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Automated Driving Systems and SMRO Visits

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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.

To read the full letter from the MRF to NHTSA click here.

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 communications@mrf.org so we can share them with your fellow riders across the country!

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Announces Historic First

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Atlanta, Georgia – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, based in Washington, D.C., along with ABATE of Georgia, announced a historic first with the announcement that the organization’s annual Meeting of the Minds Conference will take place in Atlanta in September this year.

“The MRF has met several times in the Southeast. However, we have never had the opportunity to meet in Atlanta, and we’re looking forward to the occasion.” MRF Conferences and Events Director, Fredric Harrell announced at the organization’s 2020 annual conference in Indianapolis in September.

“ABATE of Georgia worked to meet the MRF’s conference guidelines and we’re reaching out to our neighboring state motorcyclists’ rights organizations for participation.” Donna Nunez, ABATE of Georgia Activities Director, said when the 2021 conference was announced.

This “historic first” will bring the 2021 Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference to the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead Hotel, September 23-26 and will be the kick-off point for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s 2022 legislative agenda. Attendees are encouraged to make reservations as early as possible for this much-demanded conference.

Past keynote speakers at the annual event include, Keith “Bandit” Ball, former editor of Easyriders Magazine, Dave Zein, former Wisconsin State Senator, Paul Landers, Texas Freedom Fighter, Chopper & Slider Gilmore, Freedom Fighters & Motorcycling Safety Advocates, Mark Buckner, Former MRF President & current MRF Executive Director, among other notables who have added insight, levity and strong messages on freedom and individual rights to the MRFs annual conference. Conference agenda includes, but never limited to general sessions, 15 break-out sessions, safe riding demonstrations and awards banquet.

The first Meeting of the Minds Conference, held in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1985 witnessed barely 100 motorcyclists’ rights advocates and a very limited agenda. The Meeting of the Minds Conference has grown to over 500 participants from state motorcyclists’ rights advocacy groups in addition to representatives from Canada, the European Union, Australia and Liberia.

Register for MOTM

By General Posts

It’s taken 36 years for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to get to a point that an event agenda can be pulled together in a few months, plus or minus a few days. If you’ve been following these E-blasts, then you may have recognized an undercurrent of the “five W’s” – WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY, and a constant reminder that the 36th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference is getting close.

You’ve been given samples of WHO helped start the Meeting of the Minds and the MRF, along with WHAT it was all about, WHERE and WHEN it came from and WHERE it’s heading, along with WHY it’s so important to attend. Here’s the tentative (subject to change) agenda for the 36th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference. Time’s running out to use this link and register at Meeting of the Minds 2020. Room Reservations:  317-767-4769.

For those of you getting in on Thursday, September 24, join the MRF Board of Directors in a “Meet & Greet” at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Ballroom.

 

With a presentation of the Colors, the General Session opens at 9:00 a.m. Friday, then it’s non-stop with…

  • Opening Remarks – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • MRF Financial Report – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • Legislative Update – Rocky Fox
  • Election Year & Effective Use of CQ – Rocky Fox
  • A series of MRF award presentations by Dave Dwyer & Ryan Hubbard, Michelle Holcomb & Duane Justus.

Then it’s on to more presentations, a few awards and recognition of the future of motorcyclists’ rights…

  • MRFA&E – Deb Butitta
  • MRFA&E Young Activist Awards – Deb Butitta
  • Young Activist Scholarship Winners Panel – Deb Butitta
  • MRF Rep/Reps of the Year Awards – Doc D’Errico
  • Presidents Cup – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • A Primer: How Strategic Planning can help your SMRO – Mark Buckner

Lunch by Bill the Chef; a riding and turning demo by Lane Triplett, then an afternoon of workshops…

  • 2020-21 Legislative Strategy – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • 3R’s MRFA&E – Ron Braaksma & Lane Triplett
  • Media Madness: How to Survive these Wild Times – Brian “Skinny Bob” Clifford
  • Executive Directors Town Hall – Kirk “Hardtail” Willard
  • Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names – Pennsylvania’s 35-year Winning Quest for Freedom of Choice – Charles Umbenhauer
  • Public Relations in a Changing World – Cathy Brush

 

The afternoon winds into dinner by Bill the Chef and moves into an “evening of festivities and a rodeo!” provided by the folks from ABATE of Indiana.

Saturday morning begins with a breakfast by Bill the Chef… In case you’re wondering, for the first time in recent memory, meals are included with your registration packet. Bill the Chef, renowned for his biker pleasing menus, generous proportions and never failing to make a few thousand hungry bikers happy at ABATE of Indiana’s world famous, Bean Blossom Boogie! You’ll have to specifically ask for a PBJ or a county jail bologna sandwich! They aren’t on Bill the Chef’s menu!

Saturday’s General Session opens with Jay Jackson and blasts WFO into…

  • State of the Safety Training Programs – Jay Jackson
  • Ron Sheppard Award – Jay Jackson
  • Strategic Planning for Your SMRO: Writing Your Own Plan – Mark Buckner
  • Political Action Committee? Why the Hell Does a Biker Need One? – Ryan Hubbard
  • MRFPAC Awards – Ryan Hubbard
  • State Reps Meeting – Doc D’Errico
  • With Freedom Comes Responsibility – Dave “Chubby” Charlebois
  • Bridging the gap Clubs/SSMRO – Russell Radke & Paul Landers

All of that before it’s lunch with Bill the Chef! Plus, another Lane Triplett riding demo. After lunch it’s another afternoon filled with more information than you can haul home in two saddlebags!

  • Sustaining Clubs Meeting – Russell Radke
  • Advocacy – Beyond Face to Face – Rocky Fox
  • Kickin’ Ass and Taking Names – Pennsylvania’s 35-year winning quest for freedom of choice – Charles Umbenhauer
  • CQ & Using technology to Win in Washington – Rocky Fox
  • Media Madness: How to Survive these Wild Times – Brian “Skinny Bob” Clifford
  • Public Relations in a Changing World – Cathy Brush

Yeah, there’s a few duplicates, because the presenter and the subject are in such demand there’s only one way to satiate this crowd’s demand – give them the information and tools they need to be more effective at their state legislatures!

Saturday “slows down” just enough for a quick thirst quencher before the banquet starts. It’s an evening filled with a soon-to-be-announced keynote speaker, dinner by Bill the Chef, awards, and a live auction that if history ever repeats itself, this will be one not to miss.

Sunday morning travelers get sent out on the road after a “Blessing of the Bikes” and while everyone else is heading home, the MRF Board hunkers down for a review of The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, of the entire conference and ending it with a commitment to take everything that was learned at the 36th Meeting of the Minds Conference and put it to use on behalf of motorcyclists’ rights.

Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

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November 20, 2019 – Senate Hearing – Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

Today the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held a hearing entitled Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology. This hearing comes on the heels of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) board meeting yesterday regarding the investigation of a March 2018 crash of an Uber Autonomous Vehicle (AV) that resulted in the death of a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona.

The NTSB released some startling revelations in their investigation of the 2018 deadly crash. Among those that the software did not properly identify the victim as a pedestrian, it did not adequately assess safety risks and the operator of the vehicle was watching a TV show on her phone and was not watching the road. Additionally, the NTSB cited an “inadequate safety culture” at Uber.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) applauds the NTSB and the U.S. Senate for holding public hearings on AV technology and safety concerns. The MRF is committed to fighting for the safety of motorcyclists as this new technology is deployed on our nation’s roadways. While we are hopeful that this technology can reduce accidents on our nation’s roads, we agree with the statement of Chairman Roger Wicker (R-MS) when he said of AV technology “I think a healthy degree of skepticism is a good thing.”

During today’s Senate hearing, it was especially important that two U.S. Senators specifically addressed the concerns of motorcyclists during the hearing. In a question directed to Joel Szabat, Acting Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Senator John Thune (R-SD) asked, “In developing a regulatory framework for AVs can you speak to how other roadways users such as motorcycles are considered?” The Assistant Secretary responded by saying “Motorcyclists are well incorporated in the development of policy in the department.”

Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) echoed Senator Thune’s interest in motorcycles when he said, “I am avid motorcyclist. The number one reason for accidents is a car hitting a motorcyclist or a car pulling out in front of a motorcyclist.”

Other Senators include Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) raised concerns about the current deployment of AVs without minimum standards from the federal government, “We need some standards.” In response, Robert Sumwalt, Chairman of the NTSB agreed by saying that “Whatever is working now is not working as well as it should.” We at the MRF agree that minimum standards should be in place as this new technology becomes more and more prevalent on the roads we all share.

Chairman Sumwalt of the NTSB closed the hearing with this statement, “I think that AV technology holds great promise to improve safety, but it has to be done properly.” We at the MRF could not agree more.

MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “As a motorcyclist it offends me when bureaucrats are discussing various inevitable, emerging vehicle and advanced roadway technologies they default to classifying us as vulnerable and in need some sort of protection. I would rather and especially in the specific case of Autonomous Vehicles we be thoroughly considered and fully recognizable and therefore not needing extra protection. As with anything affecting motorcyclists this is another example where the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will demand we remain a significant part of the strategy for roadway users.”

You can read the opening statements or watch the hearing by clicking the link below:
Highly Automated Vehicles: Federal Perspectives on the Deployment of Safety Technology

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.

Riding Free From DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

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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.

100 and Counting

We’ve hit an important milestone in our push to pass H. Res 255 the motorcyclists profiling resolution in the House of Representatives. This week we gained our 100th co-sponsor, which means that nearly 25% of the House of Representatives is now on the record standing with the motorcycle community. It’s an excellent time to take a look inside the numbers and talk about the diversity of U.S. Representatives that support us.

  • We have bipartisan support with 59 Republicans and 41 Democrats on the resolution
  • We have at least one member from 37 different states and American Samoa
  • We have the Dean of the House, the longest-serving Congressman, Rep. Young (Alaska) and the second longest-serving member Rep. Sensenbrenner (Wisconsin)
  • We have 12 Freshman Congressman
  • We have the highest-ranking Republican on the Transportation Committee, Rep. Graves (Missouri)
  • We have two former law enforcement officials Rep. Higgins (Louisiana) and Rep Stauber (Minnesota)
  • We have the Chairman of the Freedom Caucus Rep. Biggs (Arizona), and 12 members of the caucus which is the most conservative group in Congress
  • We have the Chairman of the Progressive Caucus Rep. Pocan (Wisconsin) and 15 members of the caucus which is the most liberal group in Congress
  • We have the Chairman of the Blue Dog Caucus Rep. Brindisi (New York) the caucus for moderate Democrats
  • We have 13 members of the Main Street Partnership the caucus for moderate Republicans
  • We have 4 members of the Congressional Black Caucus
  • We have 9 members of the Judiciary Committee who have jurisdiction over the resolution

What does all this mean? It means that we have an amazingly diverse set of lawmakers that have decided to stand with us on the issue of profiling. Whether they be Republican or Democrat, west coast or east coast, newly elected or long-serving, they have all gone on record against the profiling of motorcyclists.

How did we do this? We have used every tool in the motorcyclists toolbox to gain support. MRF members flooded Congressional mailboxes with letters using our CQ “Call to Action” software in April. In May, MRF members roamed the halls of Congress and met with staff and lawmakers during Bikers Inside the Beltway. Since Bikers Inside the Beltway, the DC team has done 193 in-person meetings on Capitol Hill about this issue.   It’s not an exaggeration to say almost every member of the House of Representatives has heard about this issue from us.

Why is this important? In order for our resolution to be voted on, we need to demonstrate to Congressional leadership that it has broad based support. The easiest way to show that is by driving cosponsors to the resolution and having members of Congress attach their name to it.

Our initial goal was to double the 37 cosponsors we had during the last Congress. Once we hit that goal, we were told by our champions that getting to 100 would be an important benchmark. Well, we hit that and continue to run up our numbers.

While we will continue to educate lawmakers on the issue of motorcyclist profiling, we have asked Rep. Walberg and his staff to start pressing for a vote on the resolution. We have several other allies that have offered to help push our case, and we are hopeful that our hard work will be rewarded with an official vote and passage of this resolution. We will be relentless in our advocacy on this issue and will not rest until the House of Representatives joins the Senate and passes H. Res 255.

RPM Act Introduced in the Senate

On Wednesday, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) and Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) along with 24 (YES, 24!) other original cosponsors re-introduced S. 2602, Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2019 (RPM Act), which will exclude vehicles to be used solely for competition from certain provisions of the Clean Air Act, and for other purposes.  As you may remember, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation along with a dozen other organizations teamed up with the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) during the 115th Congress in promoting the passage of this legislation which would exempt you from the provisions of the Clean Air Act which makes it illegal for you to turn a street-legal vehicle or motorcycle into performance race vehicle.  The legislation took some time to be introduced during this Congress due to some changes to the previous version of the bill.  One of those changes would ensure this legislation would be in effect immediately after passage and would protect the racers, consumers and aftermarket industry for using or producing, selling, and/or distributing emissions-related race parts for use on vehicles used exclusively for competition while the EPA writes regulations.

The majority staff of the House Energy and Commerce Committee is still reviewing the changes to the language, but we anticipate the companion house bill will be introduced in the coming weeks.  We ask you to be ready for a future call to action for the RPM Act once the House version is released.

State News – ABATE of Wisconsin sends call to action to oppose the use of blender pumps

The MRF has been working with our SMRO partner, ABATE of Wisconsin, to help them utilize our CQ software to aid the riders in Wisconsin to engage with their elected state officials to oppose AB 382 and SB 349 which would allow blender pumps to dispense E10 and E15 with a shared hose and nozzle.  The use of these blender pumps increases the dangers of misfueling your motorcycle or vehicle at the pump.

To learn more about the issue in Wisconsin, you can reach out to Steve Panten, Legislative Director of ABATE of Wisconsin, by emailing him directly at legis@abatewis.org with your questions.

Riding Free from DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

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Meeting of the Minds

Last week the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds was held in Bloomington, Minnesota. The gathering of so many dedicated and selfless motorcycle advocates in one place was powerful. We in D.C. are continually talking with lawmakers about our membership and the riding community but being in the same room with the people we represent further fueled our passion for advocating on your behalf.

Two full days of meetings and panels covered a wide range of issues including collaboration between SMRO’s and clubs, lobbying tips and tricks, our health, being a better brother and sister, the MRF PAC and the establishment of the 2020 MRF legislative priorities.

On Saturday night, we heard from two guest speakers. First Rep. Peter Stauber from the 8th Congressional district of Minnesota spent 20 minutes discussing many of the issues we face at the federal level in D.C. Congressman Stauber is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and pledged to work with the MRF to fight for our priorities in the upcoming transportation bill. Additionally, as a former law enforcement officer, he understood our concerns regarding motorcyclist profiling and was proud to be a cosponsor of H.Res. 255 since June. He offered to meet with the D.C. team in the coming weeks to follow up on our priorities.

Second, State Senator John Hoffman from the Minnesota State Senate addressed the group. He spoke about working with local motorcycle rights groups and the battles and victories that have been fought at the State Capitol in St. Paul.  

Having both a federal and a state elected officials speak to us demonstrates that motorcycle rights are a battle fought on different fronts.  State legislators and federal lawmakers each play a different but useful role in the fight for motorcycle rights. We want to thank ABATE of Minnesota for arranging the guest speakers.

We want to recognize representatives from the American Motorcyclist Association and Harley Davidson for making the trip from D.C. to be a part of Meeting of the Minds. Collaboration between our organizations has been improving for the last few years, and we appreciate their willingness to visit with our members and continue working together on areas of common interest. 

As always, the MRF board came to Minnesota a day early for a board meeting and overall review of the MRF as an organization. It goes without saying that these board members sacrifice their time, energy and money to sustain the MRF and the continued the fight for motorcyclist rights. Thank you to all the board members for their selfless efforts.  A special thanks to Fred Harrell, Director of Conferences & Events, for his work organizing the 35th Meeting of the Minds. 

Finally, none of this would have been possible without ABATE of Minnesota.  Our friends in Minnesota spent countless hours of their own time volunteering to ensure this edition of Meeting of the Minds went off without a hitch. We are grateful for their efforts and for setting a high standard for the 36th edition of Meeting of the Minds in Indiana in 2020.  Be sure to mark your calendars to join us next year on September 24-27th.

Do Your Homework:

As an advocate for motorcyclist rights, every member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation should know one simple number, the number of motorcycles registered in your state. Whether you are meeting with a lawmaker, legislative staff or just having a dialogue with a non-rider, the ability to drop that number into a conversation is a powerful tool.

Being able to quantify how many riders are in a given state demonstrates that motorcyclists are not some minor part of the transportation world but rather a substantial part of the fabric that makes up our state and local communities.

Some states provide even more in-depth statistics including total driver licenses with motorcycle endorsements and motorcycle registrations by county. We encourage you to do your homework and gather as much data as possible. You never know when having motorcycle statistics at your fingertips will come in handy!

Do you know how many motorcyclists are registered in your state? If not, click here to see the most recent statistics from the Federal Highway Administration 2016 report.

Standing Update:

We are currently at 91 cosponsors from 36 states and one territory for H. Res 255, the motorcycle profiling resolution. An additional 6 new cosponsors since our last update. The map below shows which states have at least one lawmaker signed on as a cosponsor.  Is your state not filled in yet?  Check with the D.C.  team about how we can work together to secure cosponsors from your state.

As we continue to move the needle here on Capitol Hill,  we ask that you stand by for any future Calls to Action to help ensure that we can secure the passage of this resolution.

MRF MOTM 2019 TIME IS RUNNING OUT!!!

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With just over a week to the pre-registration cut-off, time is running short to save money registering for The 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference!!! 

As the MRF makes final preparations to Honor the Past with the induction of Legacy Members into the MRF Hall of Fame and gear up to Protect the Future with two days of information filled workshops and presentations, you still have time to register for this premier event and secure your hotel room.

Up to the minute legislative updates, topical workshops to assist you in building your SMRO, plus several hundred new and old friends you’ll be glad to see!  Workshop & presentations including…

  • NHTSA – Protecting our Future from their Past
  • Shared Goals & Working Together – SMROs & Motorcycle Clubs
  • Membership Promotion, Retention, Growth & Volunteers
  • Old Media – New Media … – Dealing with print, electronic & social media successfully

And there’s more… Those listed workshops represent one-third of the time allocated for workshops.  We’ve got eight more and only two days to deliver.  However, those two days will be so jammed packed by the end of the Conference you’ll wonder where the time went and be asking for more.

The 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference is coming together as well as any smooth-running machine.  We don’t want you to miss it as we Honor the Past, Protect the Future and live up to meeting and exceeding the expectations of motorcyclists’ rights advocates from across the country.
You have until August 23rd to take advantage of the MOTM pre-registration price of $80.00 for MRF members or $90.00 for non-MRF members.
Use this link to register:  Meeting of the Minds 2019

After August 23rd, the event registration fee goes to $90.00 for members and $100.00 for non-members.  And you’re not just getting a receipt for your efforts… You’ll get a few hundred years of experience from some of the most dedicated and knowledgeable motorcyclists’ rights advocates in the world!

The deadline to get the nightly room rate of $115.00 at the MOTM Conference hotel is September 4th.  After that, rooms may be scarce. So, one more time… beat the deadlines and register for the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference.  While it’s on your mind, call (952) 854-9000 and use this code to get you’re the MRF room rate: Block code MOT    LINK TO HOTEL MOTM2019

Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you in September at the Crowne Plaza Aire Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota, for the 35th Annual Meeting of the Minds Conference!!!

Fredric Harrell
Director, Conferences & Events
Motorcycle Riders Foundation

May 10th – Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

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Keith Ball illustration – designed to bring less expensive, light vehicle, two tiered additional lanes to congested areas

Capitol Hill Update

Full Court Press

This week the MRF team in Washington met with 24 congressional offices to discuss motorcycle priorities with an emphasis on H. Res 255, the anti-motorcycle profiling resolution. The strategy to get this resolution passed is simple; we need to get as many co-sponsors added to the resolution as possible. A large number of co-sponsors demonstrates support for the resolution and helps let Congressional leaders know that there is broad political support for passing the resolution.

Last year, the House version of this resolution had 39 cosponsors. This year our goal is to get that number above 60. Since the resolution was introduced six weeks ago, we have garnered 22 cosponsors including seven that were added just this week. The letters sent by MRF members and our meetings on Capitol Hill are helping build momentum, but we need to keep the pressure up. The DC team will continue to meet with congressional offices and Bikers Inside the Beltway is a great opportunity for motorcyclists to educate lawmakers about this issue.

We are casting a wide net hoping to gain support from a variety of different states. Our meetings this week were with members of Congress from 21 different states. Currently, Illinois is leading the way with five co-sponsors on the resolution. We will keep you updated on our meetings and the growth of our co-sponsor list.

Transportation Priorities

Late last week, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee asked its members to submit a list of surface transportation priorities. This list will help guide the committee in building an agenda for hearings and legislation in the coming months. Congressman Troy Balderson (R-Ohio) submitted this request to the committee: “Direct NHTSA to reevaluate the federal definition of a motorcycle (the current definition of a motorcycle includes autocycles).”

Congressman Balderson was first elected to Congress in August of 2018 to fill a vacancy created by a retirement. He won reelection three months later and is now serving his first full term in Congress. The Congressman is a motorcycle rider and recently joined the House Motorcycle Caucus. He has shown a desire to learn more about legislative issues motorcyclists face and with his position on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hopes to play a leading role in advocating for the motorcycle community. We are excited about our new ally and advocate and look forward to working on a variety of issues with him.