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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/

Damon Motors New Production Plant for World’s Smartest Electric Motorcycle

By General Posts

by Otilia Drăgan from https://www.autoevolution.com

World’s Smartest Electric Motorcycle to Be Produced at Brand-New Plant in Vancouver

Whether two-wheeled or four-wheeled, electric vehicles are taking over the roads by storm, offering not just a clean energy alternative, but also advanced connectivity and the latest tech. One of them is Hypersport, Damon Motorcycles’ flagship model, set to enter production at the company’s new plant.

The concern for a green, sustainable future extended beyond the vehicles themselves, to the manufacturing process. Several carmakers have already opened or planning to open sustainable production plants, and Damon is doing the same in the motorcycle sector. The Canadian company recently unveiled its latest facility, located in Surrey, British Columbia.

Developed together with Bosa Properties, the new production plant is a state-of-the-art, 110,000 square foot (10,219 square meters) facility that will not only become “ground zero” for the Damon electric motorcycles, but will also premiere a cleaner, advanced manufacturing process.

This new milestone adds to the brand’s success, after recently having surpassed $40 million in orders for the award-winning Hypersport, presented as “the world’s smartest, safest, fully electric motorcycle”. This innovative motorcycle is based on the brand’s proprietary electric powertrain, Hyperdrive, which is the first monocoque-constructed, fully electric, multi-variant powertrain on the market.

With an aerodynamic design and having passed through extensive wind tunnel testing, Hyperdrive claims to deliver better speed, range, and acceleration than any previous powertrain. The battery was designed for top performance, but also to be as light as possible. Hyperdrive is integrated as a structural component of the motorcycle itself, and the battery enclosure acts as the bike’s load-bearing frame.

The high-tech motorcycle also boasts an award-winning 360-degree Advanced Warning System that uses integrated windscreen LEDs, a long-range radar, plus front and rear cameras, to warn the rider of potential danger. Shift is another innovative feature that allows the rider to switch between commuter and sport positions while in motion, with the simple touch of a button.

The Hypersport line includes four models, with pricing ranging from $16,995 to $39,995.

PRESS RELEASE:

Damon Motors today announced it will build a cleantech manufacturing and R&D plant in Surrey B.C. The state-of-the-art, 110,000 square foot facility, being developed in partnership with Bosa Properties, will serve as ground zero for production of Damon’s flagship HyperSport, the world’s smartest, safest, fully electric motorcycle. Details will be revealed at a special kickoff ceremony on October 5, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. at the Surrey City Hall Atrium. Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum and Bruce Ralston, British Columbia Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, will be among the dignitaries in attendance.

“As Damon accelerates a clean energy future with our electric vehicles, we’re also introducing a cleaner, industry-leading manufacturing process,” said Jay Giraud, co-founder and CEO, Damon Motors. “We’re excited to produce our highly anticipated HyperSport motorcycles here in Surrey, British Columbia and look forward to this world-class facility delivering the safest and cleanest premium, high-technology motorcycles on the market.”

“We, at Bosa Family Companies, are proud to partner with such an exciting, new company to bring this site to life and drive new green jobs in our region,” added John Martin, Vice President at Bosa Commercial. “This local start-up success story is a source of great pride for British Columbians, and we’re pleased to be part of the strategy to keep Damon Motors thriving here at home.”

The new Damon manufacturing plant is expected to stimulate Surrey’s local economy with several hundred jobs. Projections suggest that by 2025, the plant will create more than 300 high-tech manufacturing jobs and more than 500 high-tech office jobs.

“British Columbia is quickly becoming an EV hotspot and the arrival of the Damon Motors manufacturing facility puts Surrey right in the middle of it,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum. We’re honored Damon has selected Surrey for its production headquarters and are proud to welcome this dynamic and innovative young company to our city.”

“B.C. is home to many innovative clean-tech companies that are helping us grow as a leader in the electric vehicle sector,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation. “We’re proud to support Damon Motors who will help us meet our Clean BC goals and create new good-paying jobs in the province. The strength of the innovative approach Damon Motors exhibits will propel the company toward being a global leader.”

Damon’s manufacturing plant announcement comes as the company has surpassed $40M in orders for the award-winning HyperSport. The electric superbike offers unparalleled safety, comfort, and performance with groundbreaking technology and zero tailpipe emissions. It features the CoPilot™ advanced warning system, Shift™, which transforms the riding position between sport and commuter modes while in motion, and HyperDrive™, the world’s first monocoque constructed, 100 percent electric, multi-variant powertrain platform.

Vancouver startup Damon Motors to build electric motorcycles in Surrey
Vancouver EV maker Damon Motors will occupy a 110,000 square foot facility being built by Bosa Properties
by David Carrigg from https://vancouversun.com

Vancouver electric safety system and motorcycle maker Damon Motors will move in to a new manufacturing facility in Surrey in 2022.

The company, founded in 2017 by Jay Giraud and Dom Kwong, started by developing safety systems for motorcycles that use sensors and cameras to identify risk in blind spots and for frontal collision.

Over the next two years an electric motorcycle was developed with a powertrain comprising frame, battery pack and electric motor (incorporating the safety technology). This was called the HyperSport.

The company announced in March this year it had received $30 million in startup funding and had orders for $20 million worth of motorcycles, which sell for between $20,000 and $45,000. Recently, the company announced it had $40 million worth of orders and that it was sold out for 2022.

HyperSport motorcycles are currently being built in a Vancouver facility on Powell Street, but as of October 2022 will be made in a 110,000 square-foot facility near the Pattullo Bridge and Scott Road SkyTrain station being developed by Bosa Properties. Bosa will lease the space to Damon Motors.

In a prepared statement, Giraud said the City of Surrey had helped expedite the process.

“Surrey has welcomed us with open arms and we look forward to continue to innovate and further solidify both Damon and Surrey as clean-tech leaders in the electric vehicle industry and beyond,” he said.

“As Damon accelerates a clean energy future with our electric vehicles, we’re also introducing a cleaner, industry-leading manufacturing process. We’re excited to produce our highly anticipated HyperSport motorcycles here in Surrey, British Columbia and look forward to this world-class facility delivering the safest and cleanest premium, high-technology motorcycles on the market.”

By 2025, the facility is expected to employ 800 people.

On Tuesday, B.C. Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Bruce Ralston said the government had given $400,000 in innovation funding to the company to use developing the powertrain system — and this would create 11 jobs.

Dave Currier, aged 68, on Winning Cannonball riding his 1911 Harley-Davidson

By General Posts

by Kevin Wallevand from https://www.inforum.com

Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson

  • Dave Currier turned 68 years of age on the road while racing in the Motorcycle Cannonball
  • Earlier, Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson
  • His father sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo and also raced them
  • Dave Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on his 1911 H-D

“To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.” – Dave Currier

Fargo man wins Motorcycle Cannonball with 1911 Harley Davidson

A Fargo man has just won a cross country motorcycle run called The Motorcycle Cannonball.

Dave Currier is finally getting some feeling back in his rear-end. He is back in Fargo after competing in the most difficult, antique endurance race in the world: The Motorcycle Cannonball.

“I think this has been the toughest ride of my life,” Currier said. “It is a real grind, I had about eight hours in the saddle every day.”

Riding his 1911 belt-driven Harley Davidson, Currier and 88 competitors crossed 11 states over 16-days straight. From Michigan to South Padre Island, Texas, they racked up just over 3,700 miles.

“The bike is tall. I have short legs, so my feet don’t touch the ground,” Currier said. “To start it, you have to pedal to start it, it is a belt drive. To move it forward, you have a lever which tensions the belt and the bike moves forward.”

But Currier, who had a team planning and tweaking this bike, not only competed; he won.

“I had a police escort, it was an absolute incredible deal,” Currier said. “They closed the roads off.”

He crossed the finish line with this checkered flag, bringing home the trophy.

“Before the finish, they handed me the checkered flag, and I rode in with the checkered flag,” Currier said. “It was incredible. (It’s) still hard to talk about it.”

Currier credits John Rouland of Northern Crankshaft in Thief River Falls for doing a lot of the technical and engine work on the 1911 Harley.

He said his local sponsors; Milwaukee Tool, Acme Tools, Dakota Fence, and TechLine Coatings all played a role in the win.

Currier, who turned 68 during the race, thinks he had a little help from angels above. His dad, Dick Currier, sold Indian and Harley motorcycles in the 1940s and 50s in Fargo. He raced them as well, and Currier believes his dad would be pretty proud.

“He was a big part of my life,” Currier said. “That’s why I called it, ‘The Last Ride.'”

For more info on the Motorcycle Cannonball visit their website by clicking here.

Earlier Dave Currier had been a runner-up in 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball riding a 1915 Harley-Davidson

From September 2018.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of thinking,” Currier said, chuckling. “I have done the twin cylinder. The next challenge for me would be to take a single cylinder and make it across the U.S. But this was a trip of a lifetime. Going over the mountain in Kalispell, Montana, that’s when I turned 65.”

‘Trip of a lifetime’: Fargo resident named runner-up in world’s hardest antique motorcycle run

Currier says his bike, a 1915 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder boasting an 11-horsepower engine, took him two years to restore.

by Emma Vatnsdal from https://bismarcktribune.com

PORTLAND, Ore. — Enjoying a sunny 48-degree morning in The Dalles, Ore., Dave Currier and his entourage were getting ready late last week to point themselves east and head back home to Fargo.

While many go west to escape the cold of winter or spend time with family and friends, Currier had a different motivation — and to end up in Portland, he had to start in Portland, Maine.

In 2010, one man set out to become the first person to take a group of 45 like-minded antique motorcycle riders across the U.S. from Kitty Hawk, N.C., to Santa Monica, Calif. Sixteen days later, 10 of the original 45 riders rolled their roughly century-old bikes onto the Santa Monica Pier, completing the inaugural Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run.

Now in its fifth running, the 2018 installment of the run saw more than 100 people ride from Maine to Oregon, giving participants a chance to see much of the U.S. in a whole new way.

Three classes of motorcycles — single cylinder, twin cylinders with two-speed rear ends and bikes with three-speed transmissions — set out, racing to navigate the roads to each day’s checkpoint before 5 p.m. Taking only the “back roads” across the whole country, Currier and the rest of the crew averaged around six hours of riding per day beginning at 7:30 a.m.

In true-to-history fashion, modern navigation systems like a GPS device were not allowed. Instead, riders were given maps each morning 30 minutes before they set out with directions consisting instructions like “drive north 3.2 miles, turn left at the blue house and head west.”

Currier said it was a voyage to remember.

“It was incredible,” Currier said. “It was a fantastic trip kind of re-enacting what the old-time people did when they had the opportunity to go across the U.S. What was really kind of special was I had my birthday (during the trip). Going over the mountain in Kalispell, Montana, that’s when I turned 65. It was kind of a monumental trip in many ways for me.”

Lifelong passion
There are few requirements about which motorcycles qualify for this cross-country road trip, but there are standards that must be met. For the 2018 run, all motorcycles had to be manufactured in 1928 or earlier, and must still appear original in nature.

While period-correct modifications were accepted, no modern replica bikes could be entered.

Electrical charging systems, auxiliary fuel tanks and modern wheels were OK, though GPS systems were specifically banned.

Currier says his bike, a 1915 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder boasting an 11-horsepower engine, took him two years to restore.

“I started with the basic frame and completely refurbished it from the ground up,” he said. “I’ve always enjoyed the motorcycles since I was 7 years old when I first rode one. Restoring this was pretty special.”

Safety is the No. 1 concern during this race, especially because the bikes are sometimes older than riders’ grandparents. Upon arriving in Portland, Maine, riders completed a half-day of safety classes consisting of rules of the road and safety features.

Each Cannonball rider is also allowed a support team to help them along the way. Currier chose his wife, Kay, two friends from Alaska and a co-worker to assist him with any repairs after each day was done.

“When you get done with the day and you check out, you can do any service work you want on your bike,” he said. “You can change motors, you can overhaul it, whatever you can between 5 at night and 7 in the morning. The support team can’t have anything to do with you during the day.”

Even with the small issues he faced — losing bolts, tough winds and unsoldered ground wires — Currier says he wouldn’t have placed runner-up in his class without the support of his wife and family.

“They’ve always been incredibly good,” he said. “I couldn’t have done this without them.”

The Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run happens every two years, and Currier said he’s started planning for 2020.

“I’ve already been doing a lot of thinking. Six to seven hours a day, you got plenty of time to think about a lot of stuff,” Currier said, chuckling. “I have done the twin cylinder. The next challenge for me would be to take a single cylinder and make it across the U.S. But this was a trip of a lifetime.”

What is Hub-center Steering Motorcycle & Why it is Better

By General Posts

by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Hub-center steering is one of several different types of front-end suspension and steering mechanisms used in motorcycles and cargo bicycles. It is essentially a mechanism that uses steering pivot points inside the wheel hub rather than a geometry that places the wheel in a headstock like the traditional motorcycle layout.

Perhaps the most venerable example of the idea came in the form of the 1930 Majestic. This Georges Roy design used a novel pressed-steel monocoque chassis, and it incorporated an automotive-type chassis with hub-center steering. Other bikes had already used the configuration in such machines as the Ner-A-Car and the Zenith Auto-Bi, but the Majestic made it lovely to behold.

Another bike, the Vyrus 984 C3 2V Razzetto, was one such motorcycle that used hub-center geometry.

Vyrus is a small Italian motorcycle manufacturer based in Coriano, Italy, and their bikes such as the “Tesi” – Thesis in Italian – had their designs originate from a university engineering project linked to the motorcycle legend Massimo Tamburini. The Tesi, and the Vyrus 984, were instantly identifiable by their use of their hub-center steering front suspension and steering arrangement.

Those fabulously expensive bespoke motorcycles have been called “functional works of art,” and they look a bit like something you might see in a video game.

In hub-centered bikes, the front wheel is attached to a swingarm with a shock and an internal pivot point. Steering is achieved using those linkages to turn the wheel on a pivot point. Hub-center steering has been employed on motorcycles for more than a century, but the design, despite what some engineers say offers a distinct advantage, never took hold.

But the founder of Vyrus, Ascanio Rodorigo, once worked for Bimota as a race mechanic and engineer during the 1970s and his tenure there lasted until 1985. When Rodorigo finally left Bimota, he started his own company but partnered with Bimota on the hub-center-steered Tesi. He then went on to take the steering concept deeper and refined it for his own company’s motorcycles.

A Ducati dual spark bored out to 1,079cc and making 100hp L-twin provides the power for the 319 lbs (145 kg) Vyrus 984 bike, and it’s delivered to the road for via a six-speed transmission.

Now builders like Bryan Fuller of Fuller Moto, Revival Cycles, and others have built beautiful machines which harken back to the hub-centered glory days of the Majestic. Builders such as Stellan Egeland used a hopped-up 1200 boxer engine from a BMW HP2 Sport. He also added his own hub-center steering setup from ISR to a frame he made from a 2391 steel tube. The ISR kit is a thing to behold.

Revival’s ‘The Six,’ which features a ballsy Honda CBX motor, is another take on the hub-steer geometry. It was commissioned by museum owner and bike collector Bobby Haas for his Haas Moto Museum in Dallas and made by Revival’s Alan Stulberg and his crew.

Stulberg said the commission was aimed at paying homage to the Art Deco classic Majestic and added that he and the team became “obsessed with its design language and flow” since they first saw the bike at the Barber Museum.

Hub steering systems don’t dive as much under braking and hard cornering as do conventional telescopic fork setups. They push braking forces back into the chassis more efficiently rather than transferring immense bending forces to a pair of upright forks. The ride experience is exceptional as braking performance throughout corners is greatly enhanced.

It works like this: A wheel hub pitches back and forth on a central pivot and is supported by two large steering arms actuated by handlebars. The handlebars connect to the front steering and swingarm using complex linkages. A fixed arm connects a pull-and-push rod on either side of the hub-center to help steer the bike. The geometry also includes a second pair of static rods to ensure the axle stays level with the bike’s mass.

While hub steering has a number of clear advantages, its downfall is that it is considerably more expensive to manufacture and maintain and requires exceptionally experienced mechanics to tune and repair.

But it does look good, works more efficiently from an engineering standpoint, and directly addresses the most important factor in the motorcycling experience: braking.

The Majestic – Artistic Design from the 1920s
from https://www.odd-bike.com

While the engineering of the Majestic might have been relatively conventional, what was unprecedented was the styling, the hallmark of the Majestic to this day.

All the oily bits were fully enclosed under louvered panels, with partially enclosed fenders covering the wheels at both ends. The rider was completely isolated from the grime and muck of the running gear and powertrain, perched upon a sprung saddle and controlling the machine via levers and bars that poke through the all-encompassing body.

Presented in 1929, the prototype Majestic (which was reported as Roy’s personal machine) featured an air-cooled 1000cc longitudinal four-cylinder engine from a 1927-28 Cleveland 4-61. This would not remain for production, however.

While at least two Majestics were built with a 750cc JAP V-twin (arranged, like a much later Moto-Guzzi , with the Vee transverse and the heads poking through the bodywork) and records note that JAP singles, a Chaise Four, and at least one Gnome et Rhone flat twin were also employed, the majority of production machines coming out of Chartenay featured air-cooled Chaise engines.

These were overhead valve singles featuring unit two or three-speed gearboxes operated by hand-shift, available in 350cc and 500cc displacements. Distinctive for their single pushrod tube that resembles a bevel tower (but contains a pair of tightly-spaced parallel pushrods) and external bacon-slicer flywheel, these powerplants were a favourite of French manufacturers during the interwar period and were used by a variety of marques in lieu of producing their own engines.

The base price of the Majestic was 5200 Francs for a 350 with chain final drive; an extra 500 Francs netted you optional shaft drive.

An additional option that is rarely seen on surviving examples was a fine “craquelure” paint option that was applied by skilled artisans. It involves a process of deliberately screwing up the paint job in the most controlled and flawless way possible, applying a contrasting top coat over a base using incompatible paints that will cause the top coat to crack in a uniform fashion, something like a well-aged oil painting or antique piece of furniture.

The result is spectacular – and perhaps a bit tacky, giving the machine the appearance of a lizard skin handbag. (Maybe a later Rock Star would have loved to ride it as the “The Lizard King” ? )

The Majestic was impeccably stable at higher speeds compared to the other motorcycles of that era.

It was also agile and light footed in a way that similar machines, like the Ner-A-Car, were not.

The relatively low weight, around 350 pounds, carried with a very low centre of gravity made for tidy handling that was more than up to the meagre output offered by the powerplants.

Majestic was targeting a clientele that didn’t really exist: the gentlemanly rider who might desire a superior (read: expensive) machine as a stablemate to their elegant automobiles.

Georges Roy’s previous design produced under the name “New Motorcycle”

Georges Roy’s earlier 1927 brand called New Motorcycle was a far better barometer of things to come, predicting the style and design of machines that would emerge during the 1930s and beyond. The Majestic has far less impact and was more of a curiosity than predictor of trends to come.

Georges Roy’s brilliance as a designer is unquestionable, and deserves more praise than he ever earned during his lifetime.

Majestic is a little bit of elegance floating on the sea of staid machines that clutter up the history books.

Georges Roy was a French industrialist and engineer born in 1888 who achieved success in the textile business – specifically in knitting and sewing equipment. He was, however, an early adopter of motorcycling at the turn of the 20th Century – reportedly his first machine was a Werner, a Parisian machine that introduced the term “Motocyclette” in 1897.

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

Blind Spot Warnings Display On Motorcycles

By General Posts

from https://www.malaymail.com

How blind spot warnings could be displayed directly in motorcycle mirrors.

Motorcycle manufacturers are exploring ways of alerting riders to the risk of collision with vehicles in their blind spot.

TOKYO, Sept 30 — Yamaha has filed a new project with the Japanese Patent Office for a system that alerts motorcycle or scooter riders when a vehicle is in their blind spot. This solution takes the form of LED strips placed directly behind the mirrors that face the rider. This solution could prove an effective means of alerting riders to this type of danger.

Most motorcycle manufacturers are actively working on blind spot warning systems. Yamaha recently filed a patent revealing a new technology that displays specific icons directly on the bike’s mirrors.

The idea is to be able to alert riders to dangers quickly and effectively. To do this, the Japanese manufacturer relies on displaying warnings on the bike’s mirrors in case of danger. The solution takes the form of a small screen placed behind each of the mirrors in the bike’s two rearview mirrors, capable of displaying a warning icon in the event of a collision risk, i.e., a vehicle in a blind spot. Note that the system could also display the warning on just one mirror, depending on the side where the danger is located.

In addition to the presence of a vehicle in their blind spot, this device could also warn riders of a risk of collision with another vehicle, when they’re breaking the speed limit or when they receive an incoming phone call. It could theoretically be fitted to a motorcycle as well as a scooter. Still, it remains to be seen whether this solution will eventually see the light of day.

Currently, the most advanced solution in this field is undoubtedly Bosch’s Blind Spot Detection (BSD), which is used in many motorcycle models, including BMW, Ducati or KTM bikes. In the event of a risk of impact with a vehicle coming from the rear, the system emits a sound or displays a visual alert on the screen.

Of course, the easiest & safest way to avoid this type of accident is to turn your head before pulling out or changing lanes, to make sure that there are no vehicles in your blind spot.

Contact Governor Gavin Newsom TODAY about AB43- Traffic Safety Bill

By General Posts

National Motorists Association (NMA). California

Immediate Attention: Contact Governor Gavin Newsom TODAY about AB43–the Traffic Safety Bill

Dear California NMA Members,

AB43 is a “hair on fire” situation. The bill, generically titled “Traffic Safety,” was passed by the state Senate and Assembly earlier this month by votes of 30 to 5 and 68 to 5 respectively, with a few abstentions in both chambers. AB43 was forwarded to Governor Newsom on September 17th and is awaiting his action. That’s why the urgency. (Please send this out to family and friends as well).

Members should email their opposition to the bill to:
Governor Gavin Newsom
c/o Ronda.Paschal@gov.ca.gov –Deputy Legislative Secretary

The main issue is that the bill would reverse nearly 100 years of California speed limits being based on fact-based engineering by allowing the lowering of limits without any particular rationale. By disregarding proven traffic engineering standards and posting unrealistic limits, many more drivers traveling at conventional, safe speeds will be stopped and ticketed for noncompliance.

Police and community relations will be poorly served by a dramatic increase in traffic stops that serves no safety purpose. Speed traps will become much more prevalent.

The forced lowering of speed limits will also create a surge in traffic accidents. Most drivers obey their instincts of what is a safe rate of travel on a particular road. That’s why the prevailing methodology for setting the safest speed limit is based on the prevailing behavior of 85 percent of drivers. Studies have shown repeatedly that the 85th percentile rule for establishing speed limits minimizes crashes.

By reducing speed limits below those levels, there will be a wider variance of driving speeds on the road, some obeying the new numbers on the speed limit signs and more following natural driving patterns. The result will be more vehicular interactions between regular and slower drivers, creating the conditions for more crashes.

Write from your own perspective, which will give a much more impactful statement to the governor. We urge you to do it today!

Thank you for your support of motorists’ rights in California.

National Motorists Association – www.motorists.org

Kanopolis City, Kansas Ordinance for Off-Road Motorcycles

By General Posts

from https://www.indyrepnews.com

(First Published in the Ellsworth County Independent/
Reporter, September 23, 2021)

ORDINANCE NO. 2021-O-02

AN ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING THE USE OF OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLES (ALSO KNOWN AS ‘DIRT BIKES’) ON THE STREETS OF KANOPOLIS, KANSAS, AND PROVIDING FOR PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION OF THE SAME.

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF THE CITY OF KANOPOLIS, ELLSWORTH COUNTY, KANSAS:
The purpose of this Ordinance is to protect the health, safety, property and well-being of the citizens of Kanopolis by regulating the use of off-road motorcycles in the city which may endanger the safety of persons driving, bicycling or walking on the roads, the safety of motorists, cyclists or pedestrians, the safety of its operators, and which may disturb the use and enjoyment of land. This section shall apply throughout the city, both on and off streets and highways and on all public and private land.

• Sec. 1. – Definition.
The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this section, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
Off-road motorcycle or dirt bike means any motorized nonhighway vehicle traveling on two tires, and having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and/or any motorcycle licensed for highway travel being utilized off of a street, roadway or improved surface.

• Sec. 2. – Unsafe use of off-road motorcycles prohibited.
The following practices constitute unsafe use of off-road motorcycles in the city:
(1) Use of an off-road motorcycle one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise without headlights and rear lights installed and illuminated.
(2) Use of an off-road motorcycle without a rearview mirror.
(3) Use of an off-road motorcycle without a warning device such as a horn.
(4) Use of an off-road motorcycle with more than one person on the seat, unless the seat has been specifically designed by the manufacturer to hold more than one person. In no case shall there be more passengers than the off-road motorcycle is designed to carry.
(5) Use of an off-road motorcycle without the driver and passengers wearing protective headgear. The headgear must conform with minimum standards of construction and performance as proscribed by the National Standards Institute specification Z90.1 or by the federal motor vehicle safety standard no. 218.
(6) Use of an off-road motorcycle by a driver under the age of 14.
(7) Operating an off-road motorcycle that is not equipped at all times with an effective and suitable muffling device on its engine to effectively deaden or muffle the noise of the exhaust. Each off-road motorcycle must meet noise emission standards of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and in no case exceed 82 decibels of sound pressure level at 50 feet on the “A” scale as measured by the SAE standards.
(8) Operating an off-road motorcycle that is not equipped at all times with a working spark arrester.
(9) Operation of off-road motorcycle at speeds greater than reasonable and prudent for the existing conditions.
(10) Operating an off-road motorcycle in violation of ordinances or regulations applicable to motor vehicles, except as expressively permitted by the article, or in reckless manner in such a way as to recklessly create a substantial risk of serious bodily injury to another person.
(11) Operating an off-road motorcycle in a manner so as to endanger any person or property.
(12) Operating an off-road motorcycle in such a manner as to create an excessive amount or introduction into the air of dust, dirt or other particulate or substance.
(13) Operating an off-road motorcycle in any manner that would harass game or domestic animals.
(14) The operation of an off-road motorcycle by a child under the age of 18 without the immediate and visual supervision of an adult.

• Sec. 3. – Restricted operation of off-road motorcycles.
Except as this Ordinance specifically permits and authorizes, no person shall operate a dirt bike or other off-road motorcycle vehicle within the city limits:
(1) On the portion of any right-of-way of any public highway, street, road, trail or alley used for motor vehicle travel, unless the motorcycle is fully licensed for highway use.
(2) On a public sidewalk provided for pedestrian travel.
(3) On private property of another without the specific expressed permission of the owner or person in control of the property.
(4) On any property owned by the City of Kanopolis or on any other public property, including parks and recreational areas, except by special event issued permit.
(5) Within 100 feet of any school, park, pedestrian, utility work, or construction area where the operation would conflict with use or endanger other persons or property.
(6). In or on a railroad right-of-way

• Sec. 4. – Responsibilities of parents and landowners.
(a) Parents and responsible adults. It shall be a violation of this division for any parent, guardian, or adult with supervisory responsibility to permit a child less than 18 years of age to operate an off-road motorcycle in a manner prohibited by this Ordinance.
(b) Landowners. It shall be a violation of this division for any landowner or rightful possessor of real property to suffer or permit the operation of off-road motorcycles on property that they own or possess as prohibited or in a manner prohibited by this ordinance.

• Sec. 5. – Violations and penalties.
(a) Upon a first conviction for a violation of sections 2 and 3, the court shall assess a fine of no less than $50.00. Upon a second conviction, the court shall issue a fine of no less than $200.00. Upon a third or subsequent conviction, the court shall issue a fine of no less than $350.00. No prior conviction shall be considered in determining the penalty to be assessed if 24 months have elapsed between the date of the violation and the date of the conviction next immediately preceding the sentencing date.
(b) No person shall be eligible for a parole, suspension or reduction of any part of a fine except that portion of any fine or combination of fines that exceeds $200.00 assessed from the same set of operative facts may be suspended for 12 months on the condition the violator have no further violations of the ordinance during that period.
(c) Each occurrence of a violation constitutes a separate offense and shall be punishable as such hereunder.

• Sec. 6. Standard Traffic Ordinance. A person operating an off-road motorcycle within the corporate limits of the City shall be required to follow all rules and regulations as set forth in the “Standard Traffic Ordinance for Kansas Cities” as prepared and published in book form by the League of Kansas Municipalities, Topeka, Kansas, as adopted by the governing body.

• Sec. 7. – Enforcement.
This division shall be enforced by the city police department.

ADOPTED AND APPROVED by the Governing Body, this 14th day of September, 2021.

CITY OF KANOPOLIS

By: Edward A. Hopkins, Mayor

(SEAL)

ATTEST:

Deborah Kralik, City Clerk

1t 9/23

Queensland wraps up connected vehicle road safety pilot

By General Posts

by Aimee Chanthadavong from https://www.zdnet.com

The Queensland government said during the nine-month pilot drivers were alerted about on-road hazards, including red lights, pedestrians, and cyclists.

A pilot involved with testing technology that alerted drivers about upcoming on-road hazards, including red lights, pedestrians, and bike riders in Queensland’s Ipswich has now wrapped up after nine months.

As part of the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot (ICVP), 350 participants had their cars retrofitted with cooperative intelligent transport systems (C-ITS) technology, including an antenna mounted on a roof-rack, in-vehicle communications box placed under the driver’s seat, and a display on the dashboard that signalled safety warnings to the driver.

The equipment enabled each vehicle’s position, speed, and other data, to be shared, while it also received data from traffic signals and traffic management systems related to traffic lights, speed limits, road works, and road hazards.

The pilot covered 300 square kilometres within the Ipswich local government area, and included 30 traffic signals fitted with roadside communication devices. These devices, plus those that were installed in participant vehicles, had access to cloud-based data sharing systems throughout the pilot area.

The ICVP was delivered by Queensland’s Department of Transport and Main Roads, in partnership with Motor Accident Insurance Commission of Queensland, Telstra, Queensland University of Technology’s Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety Queensland, iMOVE Australia, Ipswich City Council, and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

“The connected technology tested allows vehicles to talk with other vehicles, roadside infrastructure, and transport management systems,” Member for Ipswich Jennifer Howard said.

“Messages received are combined with the vehicle’s data and used to generate driver warnings such as red lights, road works, road hazards, congestion, and pedestrians.”

The pilot was launched under the Queensland government’s broader Cooperative and Automated Vehicle Initiative (CAVI) that aims to reduce serious road injuries and death tolls to zero.

Other initiatives being delivered under CAVI include a pilot that involves testing a small number of vehicles with cooperative and automated technologies, and a project looking at how new technology applications can benefit vulnerable road user safety including pedestrians, motorcycle riders, and bicycle riders.

The state government expects the QUT to deliver a final pilot safety evaluation report about the trial in early 2022.

The Queensland government had signalled plans to conduct trials using intelligent vehicles back in 2016.

Other trials are being carried out across the country to improve overall road safety include one that was announced earlier this week by the Transport for NSW. It said was using AI to develop predictive algorithms to help national, state, local governments manage their road safety performance.

Up until now, assessing the standards of roads have relied on collecting video survey footage and manual recording methods. But the initiative aims to develop a faster and more automated method to extract raw road data.

Meanwhile, a six-month trial that used lidar sensors at a busy intersection in Victoria showed the technology has the potential to warn road users in real time about upcoming hazards.

The AU$2 million trial, carried out by the Victorian government, involved the installation of lidar sensors at an intersection in Yarraville, which monitored the movement of road users including pedestrians, cyclists, cars, and trucks to identity potential hazards. The sensors were able to detect potential hazards within 0.2 seconds, the state government said.

The trial also investigated ways how lidar sensors could be provide hazard warnings to connected vehicles.

Omaha Police refuse motorcade access to Patriot Guard Riders

By General Posts

from https://www.ketv.com

Omaha police: Only law enforcement in Cpl. Page motorcade for safety reasons

Patriot Guard Riders say they’ll follow behind motorcade.

OMAHA, Neb. — Omaha police said it’s not safe to have hundreds of motorcycles on the route that will only be blocked off for the fallen Marine Cpl. Daegan Page and his family to pass. The Patriot Guard Riders said it’s their honor to pay tribute to Page and still plan to follow the motorcade.

“I’m a bit flabbergasted with the decision. It really took me by surprise,” said Scott Knudsen, Nebraska State Captain, Patriot Guard Riders.

Knudsen and other Patriot Guard Riders said they’ve never been denied a place in a military motorcade and asked Page’s father for permission to be part of Friday’s event.

“We never go anywhere unless we are invited. We always seek out permission to achieve permission from appropriate people,” Knudsen said.

But Omaha police asked all groups to stay out of the motorcade for safety reasons, disappointing Knudsen and hundreds of riders coming from Western Nebraska, Kansas and Iowa.

“It’s really a shame that it has come to this, but we are in different times today. I don’t know all the details I’m certainly not blaming the Omaha Police Department or the sheriff’s department or anybody else,” Knudsen said.

“We decided for safety sake and not tie up the intersection,” said Steve Lahrs, Director of American Legions Millard Post.

Millard American Legion Riders were planning to join the escort to honor the fallen Marine until police asked them to stay parked on the sidelines.

“They are short-staffed and short-manned and it would create too much of a havoc for the city of Omaha to have hundreds of bikers blocking intersections,” Lahrs said.

In a statement to KETV, Omaha police said once again the decision is about safety.

“The ultimate goal for tomorrow’s motorcade escort of Marine Corporal Daegan Page is to safely transport him and his family from Eppley Airfield to the mortuary in Millard. We understand there are many organizations who want to assist us in this endeavor. We appreciate that and thank you. However, this motorcade is not a procession or parade. The route will be open, meaning traffic will be temporarily stopped just ahead of the motorcade to allow it to pass smoothly and safely. Once the motorcade is passed, traffic will again flow as normal. Only trained law enforcement officers with vehicles equipped with lights and sirens will be assisting with the motorcade to ensure the safety of all involved along the nearly seventeen mile route. We encourage the public to support Cpl. Page and his family along the route of the motorcade.

“On Friday, September 17th, the date of the funeral, there will be a closed route from St. Paul Lutheran Church to the Omaha National Cemetery. A closed route will allow the opportunity for organizations to safely assist with the procession at that time.”

That message came from Lt. Neal Bonnacci.

“We are absolutely not going to violate any laws and absolutely not go against their wishes and need to respect that and I do respect that,” Knudsen said.

“We start losing the reasoning behind the whole motorcade and it’s to show respect for the family and show respect for Cpl. Page,” Lahrs said.

Bonnacci also gave some safety tips to citizens wanting to pay honor on the motorcade route.

Citizens are encouraged to show their support along the route of the motorcade, but are reminded to allow room for the vehicles, and be mindful of the following:

• Park in compliance with parking regulations

• Ask permission before parking in private business parking lots

• Do not block private driveways

• Be patient if in traffic, and expect delays along the route

• Do not illegally park along the route, block intersections or impede the motorcade. Citizens are encouraged to utilize interstate overpasses for viewing, rather than stopping alongside the interstate.