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Federal Government Finalizes 2021 Crash Data

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This month the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released its annual report, Traffic Safety Facts 2021: A Compilation of Motor Vehicle Traffic Crash Data. The 225-page report contains information on crash types, causes and participants involved. Remember that while we are nearing the end of 2023, this report is 2021 data. NHTSA spent nearly two years compiling these figures before releasing the report.

The data on motorcyclist fatalities is especially troubling. According to the report, in 2021, motorcyclists made up 13.8% of all nationwide traffic fatalities, with 5,932 motorcyclists killed on our nation’s roadways. That is the highest number since data collection began in 1975. In comparison, the pre-Covid year of 2019 saw 5,044 bikers killed.

The number of those injured on motorcycles reported in 2021 was 82,686, which is fewer than the all-time high of 104,442 in 2016. This total injury count represents 3.3% of the 2.5 million people injured in all motor vehicle crashes.

It is important to note that 2021 showed a substantial increase in motorcycles registered. The data also shows an increase in vehicle miles traveled by bikers. NHTSA data shows 9.8 million registered motorcycles with approximately 19.6 billion miles traveled in 2021. Those increases mean that while the total number of fatalities and injuries went up, fortunately, the rate per 100,000 registered motorcycles went down.

Here are other takeaways:

  • Riders accounted for 95% of deaths, while 5% were motorcycle passengers.
  • 57% of fatalities occurred by collision with another vehicle, 26% resulted from a collision with a fixed object, 4% collision with a non-fixed object, while 13% of fatalities occurred without a collision.
  • 34% of fatalities involved a rider impaired by alcohol. That number is in line with the 31% of alcohol-related fatalities nationwide.
  • Riders were wearing helmets in 59% of fatalities, while riders were not wearing helmets in 38% of fatalities. Another 3% of fatalities occurred where helmet usage was unknown.
  • 29% of fatalities involved an unlicensed rider.

While it is easy to get lost in the facts and figures, it is crucial to remember that every death is heartbreaking to members of our community. We all must do better! Alcohol-related fatalities and those involving unlicensed riders are especially disheartening, as they are avoidable. Riding sober, trained and licensed are basic steps to help protect lives.

The burden of fixing this problem involves various groups. At the state level, motorcyclists continue to fight for stronger laws against distracted drivers. Educating young drivers and holding those who break the law accountable is critical.

States like Wisconsin have passed increased registration fees with that money earmarked for motorcycle safety programs. However, motorcycle funding at the state and federal levels remains low. This past year, the federal government awarded states $5.5 million for motorcycle safety programs. With the total registered motorcycles at 9.8 million, the federal government is spending just fifty-six (56) cents per motorcycle on safety grants.

The growing prevalence of self-driving cars also should be addressed. A former NHTSA official recently spoke publicly about the threat these cars pose to bikers, yet the federal government has been slow to act.

Reports like this galvanize the groups that want to keep us off the road. However, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation will continue to fight for our safety and survival! It is up to all of us to stop the rising death toll.

To read the full report click here.

As always Ride Safe and Ride Free.

Join the MRF and support Freedom; visit www.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. 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.

Moving Forward to Protect the Future of Motorcycling

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Moving Forward to Protect the Future of Motorcycling and Motorcyclists’ Rights

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Meeting of the Minds Conference — Moving Forward to Protect the Future of Motorcycling and Motorcyclists’ Rights!

The Meeting of the Minds conference is where it all began and it’s where motorcyclists’ rights activists meet to experience tailormade workshops addressing issues facing motorcyclists today. It’s where motorcyclists’ rights activists can get up-to-date information on issues relating to the attacks against motorcycling and motorcyclists’ rights.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s annual Meeting of the Minds conference will reflect that the MRF listens to our members, partner state motorcyclists’ rights organizations, and motorcycle clubs. MRF members and the motorcycling world know that the MRF is making a difference and moving forward – on Capitol Hill and in state legislatures–to protect the future of motorcycling and motorcyclists’ rights.

The success of this year’s Bikers Inside the Beltway was the result of what the MRF shares at the Meeting of the Minds. Keeping our members and partner SMROs informed and on point is what makes the Motorcycle Riders Foundation the foremost motorcyclists’ rights advocacy group in the nation.

Listening, making a difference, and moving forward to protect the future of motorcycling, this year’s Meeting of the Minds conference features sixteen workshops and ten new presenters, plus a host of new topics added to the mix!

The MRF’s legislative agenda represents the collective interests of the nation’s owners of 8.6 million registered street motorcycles, and it is a direct result of the input provided by Meeting of the Minds attendees.

The Meeting of the Minds–presenters who live and breathe motorcyclists’ rights, topical workshops that have real-world applications for protecting the future of motorcycling –The Motorcycle Riders Foundation–Since 1987 the MRF has been the only national motorcyclists’ rights organization dedicated to on-street riders with full-time representation in Washington, D.C.!

Motorcyclists’ rights and motorcycling safety have been interwoven since the time when motorcyclists’ rights advocates were accused of only caring about the modification of mandatory helmet laws. Dispelling those accusations, Ron Braaksma and Lane Trippet, representing MRF Awareness & Education, will present workshops on motorcycling safety and riding skills.

The burden of keeping the voice of motorcycling heard before Congress, regulatory agencies, and state legislatures is shouldered by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. The activists who attend the Meeting of the Minds conference take home a wealth of information to help strengthen the collective voices of all street riding motorcyclists.

Nearly fifty years ago, the burden of freedom was lifted in the quest to protect the future of motorcycling and motorcyclists’ rights when a biker from New Hampshire and his wife founded one of the nation’s first SMROs–NHMRO–New Hampshire Motorcyclists Rights Organization. Sherman Packard rose from “just another biker fighting for our rights” to become the New Hampshire Speaker of the House of Representative and the MRF is honored to have “Mr. Speaker” Sherman Packard sharing his years of experience as the 2023 Meeting of the Minds keynote speaker.

Bikers Inside the Beltway, Meeting of the Minds – the Motorcycle Riders Foundation – listening, making a difference, and moving forward to protect the future of motorcycling and motorcyclists’ rights!

The Meeting of the Minds – September 21-24, Red Lion Hotel, 4751 Lindle Road, Harrisburg, PA 17111. Use the QR codes to register and make reservations or call 717-939-7841 and mention Motorcycle Riders Foundation 2023 Meeting of the Minds.

Thank you for your support of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. We look forward to seeing you in Harrisburg at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Minds, September 21-24, 2023.

Yours in Freedom,
Fred
Fredric Harrell
MRF Director of Conferences & Events

P.S. Hotel rooms are available and going fast, confirm your plans now, register with the MRF, and use the QR codes to make hotel reservations early for the Meeting of the Minds 2023. Thank you.

The MRF Salutes Our Veterans

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We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation wish all veterans a Happy Veterans Day. Thank you for your service in defense of our freedoms and liberties. We as motorcyclists are fortunate that so many of our fellow riders are veterans. You make not only our country, but our motorcycling community stronger.

“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause.” – Abraham Lincoln

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. 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 policy makers in Washington and beyond.

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Remember them for their Sacrifice – Memorial Day 2022

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This Memorial Day weekend take a moment and remember the sacrifices made by many while fighting for the freedoms each of us enjoy everyday. In streets across our nation traditional motorcycle events honoring those lost in military service will be held. We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are forever grateful to our brothers and sisters lost defending the freedoms we cherish.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Message from MRF: As we spend time with family and friends, let’s all take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country Free. We at the MRF wish you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day.

Visit: 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.

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We all at Bikernet.com honor and remember our brothers and sisters in the Armed Forces.

Keep America Free. Keep Riding Free Forever.

Energy Poverty Kills

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From Center for Industrial Progress by Alex Epstein

Last week we looked at the need for a process of producing energy that is cheap, plentiful, and reliable—and we saw that solar and wind cannot produce cheap, reliable energy.

How Germany embraced solar and wind and ended up in energy poverty

Let’s take a look at this in practice. Germany is considered by some to be the best success story in the world of effective solar and wind use, and you’ll often hear that they get a large percentage of their energy from solar and wind.

You can see here on this chart how this claim was made and why it’s not accurate.

First of all, this is just a chart of electricity. Solar and wind are only producing electricity and half of Germany’s energy needs also include fuel and heating. So solar and wind never contribute half as much to Germany’s energy needs as this chart would imply.

But that’s not the biggest problem. What you notice here is that there’s certain days and times where there are large spikes, but there are also periods where there’s relatively little. What that means is that you can’t rely on solar and wind ever. You always have to have an infrastructure that can produce all of your electricity independent of the solar and wind because you can always go a long period with very little solar and wind.

So then why are the solar and wind necessary? Well, you could argue that they’re not and that adding them onto the grid will impose a lot of costs.

In Germany, electricity prices have more than doubled since 2000 when solar and wind started receiving massive subsidies and favorable regulations, and their electricity prices are three to four times what we would pay in the U.S. (Because of its low reliability, solar, and wind energy options require an alternative backup—one that’s cheap, plentiful, and reliable—to make it work, thus creating a more expensive and inefficient process.)

Nuclear and hydro

Fossil fuels are not the only reliable sources. There are two others that don’t generate CO2 that are significant and are more limited, but still significant contributors. Those are hydroelectric energy and nuclear energy.

Hydroelectric energy can be quite affordable over time, but it’s limited to locations where you have the right physical situation to produce hydroelectric power.

Nuclear is more interesting because nuclear doesn’t have the problems of hydro but it’s been very restricted throughout history so today in the vast majority of cases it’s considerably more expensive than say electricity from natural gas. This may change in the future and one thing we’ll discuss under policy is how we need to have the right policies so that all energy technologies can grow and flourish, if indeed the creators of those technologies can do it.

The reality of energy poverty: a story

To illustrate just how important it is to have cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, I want to share a story I came across while doing research for my book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels. This is a story about a baby born in the very poor country of Gambia.

The baby was born underweight and premature, but not in such a way that would be a big problem in say, the United States. In the United States, the solution would have been obvious: incubation. This technology would almost certainly bring this baby up to be completely healthy, and if you met the baby later in life you would never know that there had ever been a problem.

Unfortunately, in the Gambia, in this particular hospital, they needed something that billions of people in the world do not have, and that is reliable electricity.

Without reliable electricity, the hospital didn’t even contemplate owning an incubator, the one thing this baby desperately needed to survive.

Without access to this technology, the baby could not survive on her own, and sadly, she died. I think this story reminds us of what it means to have access to cheap, plentiful, and reliable energy, and how having more energy gives us the ability to improve our lives.

To summarize what we discussed, if you can’t afford energy you don’t have energy, and if energy is scarce or unreliable, then you don’t have energy when you need it. It’s not just enough to have energy, the energy and the process to create it has to be cheap, plentiful, and reliable.

Last call to register for the DAV 5K!

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Honor our Disabled American Veterans

This weekend thousands of members and supporters of the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) community will come together to honor America’s ill and injured veterans at the DAV 5K presented by Humana. Although online registration ended for our in-person event, you can still register TOMORROW at The Banks at 7:00 AM.

If you cannot make the in-person event, you still have time to register for the virtual event! Register for the virtual race today and walk, roll, run or ride to support America’s ill and injured veterans November 6-11.

Whether you’re on the West Coast, the East Coast or near us in Cincinnati, you can still support America’s veterans and participate with us.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER TODAY

DAV keep the lifesaving programs and services to our nation’s injured veterans free of charge and participate in the DAV 5K, in-person or virtually. Thank you for helping keep the promise to America’s veterans.

Sincerely,
The DAV 5K Team

P.S. Not able to join the DAV 5K, but want to help veterans? Make a special gift to DAV instead. Your donation will help America’s veterans get the benefits they’ve earned.

DAV is a tax-exempt organization, and all contributions are tax-deductible according to IRS regulation.

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

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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/

BANNED : Chainsaws, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers & More

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from https://mrf.org/

Chainsaws, Golf Carts, Lawn Mowers… What’s Next?

Over the weekend, California Governor Gavin Newson signed a bill into law banning the sale of all off-road, gas-powered engines, including generators, lawn equipment, pressure washers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, and even golf carts. Under the new law, these machines must be zero-emissions, meaning they will have to be either battery-powered or plug-in.

This law is particularly concerning because of the status California holds within the national economy. The population and market size that California commands often forces manufacturers to react by changing products nationwide, to conform to California standards. Additionally, states with like-minded legislatures often follow with similar laws and regulations of their own.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is concerned that this action by California, will begin a cascading effect that will eventually result in the demise of the internal combustion engine and the fuel supply tied to it. During the legislative agenda setting meeting, held at the 2021 Meeting of the Minds, in Atlanta, Georgia this very issue was debated. Working with our state partners, the MRF is currently evaluating how best to address these concerns.

The final 2022 MRF Legislative Agenda will be made public in an upcoming American Biker Journal.

To read more on the bill 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 the Website https://mrf.org/

Congress passes extension of Highway Bill

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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

EPA chief defends decision to pull out of Calif. mpg talks

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Washington — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler defended the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of talks with California about new rules for gas mileage.

Speaking to reporters Thursday at the Washington Auto Show, Wheeler said he is confident the Trump administration’s proposal to roll back stringent rules that would require automakers to produce fleets that average more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025 will hold up in court if it is successfully finalized later this year.

“Our goal from the beginning was a 50-state solution,” he said. “I met with (the California Air Resources Board) three times since taking the helm of EPA last July. But despite our best efforts, we could not reach a solution and decided to end the discussions. We embrace federalism and the role of states, but federalism does not mean that one state can dictate the standards for the entire nation.”

Asked what would happen if California proceeds with a lawsuit that has already been filed over the proposal to rule back mileage rules, Wheeler said: “We’ll go to court if they do that. I believe we’re on firm legal footing and I believe that our standards will be upheld by the courts.”

The Trump administration announced last year its intention to ease stringent gas-mileage rules that would have required fleets averaging more than 50 miles per gallon by 2025. The administration proposed a freeze in the mandate after 2020, when their lineups must average 39 mpg.

Automakers cheered the decision to reopen the so-called midterm review they were promised when the Obama-era gas mileage rules were agreed to in 2011. But they hoped the Trump administration would quickly reach an agreement with California on a new set of rules to prevent a lengthy legal battle that would leave the mpg requirements for the next half-decade in limbo.

The Trump administration has floated the idea of moving to revoke a longstanding waiver allowing California and other states to set their own stricter auto emissions standards. Thirteen states and Washington, D.C., have adopted California’s mileage rules, meaning automakers could be left with one set of rules for a quarter of the country and another set for the remaining states.

Revoking California’s waiver, which is ensconced in the Clean Air Act, would require an act of Congress that is unlikely with the U.S. House under Democratic control.

Wheeler said the Trump administration is focused on making sure new cars are affordable enough for consumers to purchase new models that are more fuel-efficient.

“Our overarching goal is to get more Americans into newer, safer, cleaner vehicles,” he said, noting that the average age of a car on U.S. roadways is more than 12 years.

Wheeler touted the EPA’s enforcement actions against automakers that have been investigated for emissions violations. The agency reached an $800 million settlement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles this year to resolve allegations from federal regulators that the company used software on about 104,000 diesel-powered pickups and SUVs that is similar to “defeat devices” used by Volkswagen AG to cheat U.S. emissions-testing.

“We’re committed to vigorously enforcing the nation’s environmental laws,” Wheeler said Thursday. “EPA has stopped the sale of over 1 million after-market defeat devices…In this year alone, we’ve stopped roughly 2,220 illegal vehicles and engines at the border and held the importers and the manufacturers accountable for many more illegal foreign products.”