RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway
Automated Driving Systems (AKA Autonomous Vehicles)
Late last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a rulemaking process for developing a “Framework for Automated Driving System (ADS) Safety.” As part of the process public comments were solicited by NHTSA. This week the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) submitted a 6-page formal letter outlining our thoughts on the development, testing and deployment of ADS.
Building on past submissions to both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the MRF laid out important priorities that NHTSA should consider. Some of the main topics the MRF highlights include the need to account for the unique attributes and characteristics of motorcycles, cyber security concerns, liability provisions, the role of individual states, the need for public transparency, threats to the protected communication spectrum and the challenges of regulations keeping pace with this technology.
While ADS has promising potential, the devil will be in the details. How this technology is developed, tested and deployed will impact all Americans. We at the MRF will continue to fight to ensure motorcyclists are included in these discussions.
SMRO Meetings Around the Country
January and February are traditionally the busy season for state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMRO) annual meetings. This year many of those meetings have been rescheduled, held virtually or have unfortunately been cancelled all together. While we know these are difficult times, the MRF remains committed to working with our state partners and participating in these events when possible.
In January, MRF Vice President Jay Jackson travelled to Bowling Green, Kentucky to attend the Kentucky Motorcycle Association/Kentucky Bikers Association Freedom Fighters Forum. Also, that month MRF lobbyist Rocky Fox traveled to Austin, Texas for Texas Bikers Legislative Weekend. This event was sponsored by the Texas Council of Clubs and Independents, Region 1 Texas Defenders and hosted at the Veterans Collective facility.
Both events included a number of speakers and elected officials discussing issues important to all motorcyclists. Elected officials from Kentucky included, Secretary of State Michael Adams, State Senator Jimmy Higdon, staff from U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s office and via video message Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Slider Gilmore from Iowa even made a presentation in Kentucky! The Texas event included a townhall style question and answer with State Senator Drew Springer. Texas also welcomed leaders in the motorcycle rights movement from California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania to Austin. Thank you again to the riders in Kentucky and Texas for including the MRF in these events and working hard to deliver results for riders in those states.
If your SMRO has hosted an event in 2021 please submit your pictures and details to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them with your fellow riders across the country!