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.
For the most part, D.C. in August is a very quiet time, both the House and the Senate are in recess until Labor Day. However, August does allow the D.C. team more face time with staff and the chance to follow up on legislative issues. Below are updates on a few of the projects the D.C. team has been working on in the last few weeks.
Profiling Resolution – We are currently at 69 cosponsors listed publicly but we have received commitments from at least 3 other offices that they will be added shortly. We have gained great traction with important offices including members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC). The CBC is a force within the Democratic House Caucus and has a large number of Members on the Judiciary Committee (where our resolution was referred).
The D.C. team has done 147 in-person meetings since May, which covers 34% of Congress. That doesn’t count all the meetings our members did during “Bikers Inside the Beltway.” It’s fair to say that nearly half of Congress has heard from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation in person in the last 4 months.
Our two main champions, Congressman Tim Walberg and Congressman Michael Burgess are very impressed with our efforts. We are making them look good. We are at 29 different states with at least one lawmaker signed on. This is a testament to the nationwide strength of the MRF.
In early September we have a private strategy meeting scheduled with Congressman Walberg. We will make the case that, we at the MRF, have upheld our end of the bargain and driven numerous cosponsors to the resolution. Now it is time for our Capitol Hill champions to take the ball and get it in the end zone. We will need leaders like Mr. Walberg to make the final push and ask their colleagues to move the resolution forward to a vote.
Autonomous Vehicle Legislation – Because of the hard work done by Megan and Tiffany previously, as well as the strong relationship our members from South Dakota, have with Senator Thune, the MRF was invited to offer comments and suggested language to both the House and Senate Committee considering AV legislation this Congress. In a joint letter from the MRF, Harley Davidson and the American Motorcyclist Association we outlined our priorities for autonomous vehicle legislation.
The fact the MRF and the other motorcycle lobbying groups in D.C. were asked to participate in the drafting of the language is a good sign that motorcycles are being considered when this legislation is being drafted.
Examples of our priorities include:
Ensuring motorcycles are part of all testing and development procedures;
AV manufacturers must be required to detail and make public how their vehicles identify motorcycles among other road users. Manufacturers must also include human error analysis in safety reports; and
AV manufacturers must report incidents between AVs and motorcycles just as they would incidents between AVs and other road users. Manufacturers must also include human error analysis in crash data and reporting.
Transportation Bill – The Senate Public Works Committee began the long process of crafting a transportation and infrastructure bill. The ball is then passed to the Senate Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over NTSHA. This is where the motorcycle provisions like “funding for motorcycle only check points” will be considered. We have reached out to Senate Commerce Committee members and will do so with their colleagues in the House. This will likely be an important area where specific SMROs can be helpful with the targeted asked of their lawmakers. The timetable on a transportation bill is always moving but we are prepared to be part of the discussion whenever legislation is undertaken.
We are excited to see everyone in Minnesota in September. Enjoy the rest of your Summer.
Tiffany and Rocky
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