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10NR22 - MRF News Release - MRF URGENT CALL TO ACTION - Mandatory Motorcycle Roadside Stops

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
23 July 2010

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs

MRF URGENT CALL TO ACTION - Mandatory Motorcycle Roadside Stops

A mandatory roadside motorcycle stop may be coming to a town near you, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF).  Recently, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has asked for applications from law enforcement outfits to apply for a new pot of taxpayer money designated for pulling motorcyclists off the road to lecture them about safety.  

The MRF strongly opposes this sort of discrimination against motorcyclists. “Pulling over law-abiding motorcyclists does not make anyone safer and is huge waste of taxpayer money,” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs for the MRF.  

NHTSA’s request for applications asks law enforcement officials to submit plans similar to what New York State Police did last summer. They set up outside big public motorcycle gatherings and pulled every single motorcyclist over to the side of the road to lecture them about safety, drinking and riding, proper tire inflation, and so on.  

The MRF feels there are much more productive and less discriminatory ways to promote safety for motorcyclists, and is disappointed that this approach was decided upon behind closed doors by a group of federal employees who apparently did not consult anyone in the motorcycling community for their input and expertise in motorcycle safety. 

This particular project is limited to five law enforcement agencies, and total funding is capped at $350,000. In these tough economic times, that’s a ton of money. The deadline for applications is August 13, and to the MRF’s knowledge, no applications have yet been submitted.  

The MRF will be investigating to determine if NHTSA and the federal government have legal jurisdiction to fund states to single out one particular type of vehicle for clearly discriminatory practices over other vehicles, and will be working diligently to see that these proposed grants are never awarded.  

The MRF encourages you to contact U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today to voice your displeasure, either by phone: 202-366-4000 or by email: http://ntl.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/ntl.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php 

Contact Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President for Government Relations and Public Affairs, at Jeff@mrf.org if you have any questions or need further information.