Alerts and other info from the MRF
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RIDING FREE FROM DC:
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.
NEWS FROM THE HILL – SENATE PROFILING RESOLUTION PASSES WITH UNANIMOUS CONSENT – AV Start Act – RPM Act News
On Tuesday evening, S. Res. 154, Motorcycle Profiling Awareness Resolution, was presented on the Senate floor and passed with unanimous consent!
Over the past few weeks, your MRF has been engaged in very productive meetings with our champions on Capitol Hill. MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard came to town on Friday to meet our contract lobbyist, Rocky Fox of Husch Blackwell Strategies and your Director of Operations to make sure we are aligned with our legislative strategy to pursue the profiling resolutions. At the end of last week, the Senate resolution passed its first hurdle and was signed off by the Senate Judiciary Committee. On Tuesday afternoon, the resolution was officially placed on the Senate Hotline where Senators are given a chance to object to anything before it moves to the floor. Without any objections, S. Res. 154 was presented on the floor just before 8:00 p.m. and was officially adopted by the U.S. Senate.
This was a major Victory for our membership and our role in achieving this legislative priority was acknowledged in a tweet by Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
You can watch the video here from the Senate Floor proceedings (skip to 10 hours to see S. Res. 154): https://floor.senate.gov/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3108
As the year comes to a close, the MRF will continue our efforts to help ensure that the U.S. House of Representatives joins their colleagues in the Senate and passes H. Res. 318 in the waning weeks of this Congress. Right now, backroom negotiations are occurring on our House profiling resolution and we are working hard to see this issue is fully addressed by the year-end. We are only in this position because of the personal outreach you as members have done with Capitol Hill. As with everything in Washington DC, this is a fluid situation. We will keep you up to date but as circumstances change, we may need you to engage with your lawmakers again. Stand by….
Last week, the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee worked on the AV Start Act (S. 1885) to begin to merge with the Self Drive Act (H.R. 3388) legislation that passed the House of Representatives last year in hopes that it will be considered in Congress before the end of the year. The MRF has been supportive of the Senate’s AV Start act over the House’s Self Drive Act because MRF Legislative Champion Senator Thune (SD-R) confirmed this legislation required manufacturers to ensure that motorcycles are detected and responded to in their safety evaluation reports. As you will read about in the regulatory updates below, the MRF has been concerned that motorcycles are not currently included in the US Department of Transportation’s AV guidance on the current voluntary reporting that manufacturers are requested to do now. We hope that this legislation which adds protections for motorcyclists makes its way for a vote was the days in lame duck are dwindling. We will update you more when anything changes on this legislation.
The Recognizing of Motorsports Act (RPM Act) began to make its move in the House of Representative this week. H.R. 350 has officially cleared the Energy and Commerce committee and has made its way to leadership for consideration of a vote. However, this bill may not make it to the vote before the end of the year because of the limited amount of time left during this Congress for floor action. Nevertheless, we would not be surprised if this language made it into the year-end package.
EXECUTIVE & REGULATORY UPDATES –DOT SEEKS COMMENT ON AV 3.0
Last week, your MRF commented on the US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automation 3.0. Unfortunately, the third time was not a charm for the consideration of motorcyclists in future autonomous vehicle DOT guidance. Last year, the MRF was disappointed to find that motorcyclists were not included Object and Event Detection and Response in the Voluntary Safety Self-Assessment (VSSA) of Automated Driving Systems-A Vision for Safety guidance and 3.0 has not offered any inclusion of motorcycles. Currently, the DOT policy on AV’s is that manufacturers only have to report on their technology to DOT on a voluntary basis and with little to no guidance on what the parameters of reporting should be. To date, six manufacturers have participated in the DOT VSSA. You can check out their reports and review the voluntary guidelines at: https://www.nhtsa.gov/automated-driving-systems/voluntary-safety-self-assessment
You can download and read:
Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automation 3.0
STATE NEWS – Welcoming the 116th Congress – Rolling Thunder coming to an End
The dust had finally settled from the 2018 elections and we are hard at work beginning to learn about the newly elected members of the 116th Congress who are set to be sworn in on January 3, 2019. We will have a new party in control of the House of Representatives, newly appointed committee leadership and we will bid a farewell to some of our motorcycle friendly elected officials. So what does that mean for us bikers? We all need to start becoming acclimated with our newly elected members and start educating them about the issues that are important to motorcyclists across the country. During this process, we need to start identifying motorcycle friendly Representatives and Senators and diligently work with them to ensure our interests are protected on Capitol Hill. Do you have a newly elected motorcycle friendly member of Congress back in your state? Please pass their information on to the MRF office and we can start meeting with their offices when the new Congress is in session. It’s no secret that the key to being effective on Capitol Hill is by having Champions of Motorcycling in DC.
News began swirling this week on social media after a statement was made that 2019 will be the last Run to the Wall for Rolling Thunder. It was confirmed that due to ever increasing costs to host a couple hundred thousand bikers during Memorial Day weekend as one of the reasons that the event will end. Rolling Thunder, Inc. will continue its work on behalf of POW/MIAs, veterans, and active duty military. If you have ever planned to participate in the Run to the Wall, you may want to make your plans to be in D.C. this year for the 32nd Annual Rolling Thunder Run to the Wall. I would also like to note that this year’s Bikers Inside the Beltway is the week leading up to Memorial Day. You could come to town to lobby and stay through the final rumble on the mall. If we hear any updates about Rolling Thunder, we will be sure to pass it along.
MRF NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS – Make your plans for Bikers Inside the Beltway!
Are you ready to ride to our nation’s capital to speak with your elected officials?
We hope you will join us at the 11th Annual Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers Inside the Beltway on Tuesday, May 21st. Be sure to make your plans to come into town on Monday, May 20th and join us for the legislative prep session. You will learn about the important legislation that you will be speaking to your elected officials about.
Last year during BITB, we had an opportunity to shoot a video during the event explaining what the event is and the importance of grassroots lobbying in the motorcycling community. You can watch the video here: Bikers Inside the Beltway Video
To learn more about Bikers Inside the Beltway 2019 and download the event flyer, please visit: www.mrf.org/events
One final note, THANK YOU to all of our members who have answered our calls to action, made appointments with your officials, shared social media posts, made time to call and sent emails whenever we have asked. We would not be effective on Capitol Hill without YOU!
I want all of us to take a moment and appreciate all the hard work former MRF Vice President of Government Affairs, Megan Ekstrom, has done for us over her past 2.5 years of service. She ensured that we were in a great position to make sure we were able to bring our priorities over the finish line. THANK YOU, MEGAN!
Director of Operations
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation
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.
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