The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) recently participated in a regularly-scheduled meeting with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The government safety group continues to deny that the recent drop in motorcycle fatalities could have anything to do with education and awareness, instead maintaining that that the decrease was a result of people riding less. However, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) reported that during the same time period, 2008-2009, vehicle miles traveled for motorcycles were up 6.8% or 27.6 billion miles in the U.S. The MIC also reported that tire sales, a unique measure of motorcycle use, were also up 9.6% in 2008-2009.
NHTSA also continued to defend their discriminatory practice of funding motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints, including their recent $40,000 award to Georgia's Department of Public Safety. The idea is based on no science or research, but simply the notion that pulling every motorcycle off the road at the discretion of law enforcement will "save lives."
NEW SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE
It is safe to presume that Representative John Boehner (R-OH) will become the next Speaker of the House once the vote is taken by the 111th Congress when they are sworn in this January. With Republicans taking control of the House, it is likely that Boehner will garner the majority of the votes. The MRF recently met with Mr. Boehner's staff to congratulate him. Representative Boehner has been a long-time friend of the MRF and ABATE of Ohio, and we look forward to continuing working with him in his new role.
NEW HOUSE TRANSPORTATION CHAIRMAN
The new chair of the powerful U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) will be John Mica (R-FL). Representative Mica has been a constant supporter of the MRF and all of our initiatives, as well as a very staunch advocate for ABATE of Florida. When it comes to anything motorcycle, Mica has an open door policy for the MRF, and the MRF meets regularly with Mr. Mica and his staff. Mica is tasked with the awesome responsibility of writing the next surface transportation bill. This mammoth piece of legislation has been the vehicle for such things as the national helmet law repeal, NHTSA lobby ban, motorcycle education and awareness grants, and the motorcycle advisory committee. The MRF will be working hand-in-hand with Mica and his team over the coming months as the bill is drafted, to make sure that motorcyclists continue to benefit from it.
The MRF wishes you, your families, and your friends a Merry Christmas and a healthy, "many miles on your ride" and Happy New Year.