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11NR29 - MRF News Release - The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2011-2012 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
24 October 2011

Contact: Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, MRF President

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2011-2012

At the 2011 Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s (MRF) Meeting of the Minds Conference held in September in Detroit, Michigan, a Legislative Strategy Session was hosted by the MRF's Legislative Committee.  As has been done for the past several years, the MRF requested that it be attended by Sustaining State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (SSMRO) Legislative and/or Executive Officers.  The goal was to set the MRF's Federal Legislative Agenda for the 2011 Meeting of the Minds to 2012 Meeting of the Minds annual cycle.   

The MRF's SSMRO partners responded once again with a majority attendance, and the Legislative Committee was extremely pleased at the aligned and clear direction from our SSMRO partners.  This level of alignment will allow for a solid and focused Strategic Action Plan to be developed, disseminated, and effectively employed. The session this year was moderated by MRF Vice President Jay Jackson, supported by MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs Jeff Hennie and MRF President Kirk "Hardtail" Willard.   

The MRF continued the practice instituted last year, recording one vote per organization. Shown below in the order raised and discussed with our SSMROs is the MRF’s Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2011-2012. 

  • Transportation Equity Act (TEA) Reauthorization (the Highway Bill) – closely monitor for any action that would positively or negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists  
 
  • Continuation of the Motorcycle 2010 Grant Funding program – tighten up language for qualification and use  
 
  • Continuation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) lobbying ban within individual states
 
  • Pursue continuation of the Motorcycle Advisory Council designed to advise the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on motorcycling issues
 
  • Oppose any federal blackmails or sanctions contained in the Highway Bill related to motorcycles  
 
  • The MRF will not promote adoption of the SAE sound test as a national enforcement standard – considered a state issue  
 
  • Pursue reintroduction of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) HR1253, which would require health insurance companies to disclose the list of "source of injury" exclusions in the policies they issue  
 
  • Continue successful work to cut off all funding for NHTSA motorcycle-specific checkpoint grants  
 
  • Continue monitoring the crash causation and the naturalistic studies  
 
  • Oppose any federal standard proposing stamping and certifying motorcycle exhaust systems – considered a state issue  
 
  • Continue to monitor the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sound emissions study; oppose federal agencies encouraging states to take action – considered a state issue  
 
  • Oppose ALL forms of distracted driving; oppose any related funding blackmails or withholding of funds related to motorcycles  
 
  • Watch closely for motorcycle-specific discrimination  
 
  • Continue promotion of Right to Repair Act  
 
  • Continue participation at the federal level where definitions of a motorcycle are under review  
 
  • Oppose any motorcycle-, motorcycling-, or motorcyclist-based discrimination proposed by the U.S. Congress or any Federal agency in Washington D.C.  
 
  • Continue active participation in motorcycle-related activity in the European Union and United Nations  
 
  • Oppose any mandatory helmet or apparel laws  
 
  • MRF will not support the use of E15 fuel until further testing is done; continue to seek recommendations from motorcycle original equipment manufacturers (OEM)  
 
  • Pursue safer roadway design strategies and inclusion of motorcycles in ongoing Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) work; encourage improved crash barriers and safer cable barrier engineering  
 
  • Continue to promote the theme of crash avoidance versus safer crashing, using the principles of HR1498 which urges NHTSA to focus on crash prevention and rider education 
 

MRF LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE MEMBERS:  Kirk “Hardtail” Willard (Chair), Keith Ball, Dave Dwyer, Jeff Hennie, Cindy Hodges, Jay Jackson, Jim “Legs” Korte, Boyd McFail, Larry Nielson, John Pierce, Todd Riba

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