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12NR29 - MRF News Release - The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2012-2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
09 November 2012

Contact: Kirk "Hardtail" Willard, MRF President

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Legislative Strategy Agenda for 2012-2013

At the 2012 Motorcycle Riders Foundation's (MRF) Meeting of the Minds Conference held in September in Durham, North Carolina, 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 2012 Meeting of the Minds to the 2013 Meeting of the Minds annual cycle.

The MRF's SSMRO partners responded once again with a majority attendance and an increased participation over last year. The MRF Legislative Committee remains extremely pleased at the aligned and clear direction we experienced again this year from our SSMRO partners. This level of agreement continues to allow for solid action plans to be effectively employed by our Government Relations Department and our SSMRO partners while in Washington D.C. and in working federal issues in their home states. Additionally, we continue to see productive gains in state legislative activities that support our federal efforts when it comes to protecting on-road motorcyclists, motorcycling, and its associated lifestyle.

The MRF Legislative Committee continued the practice instituted two years ago of recording one vote per organization in attendance. A full breakdown of each vote can be seen in an upcoming issue of the MRF Reports. The session this year was moderated by MRF Vice President Jay Jackson with support from MRF Vice President of Government Relations & Public Affairs Jeff Hennie and MRF President Kirk "Hardtail" Willard.

  • Transportation Equity Act (TEA) upcoming reauthorization (the Highway Bill) - closely monitor for any action that would positively or negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists; oppose any motorcycling-related federal blackmails or federal sanctions contained in the bill; seek to include House Resolution 904 language to ban motorcycle specific roadblock federal grant funding
  • Pursue continuation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) lobbying ban within individual states
  • Pursue reinstatement of the Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) to advise the Federal Highway Administration
  • Oppose the adoption of the SAE Roadside Sound Test as a national enforcement standard, this is considered by our SSMRO's to be a state-by-state issue at this time
  • Closely monitor the developing health care act for motorcycling specific discrimination; monitor HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) for motorcycling specific discrimination
  • NHTSA motorcycle-specific checkpoint grant program - MRF to carry out a full effort to cut off specified use of funding for this motorcycle-based discriminatory practice, while encouraging states to pass their own anti-checkpoint laws
  • Continue monitoring the Federal Crash Causation study and the MSF Naturalistic study
  • Strongly oppose any federal standard proposing stamping and certifying of motorcycle exhaust systems
  • Continue to oppose federal agency activity regarding EPA Sound Emission User studies and the encouragement of state activity with federal resources-again deemed to be a state by state issue
  • Work to discourage ALL forms of distracted driving, oppose any related funding blackmails, watch this issue closely for motorcycle specific discriminatory language
  • Continue promotion of the Right to Repair Act, continue Right to Repair coalition activities
  • Continue participation at the federal level where the definition of a motorcycle is under review
  • MRF will oppose any motorcycling, motorcycle, or motorcyclist-based discriminatory legislation or rules proposed by the U.S. Congress or by a federal agency
  • MRF to oppose any motorcyclist profiling legislation or rules this upcoming congressional session
  • Continue participation in motorcycle related activity in the European Union, United Nations, and Canada
  • MRF to fiercely oppose any mandatory helmet or apparel standards
  • MRF to encourage additional federal research of E15 fuel related to use in a motorcycle prior to any recommendations; continue to seek recommendations on its use from motorcycle original equipment manufacturers
  • MRF to actively pursue inclusion of motorcycles in ongoing Intelligent Transportations System (ITS) emerging technologies
  • Pursue safer roadway design strategies at the federal level, include safer cable barrier research similar to European improvements in the discussion
  • Continue to promote our theme of crash avoidance versus safer crashing, using the principles of House Resolution 1498 urging NHTSA to focus on crash prevention and rider education
  • MRF to pursue limiting funding of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for their increasing involvement in motorcycling safety issues
  • Pursue CDC lobbying ban, seek to remove any references where CDC suggests motorcycle crashes are preventable injury events
  • MRF to monitor private organizations that oppose the legislative agenda or mission of the MRF and investigate their funding sources to make certain they are not receiving federal tax dollars
  • MRF to monitor public organizations for funding sources when in opposition to our legislative agenda or mission, respond appropriately if they receive federal tax dollars

With the recent election and changes upcoming in the U.S. Congress, combined with our comprehensive and aggressive legislative agenda, the MRF Legislative Committee strongly encourages our SSMRO partners and our members to actively engage in a lively motorcycling dialogue with the incoming members, as well as renewing relationships with incumbents, as an immediate priority. If your SSMRO needs any assistance in planning a trip to Washington D.C. to begin or strengthen the dialogue with your members of Congress, contact Jeff Hennie in the MRF office at 202-546-0983 or Jeff@mrf.org. We would also like to encourage you to finalize your plans to attend our national biker day event in Washington D.C. , Bikers Inside the Beltway, on Thursday May 16th, 2013. See our website at www.mrf.org for more details.

MRF Legislative Committee Members:

Keith Ball, Dave Dwyer, Jeff Hennie, George Gorman, Cindy Hodges, Jay Jackson, Jim "Legs" Korte, Boyd McFail, Larry Nielson, John Pierce, Todd Riba, Kirk "Hardtail" Willard (Chair)

 

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