shattering was discussed at the NHTSA meeting,
with perhaps one exception - the much anticipated preliminary results of
the Crash Causation Study pilot study. Just a few tidbits of early data
were revealed, such as after launching the study with 53 crashes, they
were left with complete data for just 23 of those crashes due to refusals
to participate or no injury sustained, etc.
The methodology is a 1700-point
data collection process with a double
control function. That means after collecting the 1700 different data
points on a qualifying crash, the investigators go out to the scene of the
crash one week later at the same time of day and ask motorcyclists riding
by to voluntarily pull over and answer some questions about why they think
they didn't crash. To simply collect the data from this process costs
$7,507. That is less than the $10,000 estimate that has been rumored, but
that number doesn't include the data crunching, reporting, and many other
The full study is still
laboring away with funding problems, but the feds
have promised that a study will be done. It may not be as large as
everyone had hoped, but they have vowed to do something.
FHWA MAC Meeting
The MRF also attended the
Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Motorcycle
Advisory Council's (MAC) semi-annual meeting on May 7. This was the first
meeting for the group's Designated Federal Official (DFO), Mike Griffith.
Griffith is a career government transportation official, spending much
time in the statistics and engineering fields, and he held up well for his
first meeting with the MAC.
The MAC is comprised of
rider groups, private sector engineers and
government officials, and meets to analyze every aspect of the nation's
transportation infrastructure and critique areas that impact motorcycles.
The recommendations of the MAC are then delivered to the Secretary of
Transportation for consideration.
The MAC spent a lot of time
hearing about the upcoming national traveler
opinion and perception survey. The MAC was tasked with developing
questions concerning motorcycles and motorcyclists to be included in the
random survey of 5000 Americans.
Also it was revealed that
the Intelligent Transportation Office at the
Department of Transportation has adopted an "all weight vehicles" approach
to include motorcycles and the heaviest highway users.
Another noteworthy item
was the announcement from the Transportation
Research Board regarding a study titled "Factors Related to Serious Injury
and Fatal Motorcycle Crashes with Traffic Barriers," due to be completed
in late 2011.
You can read more about
the charter, minutes, mission statement and
members of the FHWA MAC on their website at
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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.