June 23, 2017 - RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Alerts and other info from the MRF

6/24/2017 9:08:17 AM
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June 23, 2017 - RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway


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Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.



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NEWS FROM THE HILL – More on Self-Driving Cars Plus Support Grows for Profiling Resolution…

A legislative package on driverless cars is taking shape in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Recently, discussion drafts were distributed that would address issues facing autonomous vehicles including safety standards, the role of the federal government versus the state, concerns over data privacy and others. The proposals address a top concern of the autonomous vehicle industry, which has called for clarity between the authorities of state and federal officials to regulate the new technology.  One of the draft bills appears to accelerate autonomous vehicle testing and deployment by expanding the Department of Transportation’s federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) exemption program by increasing the number and time limit of exemptions which would allow for more companies to quickly test new self-driving designs that don’t meet current requirements.  A legislative hearing will be held next week on the drafts…your MRF will be in attendance. Also, you’ll recall from last week’s Bulletin that Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) announced their own framework for autonomous vehicle legislation that addresses several of the same issues as the House subcommittee’s approach, including state and federal role clarification and exemptions. Peters has said the bipartisan Senate trio is aiming to release a draft bill before August.

In May, both the House and Senate introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation addressing motorcycle profiling. H.Res.318 and S.Res.154 promote public awareness of motorcycle profiling and encourage collaboration and communication between law enforcement and the motorcycle community. Further, the legislation urges state law enforcement officials to condemn motorcycle profiling in written policies and training materials. The legislation was a major focal point for the 2017 Bikers Inside the Beltway event as well as the subject of a recent email campaign led by your MRF. At the time of writing, 1,601 letters were sent to our U.S. lawmakers in support of the legislation. Our co-sponsor list did grow in the House – we are up to 12 cosponsors total, but we remained stagnant in the Senate. FOLKS – in order to get this legislation, the attention it deserves, we need support. Post it to your Facebook page, tell your local ABATE chapter and region, and if you haven’t sent a letter yourself then GET ON IT! Our strength is in our numbers and at this rate, we are not in the best shape. SEND, SHARE AND GET THE WORD OUT:


EXECUTIVE & REGULATORY UPDATES – Alcohol Ignition Interlocks for Motorcycles?

Recently, NHTSA released a report titled, “Examining the Feasibility of Alcohol Ignition Interlocks for Motorcycles.” The report looks at alcohol ignition interlocks and the limited use in motorcycles and identities their limited use including availability for motorcycles, weather, battery power and secure storage. The purpose of the report should be noted:

Motorcycle fatalities increased from 3,270 deaths in 2002 to 4,612 deaths in 2011. In 2011, 30 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher, more than for any other type of vehicle. Therefore, it is appropriate to examine the feasibility of wider use of alcohol ignition interlocks to help reduce alcohol-related crashes and fatalities on motorcycles.

Though the MRF never condones or supports drinking and riding, one could surmise that the safety-crats could take this to the next level, advocating to make alcohol ignition interlocks required for all motorcycles. This is something the MRF would take aggressive countermeasures against.

To read the report summary, click on the link below:



On Sunday June 11, Long Island ABATE held their annual Veteran’s Appreciation Run. With the generosity of everyone that supported the run as along with three private donors, Long Island ABATE raised $60,000. All of the money raised will go to local Veterans Organizations on Long Island.  Over 500 motorcyclists participating riding east towards Montauk. Along the route, the bikes were greeted by a flag line as they crossed over the bridge in Sag Harbor.

Way to give back! The MRF salutes everyone at Long Island ABATE for a job well done!

Do you have state news you want to pass along? Send your updates to Megan@mrf.org

MRF NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – Senate Motorcycle Caucus Launch & Ride2Work

On Wednesday evening this week, motorcycle manufacturers, advocates and supporters gathered in the Capitol to celebrate the launch of the newly chartered Senate Motorcycle Caucus. Led by Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Senator Gary Peters (D-MI), the caucus will focus on issues that impact both riders and industry manufacturers. Your MRF was invited to attend the launch and was encouraged by the conversation in the room especially by Senator Gary Peters a co-chair of the Caucus, “It’s really about awareness for cars…usually an automobile is not paying attention and runs into you, so we want to raise this issue for folks. We have every right to be on the road with automobiles.” Peters went on to also say that the Caucus would be an outlet for him as he paves the way for legislation on self-driving vehicles. However, he made one thing very distinct; “Let me be clear, we don’t EVER WANT automated motorcycles!” Reps from Harley-Davidson agreed. Senator Joni Ernst, the Republican co-chair said her intentions behind starting the caucus were to help drive the conversation on infrastructure. President Trump has pushed for a major infrastructure package during his term and Sen. Ernst indicated that the Motorcycle Caucus could help to spur those discussions. The MRF will continue to stay engaged in Caucus committee activity and will report out relevant information.

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The 26th “Ride to Work Day” fell on Monday of this week. Did you ride your bike to work? Some of you sure did! I received photos from Mike Berger from MN, Skee Dodson from TX and Jay Jackson from IN. A special thanks to those that participated and sent the MRF their photos. Another very special recognition to those cities across the U.S. that were able to procure proclamations from their Mayor in honor of the day:

Lancaster, PA
Kyle, TX
Danville, VA
Waconia, MN
McGehee, AR

Great job to all and I hope that next year we can grow this list and our participation in Ride To Work Day!


Megan Ekstrom

Vice-President of Government Affairs & Public Relations

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation



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About Motorcycle Riders Foundation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.



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All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983

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