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NRA Update: Second Amendment

By General Posts

Your Help Needed to Protect the Second Amendment

Dear NRA Affiliate,

Election Day is Tuesday, November 8, and the outcome of this election is crucial to the future of the Second Amendment and the ability of all Americans to keep and bear arms. NRA-ILA asks you to take action by urging your members and patrons to get to the polls and vote for pro-gun candidates in this election.*

The stakes could not be higher. If gun control candidates win this election, we will see more attempts to ban ”assault weapons,” criminalize private firearm transfers, implement ”red flag” confiscation laws, and bankrupt the firearms industry, just to name a few.

The choice could not be clearer. We need your help getting out the vote. If we lose this election, we may very well lose our fundamental right to protect ourselves, our families, and each other with the firearm of our choice.

For more information on the candidates, please visit www.nrapvf.org and encourage your members, affiliates, and friends and family to do the same.

Yours in Freedom,
Jason Ouimet
Executive Director, NRA-ILA

*Please be aware of relevant legal restrictions. Some organizations’ tax statuses don’t allow participation in get-out-the-vote activities. If you have questions about these restrictions, or about reporting or other requirements related to political activity, please contact your organization’s attorney or tax advisor.

Grass clippings and motorcycles don’t mix

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Pa. lawmaker wants grass off roads to protect bikers

Sen. Camera Bartolotta, R-Washington County, is proposing legislation that would make throwing grass clippings on the roadway a fineable offense much like littering. She said the clippings present a hazard to motorcyclists as well as an environmental concern.

A Washington County senator is proposing a bill to try to protect motorcyclists and other motorists from a roadway hazard during mowing season and address an environmental concern at the same time.

Sen. Camera Bartolotta, a Republican, wants to add grass clippings to the list of items – waste paper, sweepings, ashes, household waste, glass, metal, refuse and other rubbish – that can result in a fine if someone is responsible for them ending up on a roadway.

Saying grass clippings not only cause the surface of the roadway to become extremely slippery, she said they also can clog storm drains and make their way into streams and cause pollution.

“Prohibiting grass clippings from roadways is an easy, commonsense solution to a deadly problem,” she said. “Land owners have a right to manage and maintain their property as they see fit, but they also have a responsibility to ensure they do not create a lethal hazard for other motorists on public roadways by being negligent.”

Her bill proposes fines of up to $300 for the first offense and up to a $1,000 for subsequent offenses. Along with that, her proposal would require the landowner to remove the clippings from the roadway.

Mike Sobol, a Cornwall Lebanon School District computer teacher, does not own a motorcycle but still sees merit to this proposal becoming law. He had to replace the fender on his car after driving past a person cutting grass and having stones shoot out from a mower damaging his car.

Beyond the safety hazard, he said, “This is a pollution issue too. This is a two-headed snake.”

While this doesn’t rank as the highest priority for the Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education of Pennsylvania, the group’s state legislator coordinator John Kruger said it is a concern particularly to younger riders.

“The demographics of the riders are changing,” Kruger said. “So what didn’t bother the ‘old school’ riders is different than what bothers ‘young kids.’”

He put up a post on the group’s Facebook page about the proposal and it drew 215 comments with only three of them against it, he said.

“If you are driving your bike on a super sunny day, the last thing you’re expecting is ice on the road. Grass on the road is quite honestly ice in the summertime,” he said.

When riders complain to law enforcement, he said their complaints are dismissed. “You hear them say the current law is not enforceable.” But he said the senator’s proposal to add two words “grass clippings” to the law that makes throwing litter and other items on the roadway an offense would fix that.

RIDING FREE FROM DC: Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

By General Posts

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.

Capitol Hill Update

Republicans Pressing Democrats
With Democrats now the majority party in the House of Representatives, they control the committee chairmanships and thus control the agenda for each committee. The House Energy and Commerce Committee, who has jurisdiction over autonomous vehicle technology, is now chaired by Frank Pallone of New Jersey. This puts Republicans in a role they not been in since 2010, seeking the help of Democrats to tackle legislative priorities.

Republican Greg Walden of Oregon, the previous chairman and now ranking member as well as Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers of Washington and Bob Latta of Ohio sent Chairman Pallone a letter regarding the need for Congress to act on autonomous vehicles legislation.

“We write to urge the Energy and Commerce Committee to take up bipartisan self-driving vehicle legislation. Last Congress this Committee worked across party lines to draft H.R. 3388, the Safely Ensuring Lives Future Deployment and Research in Vehicle Evolution Act (SELF DRIVE Act). The SELF DRIVE Act was an example of this Committee at its very best: working together, across the aisle, to develop legislation that will advance lifesaving technology. As a result of our deliberative, transparent, and bipartisan process, the Committee voted unanimously, 54 yeas and 0 nays, to report the SELF-DRIVE Act to the House floor where it again passed unanimously. Unfortunately, the Senate failed to act on the bill,” Walden, Latta, and Rodgers wrote.

The MRF has and continues to educate members about the safety concerns for motorcyclists and autonomous vehicles. We believe that any bill dealing with autonomous vehicle technology should include provisions that ensure the safety of roadways users including motorcyclists. We will keep you updated on any movement of legislation related to this emerging technology.

Transportation Bill
The current transportation bill, which funds federal surface transportation programs, expires in September of 2020. The previous bill known as the FAST Act provided $281 billion for transportation projects. The Transportation Committee and specifically the Highways Subcommittee has begun the process of drafting the reauthorization bill.

At a recent hearing Highways Subcommittee Ranking Member Rodney Davis of Illinois laid out his four priorities for new legislation:

“First, the Highway Trust Fund is not able to meet our surface transportation needs as they stand today, let alone our future needs. Congress and the Administration must come together and find a way to shore-up the Highway Trust Fund, providing sustainable funding for our Nation’s surface transportation programs.

Second, while our current surface transportation system has significant needs, we must also begin to prepare for the future. Underinvestment has taken its toll on the system’s ability to move people and freight – we face increasing congestion, delays, and safety issues. Not only is adequate infrastructure investment important to mobility, it also creates jobs and allows our economy to prosper.

Third, as the reauthorization process moves forward, it is essential that we find ways to build more efficiently – to stretch the federal dollar. We need to identify and attack hidden project costs by streamlining the project delivery process and reducing burdensome regulations.

And lastly, by incorporating technologies and other innovations, we have the opportunity to increase safety and efficiency in our surface transportation system.”

The MRF has a meeting scheduled with Congressman Davis in early April to discuss transportation-related issues and ensure that the motorcycle community is not overlooked when Congress addresses transportation issues. We will update you about our conversations in the coming weeks.

Google It
This month the House Motorcycle Caucus updated its website for the 116th Congress. One addition of note is the inclusion of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation to the list of “related organizations”. Previously only the American Motorcycle Association and Motorcycle Industry Council were listed in this section of the website.

While not earth-shattering news, this small addition to the website is a simple example of how the MRF continues to raise our profile on Capitol Hill. If you haven’t visited the House Motorcycle Caucus website, we encourage you to take a few seconds and look around.

House Motorcycle Caucus

MRF Event News – Bikers Inside the Beltway 2019
The 11th Annual Bikers Inside the Beltway is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21st. Schedule too jammed to attend Bikers inside the Beltway? Please go to www.mrfae.org to make a tax-deductible contribution of $10, $20, $50, or $100 to raise funds needed to offset the administrative and printing costs of sponsoring BITB 2019. Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness & Education, Inc. (MRFA&E) is a not for profit 501 (c) 3 and sponsors BITB with an awareness presentation to members of Congress.

OR … Mail your contribution to:
Motorcycle Riders Foundation Awareness & Education, Inc.,
2221 S. Clark St.; 11th Floor
Arlington VA 22202

Your support of BITB is greatly appreciated! The efforts to promote and protect the rights of motorcyclists could not be done without members such as yourself.

Tiffany & Rocky
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation