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Mid-South M.I.L.E. 2021

By General Posts

Bikers gathered in Dallas, Texas for the 29th annual Mid-South M.I.L.E. event

from Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)

Like the Midwest’s Heartland STEAM event, the Mid-South M.I.L.E. brings together bikers from neighboring states to discuss legislative priorities, share ideas and build relationships.

CLICK HERE To Read this Event Coverage on Bikernet.com

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Congress extends deadline for highway funding – 3rd time in 13 months

By General Posts

October 28th, 2021

Same Old Story…

For the 3rd time in 13 months, Congress will extend the deadline to reauthorize highway funding programs.

The original deadline of September 30, 2020 was extended for a full year last fall. Last month, Congress kicked the can down the road, giving itself a 1-month extension that expires on October 31st. Facing yet another self-imposed deadline, Thursday night, Congress gave itself ANOTHER extension, this time running through December 3rd, 2021. President Biden now must sign the bill before the first of November to avoid a lapse in funding.

Over 3,700 employees in the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Transit Administration would be furloughed without these stop gap funding extensions. Passage of a long-term infrastructure and highway bill remains blocked because of an inter-party fight between progressive and moderate Democrats on a host of issues.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) believes long term and stable funding for our nation’s transportation and infrastructure programs should not be continually deferred. The MRF remains committed to seeking long term solutions that advance the priorities of the nearly 10 million bikers in this country.

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.

Visit MRF Website at: https://mrf.org/join/

MRF Update: Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS)

By General Posts

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Transportation released an interactive website with data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). FARS, which became operational in 1975, containing data on a census of fatal traffic crashes within the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. To be included in FARS, a crash must involve a motor vehicle traveling on a traffic way customarily open to the public and must result in the death of a vehicle occupant or a nonoccupant within 30 days of the crash.

Fatal crash data for motorcyclists and passengers from the years 2010 to 2019 is included on this website.

Users of the website can sort the information on fatalities by a variety of categories, including:

  • State where the crash took place
  • Crash Characteristics
  • Environmental Characteristics
  • Month of Crash
  • Time of Crash
  • Helmet Usage
  • Alcohol Usage
  • Age and Sex of Victims
  • Weather Conditions
  • Single Vehicle v Multi Vehicle

While this information can be useful in understanding when, why and where crashes are taking place, it’s important to note that this data includes not just traditional motorcycles but also mopeds, scooters, minibikes, and pocket bikes.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation believes crash avoidance is key component of rider safety. There are zero fatalities in crashes that never happen.

To see the website and view the decade’s long data click here.

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.

Visit MRF Website at: https://mrf.org/

Political Agendas on Electrical Vehicles Charge Up Emotions

By General Posts

by Colby Martin from SEMA Action Network (SAN) at https://www.semasan.com

GROUNDING THE “EV” BUZZ

Political Agendas Surrounding Automobiles Charge Up Strong Emotions

The impending arrival of electric cars and trucks has caused quite a stir. Sure, everyone shares the well-intentioned notion of a healthier environment. But constant announcements about the potential phasing out of new gas-powered vehicles have enthusiasts worried about the future of the hobby. Thanks in part to a 24-hour news-cycle, the automotive-minded are forced to ponder this great unknown with greater frequency. With the topic weighing heavier on many minds, the question arises: what’s to become of the tailpipe—and when? Clearly there are crossed wires needing to be untangled.

Acronym Soup

First, we must understand the common lingo used in automotive discussions. The gasoline-sipping internal combustion engine (ICE) has long been the motivator of choice. However, the low- and zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs) categories have emerged and made significant improvements in recent years. There are several different models of these cars and trucks such as electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrids, and those running on hydrogen fuel-cells. With such competition, it may seem like traditional rides could have a tougher existence in a yet-uncertain future of alternative powerplants.

Government Directives

The latest update in the automotive world came from the nation’s top office: the Biden Administration. President Joe Biden signed the “Executive Order on Strengthening American Leadership in Clean Cars and Trucks” in August. In short, the measure calls for 50% of all sales of new cars and light trucks in the US be ZEV by the year 2030. “It is the policy of my Administration to advance these objectives in order to improve our economy and public health, boost energy security, secure consumer savings, advance environmental justice, and address the climate crisis,” said President Biden.

Biden’s action was preceded by California Governor Gavin Newsom’s controversial notice last year. That order instructed the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to draft regulations requiring that all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state be zero-emissions by 2035. Once drafted, CARB’s proposed regulations will be subject to a lengthy regulatory process, including legal, economic, and environmental analyses, public comment, and hearings. The Governor’s order is also expected to face numerous legal challenges from opponents.

Cause for Concern?

The concern surrounding EVs is understandable, but premature. Many of the proposed rules and legal mandates are far more symbolic in nature. For example, President Biden’s actions were merely issued as an Executive Order, meaning it is not a federal law and has no binding authority. In fact, the following disclaimer is included at the end of the Order:

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Directives like President Biden’s also tend to be highly aspirational with ambitious time frames for implementation. For example, many of the President’s proposed benchmarks extend beyond his time in office, giving him little say on the final product.

Realities: Supply vs. Demand

Perhaps the most direct impact to personal transportation will come from the automakers themselves. The evolving market is already experiencing highs and lows. While seeking to boost ZEV sales, major brands have been subject to factors beyond their control. Supply chain shortages and logistical issues have impeded production schedules, causing delays, and price surges. Additionally, massive investment of resources will be required for materials and retooling throughout the entire manufacturing process.

Many fundamental issues need to be resolved before any major shift to “clean” vehicles is feasible. Most importantly, more than 281 million rides share US roads—a small fraction of which are EVs. Such a massive fleet won’t be replaced anytime soon. Of course, the lion’s share are newer vehicles, which often have a life spanning a decade or longer. Also, the urge to trade-in for an electric model decreases without widespread options for “refueling.” Charging woes include long recharging time, charger availability, and standardization of hardware between brand offerings. Additionally, the U.S. electrical grid can hardly handle its current strain—let alone an entire nation needing to recharge at home or on-the-go. At this point, clear solutions appear far from sight.

Informed & Involved

Although the future of EV adoption remains to be seen, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) believes a balance can be achieved and has made this fight a top priority. Our community’s rich history of innovation should be celebrated as it continues evolving with emerging technologies. As always, the SAN opposes proposed efforts to ban the ICE and other such mandates impacting vehicles of all kinds—vintage collectibles and their fuel supply included.

With the ever-growing voice of advocates from our hobby, politicians are increasingly aware of how many passionate voters are paying attention to their actions. SAN contacts like you will receive details direct to inboxes as opportunities to act arise—stay tuned for further updates.

Meantime, please spread the word to get others involved in the good fight: CLICK semaSAN.com/Join

–IGNITED WE STAND!

About SAN: https://www.semasan.com/about

EDITOR’s NOTE:
“Here’s the wildest truth. Climate Alarmism or Climate Doom IS misinformation. Oops.” –Bandit

Congress passes extension of Highway Bill

By General Posts

Congress Kicks the Can…
30 day Highway Bill Extension Passes

With the failure of Congress to pass a new highway bill, by the September 30th deadline, nearly 3,700 United States Department of Transportation staffers were furloughed on Friday. Most of these workers belong to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

Without dedicated funding to operate, those agency workers were forbidden from coming into work on October 1st. Operations in these agencies, related to safety and construction projects, were halted as a result.

On Friday evening, in an effort to end the closure of these agencies, Congress passed an extension of the recently expired FAST Act. The 30-day extension releases federal funds so workers at the FHWA and FTA can return to work for the month of October.

An interparty fight between progressive and moderate Democrats created a stalemate on infrastructure legislation and produced the need for an extension.

This is the second time the FAST Act has been extended in just over a year. The original 2015 bill, expired on September 30, 2020, but was given a full 1-year extension, creating the recently passed September 30, 2021, deadline.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) remains engaged with lawmakers on this important bill. The MRF continues to stress the need for action on the transportation policy priorities of the nearly 10 million bikers across the country. We will keep you updated as events warrant.

Visit Motorcycle Riders Foundation website at http://mrf.org

Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2021

By General Posts

This week Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Jon Tester (D-MT), Mark Kelly (D-AZ), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Thom Tillis (R-NC), and Joe Manchin (D-WV) reintroduced the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2021. The bill, S. 2736, ensures that racing enthusiasts continue to have the ability to convert motor vehicles into vehicles used solely for competition. This bill also clarifies that it is legal under federal law to manufacture, sell, distribute, and install race parts that modify the emissions system of a motor vehicle that is used solely for racing.

The bill is in response to actions taken by the EPA in 2015. At that time, the EPA issued a proposed regulation that would prohibit the conversion of emissions-certified motor vehicles into vehicles used in motorsports competitions. The 2015 proposed regulation also prevented the sale or use of emissions-related race parts for those modified vehicles.

An important component of S. 2736 is that it helps protect the aftermarket parts industry. A robust and thriving aftermarket parts industry is vital to the motorcyclist community. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is part of a broad collaboration of groups working together in D.C. on this topic.

As you may remember, earlier this year the House of Representatives introduced a similar bill, H.R. 3281, that now has 101 cosponsors. To see if your member of the House is a cosponsor of the RPM Act, click here.

If you’d like to read more about the Senate bill, click here.

Look for further updates and calls to actions on this issue before the end of the year!

See you in Atlanta!

Next week is shaping up to be another great Meeting of the Minds! If you make it down to Atlanta, be sure to introduce yourself to our D.C. lobbyist, Rocky Fox. Rocky is always looking to learn about what you are working on back home.

An important part of Meeting of the Minds is making connections between our members around the country and back in D.C. If you have relationships with your hometown Senators or Congressman, make sure Rocky knows!

Let’s have a great few days down South!

https://mrf.org/

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.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for August 2021

By General Posts

Legislative Motorcycle News from Around the World

The Highway Bill passes but…, Feds investigate auto-pilot car accidents, anti-profiling in California, lane-filtering, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally turnout, bad-driving and road-rage post-lockdown, fuel prices at a high, International Motorcycle Show, news you should use.

Click Here to Read the NCOM News on Bikernet.com

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House Passes Highway Bill – Biker Priorities Included

By General Posts

Thursday morning the full House of Representatives passed H.R. 3684 the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act or the INVEST in America Act. This bill is more commonly referred to as the highway bill. The bill is over 1,500 pages, spends $715 billion and includes five beneficial provisions for motorcyclists. The final vote on passage was 221 for and 201 against. Two Republicans voted in favor and no Democrats opposed.

The Senate has begun work on their version of the highway bill and the two chambers will eventually need to work out the differences before an agreed upon bill is sent to the President for his signature. Traditionally, a highway bill has a five-year lifespan before Congress must fund and reauthorize programs again. Typically, highway bills occur in years ending in 0’s and 5’s. The last highway bill expired in 2020 but was given a one-year extension as Congress was unable to reach a compromise. Congress now faces a September 30th deadline to pass a new highway bill and reauthorize crucial transportation and safety related programs.

Below is a brief recap of the five motorcyclist related items that the House of Representatives approved and included in this major piece of legislation:

Profiling: The bill includes an update to current federal law on the issue of motorcycle only check points. The bill passed today includes language that prohibits state and local governments from using funds from the Department of Transportation to “profile and stop motorcycle operators or motorcycle passengers using as a factor the clothing or mode of transportation of such operators or passengers.”

Traffic Stop Data Collection: An amendment to the bill by Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-R) and Congressman Michael Burgess (TX-R) added the term “mode of transportation” to a newly created grant program for racial and ethnic profiling. The program allows states to use federal money to collect data on traffic stops. Originally the only information that states could use the funds for was to record was the driver’s racial and ethnic makeup. With this added language, states will have access to funds to collect the “mode of transportation” of the person being stopped. If states choose to participate in the program, motorcyclists will have access to data on traffic stops and determine if motorcyclists are stopped disproportionally by law enforcement. This amendment was a joint effort by the Co-Chairmen of the House Motorcycle Caucus and was added just hours before the final bill was passed.

Motorcyclist Advisory Council: H.R. 3684 includes a section that reestablishes the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) and makes needed changes. The MAC has existed for over a decade and allows federal policymakers, state highway officials, and motorcyclists to discuss the unique demands of riding a motorcycle and how roads, bridges, and other infrastructure can be built to better account for motorcyclists’ needs. The bill creates dedicated seats on the council for motorcyclists’ rights groups and manufacturers. It also requires a report every two years be made to the Secretary of Transportation and Congress.

Autonomous Vehicles: The INVEST Act includes specific language requiring that when the Department of Transportation conducts safety studies on autonomous vehicles, motorcycles must be considered as unique roadway users. Additionally, a newly formed working group on autonomous vehicles must include a motorcyclist safety group as part of its membership. As with the MAC, motorcyclists need a seat at the table when our safety and freedoms are being debated.

Motorcyclist Safety Funds: The bill, as passed, would increase the 405 safety funds made available to states for motorcyclist safety by $1,470,000 for the next fiscal year with increases through 2025. This is an increase in the program of roughly 34% over current funding levels. Under this bill, the total amount available to states in the next fiscal year would be $5,760,000.

Visit and join Motorcycle Riders Foundation at https://mrf.org/

MRF on One of the most important numbers for Motorcyclists

By General Posts

Know Your Numbers!
Riding Free from DC – from Inside the Beltway

May was Motorcycle Awareness Month but every month should be a month for motorcycle advocacy! Whether you were in D.C. for Bikers Inside the Beltway or working on issues back home, it’s a great time to advocate for bikers’ rights.

One of the most important numbers any biker rights advocate should know is the number of motorcyclists in their states. When chatting with either state or federally elected officials, you should have the number of motorcyclists in your state on the tip of your tongue and drop it into any conversation about biker rights. Why? Because when you say the word motorcyclist that elected official translates it into voters!

There are different ways to calculate how many bikers are in your state and each state does it differently. Some states release motorcycle endorsement numbers, while others release motorcycle registration statistics. In fact, some states including California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Texas, and Utah provide county by county data on the number of bikers throughout the state.

Spend some time looking around your state’s department of transportation or motor vehicle website and see what you can find. Regardless of how we are counted, we need to know our numbers, and share those numbers.

If you can’t find the number of bikers through your state’s websites, the federal government has a list of all registered motorcycles by state. To see how many motorcycles the federal government claims are in your state click here for their revised 2021 statistics.

European Motorcycles
The European Association of Motorcycle Manufacturers recently reported that registrations of new motorcycles in the five largest European markets increased by 10.3% in the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2020. The five largest European countries are made up of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom. Those five have a combined population of 325 million people, which is similar to the 330 million people in the United States.

It comes as no surprise that 2020 was a terrible year for motorcycle sales in Europe. With much stricter lockdowns in place many European dealerships were closed most of 2020. Even now, Europe remains behind the United States in reopening its economy. So, while the growth of motorcycle registrations in 2021 is encouraging, only time will tell how long it takes the European motorcycle industry to fully rebound to pre pandemic numbers.

A Citizen’s Guide to Recording the Police

By General Posts

First Amendment Protections for Journalists and Bystanders
By the team at First Amendment Watch

Sixty-one percent of the U.S. population lives in states where federal appeals courts have recognized a First Amendment right to record police officers performing their official duties in public. The U.S. Supreme Court has not ruled on the issue. As a result, legal protections are fully secure only in those jurisdictions where federal circuits have issued a ruling.

However, given the resounding support so far for this First Amendment protection, it seems highly likely that the remaining federal appeal courts would reach the same conclusion if the issue appears on their docket.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS IMPORTANT ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

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