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NCOM Biker Newsbytes Feb 2020

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National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish

The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).

READ THE NCOM NEWS BY CLICKING HERE

Quebec wants to tighten rules for access to motorcycle licences

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by Amy Luft from https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/

MONTREAL — Quebec wants to tighten regulations for motorcycle drivers in the province following an expect report on motorcycle safety.

Under the proposed regulations, Transport Minister François Bonnardel wants zero tolerance for alcohol for apprentice motorcycle driver, as is the case for drivers of other vehicles.

Bonnardel also said he would amend licensing regulations to prohibit anyone with four or more demerit points on their driving records from getting a motorcycle licence.

Bonnardel made the announcement Thursday after receiving a report from the Expert Committee on Motorcycle Safety.

The report is based on the causes and circumstances surrounding the deaths of 189 motorcyclists in 182 crashes between Jan. 1, 2013 and Dec. 31, 2016. The main causes of those crashes were speed, reckless driving, inexperience, distraction, inattention and alcohol impairment.

Electric scooters can help cities move beyond cars v pedestrians

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by Alex Hern from https://www.theguardian.com

The government is showing signs of legalising electric scooters on roads, but new laws should be about safety, not horsepower

If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that being hit by a scooter hurts less than being hit by a bike. That may sound like a strangely negative place to start, but it’s sort of fundamental to why I’m glad the government is finally showing signs of legalising the use of electronic scooters on public roads across the UK.

The current state of the law is a mess. Its broad strokes are reasonable enough: powered vehicles require an MOT and registration to use on public roads, while unpowered vehicles do not. Pavements are for foot traffic only. Access requirements complicate matters, but only a little: wheelchairs, both manual and powered – legally, “class three invalid carriages” – can go on pavements, while some – class four – can go on roads as well.

Then, in the 1980s, the law was modernised to support the first generation of electric bikes. Fitted with simple motors that aided hill climbs, it felt silly to ban them as electric vehicles, and so a new category – the “electrically assisted pedal cycle” – was invented, and the laws amended further in 2015 to remove weight limits, allow for four wheels and increase the maximum power of the motor.

Which means, as the law stands, you can ride a four-wheeled vehicle of potentially unlimited weight, largely powered by a motor up to 15.5mph, on public roads without training, licensing or registration. But not an electronic scooter. Nor, for that matter, a 5kg, 10mph “hoverboard”, unlikely to hurt anyone save its rider.

Looking at the laws from the ground up, the distinguishing characteristic should be safety, not how a vehicle is powered. It’s hard to argue that an electric motor is inherently more dangerous than pedal power. In fact, given the variability of human strength, it’s almost possible to argue the opposite: electric motors in e-bikes are capped at 250W of power, after all, but no such limit is possible for people, where a fit cyclist can easily exceed 300W or more.

And so a set of regulations which allowed, alongside bikes, skateboards and scooters, electric vehicles of limited weight, power and speed is surely the only justifiable outcome of any consultation.

But more than justifiable, such a set of rules would be good. One of the truisms of the cycling world is that the safest thing for cyclists on the road is more cyclists on the road. It’s not all about public policy and accessible cycle lanes: sheer weight of numbers is important too, in forcing other road users to treat cyclists as a viable third transportation mode, rather than just annoying slowpokes ripe for close passes and aggressive overtakes.

Expanding that constituency, to encompass a wide variety of mid-speed vehicles, would only help push cities towards the tipping point where they can consider transport beyond a simple car/pedestrian binary. And that’s a point every city needs to reach, sooner rather than later, in the face of a climate crisis that much see car usage drastically curtailed.

But. While laws need to be rewritten to support electric scooters, they don’t necessarily need to support the peculiarly American model of dumping a load of scooters on a pavement and hoping enough people will ride them before they get stolen or damaged for the unit economics to work out favourably. That model, unfortunately, has defaulted to its present state: unregulated, unmanaged and cutthroat, with councils left fighting back with nothing but their powers to prevent littering.

Here, the trade-off is more painful. Dockless rideshare – of bikes, e-bikes or e-scooters – can be great for promoting access, but it can also harm those least able to cope, as anyone who has tried to navigate a wheelchair or pram around a pile of Uber bikes knows. Micromobility can succeed with or without the Silicon Valley business models – but it can’t succeed without being given a chance on the roads.

NCOM Biker Newsbytes for January 2020

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From Helmet Laws to the Freedom to Race
By Bill Bish, NCOM

  • ALL MOTORCYCLE RIDERS URGED TO SUPPORT FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
  • RPM ACT TO PROTECT RACING HAS BEEN REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
  • CONGRESS EXTENDS TAX CREDITS FOR ELECTRIC MOTORCYCLES
  • HELMET REPEAL EFFORTS ACROSS THE COUNTRY
  • NEW DRIVER ACCOUNTABILITY LAW IN OREGON
  • WASHINGTON STATE ENDEAVORS TO MAKE ROADS SAFER
  • MOTORCYCLE MARKET TRENDS
  • HONDA PATENTS VERTICAL AIRBAG FOR MOTORCYCLES

CLICK HERE TO READ THE Newsbytes

2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey

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The 2020 National Motorcycle Profiling Survey has only 6 questions that are designed to help define the profiling trends so we can focus our resources in the areas that need it the most. Your participation will have a long lasting, positive impact on the community.This survey on average will take 4 minutes to complete.

The information collected in these surveys has been an essential part in lobbying efforts at both state and national levels, and without a doubt provide critical data points for the grassroots activist to intelligently communicate issues impacting the motorcycle community and influence change.

With over 23,000 survey participants from all walks of life, the National Motorcycle Profiling Surveys, with 99% accuracy, has proven that many motorcyclists are being targeted by law enforcement based on appearance. This information was the foundation of the argument that resulted in the Motorcycle Profiling Resolution (S. Res. 154) passing in the U.S. Senate with unanimous consent on December 11, 2018.

CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY

Notes:

**NO PERSONAL DATA IS REQUIRED. YOUR PRIVACY AND ANONYMITY ARE IMPORTANT AND RESPECTED. By asking for no more than your zip code, which is also voluntary, there is no personal information to maintain or protect.

**If you or your organization are interested in cosponsoring this survey, or would like to get survey results specific to your state, please contact David “Double D” Devereaux at:
doubled@motorcycleprofilingproject.com

The Slow March toward Forced Temperance: NMA Weekly E-Newsletter #571

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It’s been seven years since we wrote about the Driver Alcohol Detection System and Safety (DADSS) program–A Frog in the Pot, E-newsletter #187–and efforts to make ignition interlock devices standard equipment in all vehicles. Proponents of forcing all drivers to pass alcohol detection testing before being able to operate their cars are nothing if not determined.

The Reduce Impaired Driving for Everyone (RIDE) Act of 2019, per U.S. Senate Bill 2604, and its counterpart House Bill 3159, keeps their hopes alive by requiring all new vehicles to have alcohol detection systems within four years.

We recognize the politically incorrect timing of addressing the issue of impaired driving during the holiday season, and restate that the NMA does not support, encourage, or condone drunk driving. Impaired drivers who put themselves and others at risk do not belong on the road. But we also do not support zero-tolerance concepts that subject the vast majority of non-imbibing motorists to intrusive testing every time they get behind the wheel.

The unreliability of detection technology is a major cause of concern. False positives are commonplace. Imagine a DADSS device that requires the driver to submit a breath sample to start a car, and to also give regular-interval samples while the vehicle is in motion, forcing shutdown at inopportune times and possibly under unsafe conditions. And if those “rolling samples” require active involvement by all drivers, distracted driving will become an even more widespread road safety concern.

SB 2604, sponsored by Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Rick Scott (R-FL), currently sits with the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. The House bill, 3159, is sponsored by six Republican congressmen and women and is being considered by the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit Committee. Consider reaching out to members of both committees, particularly those who represent you directly. Ask them questions like:

  1. What is the false-positive rate of DADSS, and how will that be taken into account?
  2. How will DADSS distinguish driver vs. passenger BAC levels?
  3. Will DADSS include external reporting capabilities, e.g., be tied to V2X (“vehicle to everything”) connectivity? If so,
    1. Will the system report every episode of an intervention, false positive or not, to an authority for possible assignment of a penalty? What privacy safeguards will be put into place?
    2. How will the system determine who was operating the car at the time of the “incident?” Will the vehicle owner automatically be assigned blame?
  4. How much will the DADSS technology add to the cost of a new vehicle? Will that cost be borne by the consumer, and will there be an ongoing cost to the car owner to process DADSS data?

At the least, our elected officials should have satisfactory answers before supporting legislation that would subject all drivers to an unprecedented level of personal intrusion and regulation.

Join the NMA Today https://www.motorists.org/join/

The Consummate Bikernet Weekly News for December 12, 2019

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Hey,

Knowledge, understanding, the Way, and technology: They are all flying at us fast. Hell, I don’t know where to start. Awhile back I mentioned business owners and their constant challenges, from the government, technology, competition and the market. Those challenges are more daunting than ever before and more beneficial in many respects.

Personal life is also being bombarded with new and beneficial challenges. I was hit with a hot handful of thought-provoking opportunities and philosophies this week.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE WEEKLY NEWS

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