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  • 05/04/2017 2:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For Immediate Release

    May 4, 2017

    Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill Introduced Addressing Motorcycle Profiling

    WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Representatives Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.), Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) along with Senators Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hamp.) jointly introduced a bipartisan and bicameral resolution concerning the profiling of motorcyclists.

    The bill defines the practice of motorcycle profiling and expresses the sentiments of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on the issue of motorcycle profiling. Additionally, the bill promotes increased public awareness on the issue and encourages collaboration, education and training for the motorcycle and law enforcement communities in order to end instances of profiling.

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), which has been advocating for a national solution to address motorcycle profiling with the support of the Motorcycle Profiling Project, will work over the coming months with states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders to advance the measure.

    President of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard, stated this with the bill’s release: “For too long motorcyclists have felt the effects of discrimination from law enforcement. Riding a motorcycle doesn’t make me suspect. We hope that, with this bill’s introduction, we can shine a national spotlight on this issue that affects every rider in every state, and helps put an end to this unconstitutional practice.”

    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.


  • 02/20/2017 1:46 PM | Anonymous

     

     

    For Immediate Release

    February 20, 2017

     A Message from MRF President, Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard – CALL TO ACTION

     

    As many of you know, last year the MRF assumed a new endeavor related to the unconstitutional practice of motorcycle profiling. After reports began to rise from our own membership citing instances where they felt singled out by law enforcement simply because of their appearance, apparel, or because they are simply riding a motorcycle, the MRF decided to take action.

    Working with its partners within the Anti-Profiling Action Group, the MRF developed a strategy at the national level to help combat profiling, an issue that affects ALL riders and is unfortunately increasing. We know this to be true because of a survey put forth by the Motorcycle Profiling Project. In 2015, the survey found over 50% of riders across the U.S. reported being unjustifiably stopped by police at least once while riding their motorcycles.  With a participation level of over 5,000 motorcyclists nation-wide, these facts and figures will help support and solidify our concerns over this issue when addressing lawmakers in Washington, D.C.

    This year, the Motorcycle Profiling Project has launched another survey designed to reach an even broader audience. Like the previous survey, its results will be used as critical tools in the efforts to obtain legislative relief across the country.

    I am asking you to take a few moments and fill out the survey, which can be accessed by clicking on the link below. It’s completely anonymous and it’s only 15 questions.
    YOUR VOICE MAKES A DIFFERENCE!

    http://www.motorcycleprofilingproject.com/national-motorcycle-profling-survey/

    On behalf of the entire MRF membership and its Board of Directors, thank you for your support on this issue.

    RIDE FREE-

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://mrf.org/alerts. If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at: MRFoffice@mrf.org
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  • 01/26/2017 1:48 PM | Anonymous

     

     

    For Immediate Release

    January 26, 2017

    Senate Joins House in Support of the RPM Act

     

    WASHINGTON, DC –  It was a one-two punch for motorcycle and race car enthusiasts during the month of January. Following the January 6th introduction by the House of Representatives, the Senate released its version, (S.203) of the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act). Introduced by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), the bill already has a number of supporters from both political parties. Similarly, the House version (HR.350) has 73 supporters though this number grows by the day.

    Like the version pending in the House, the Senate bill ensures that transforming motor vehicles, including motorcycles, into race cars or racing bikes used exclusively in competition does not violate the Clean Air Act. The issue came to a head when EPA officials insisted that they have the authority to regulate the racing industry according to the Clean Air Act. The RPM Act would clarify that the Clean Air Act does indeed allow motor vehicles, including motorcycles, to be converted into dedicated race vehicles without fear of EPA penalties or enforcement action.

    Similar bills surfaced last year but ultimately fell short of passage before the 114th Congress adjourned in December of 2016. Proponents of the amateur racing industry and others including the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and the Specialty Equipment Market Association have included passage of the RPM Act as one of their key priorities in the 2017 legislative season. Both organizations among several others were listed as supporters on Senator Burr’s press release on S.203:

    http://www.burr.senate.gov/press/releases/burr-introduces-bill-to-keep-epa-from-devastating-amateur-motorsports

    “The Clean Air Act was never intended to allow the EPA to regulate race cars or motorcycles,” said Megan Ekstrom, Vice-President of Government Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. “This is, unfortunately, yet another example of an agency’s overreach.”

    Over 200,000 letters were sent last year to Congress in support of passage of the RPM Act last year. The bills will now go through the legislative process in which many are hopeful the proposals will cross the finish line.

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://mrf.org/alerts/. ; If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at:MRFoffice@mrf.org
    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend to forward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

  • 01/24/2017 1:49 PM | Anonymous

     

    For Immediate Release

    January 24, 2017

    MARK YOUR CALENDERS – MAY 23rd IS BIKERS INSIDE THE BELTWAY!

     

    Tuesday, May 23, 2017 is the 9th Annual Michael ‘Boz’ Kerr Bikers Inside the Beltway event in Washington, DC! This is an amazing, once-a-year opportunity to have a lasting impact on Washington’s policymakers. Hosted by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, this is YOUR opportunity to inform, educate and encourage our legislators about the motorcycle community and the issues we care about.

    Read below to get more information on what to expect and how to sign up or visit us at http://mrf.org/events/

    Why Should I Attend?

    Though it might be hard to believe that one trip to Washington, DC can have a lasting impact on our lawmakers, it’s a proven fact that it DOES make a difference. During 2016’s BITB event, the MRF network visited delegations from 25 states and held over 300 meetings to discuss our agenda, 100 of which were sit-down discussions that resulted in 79% of those legislators either supporting or co-sponsoring legislation we care about. Lobbying really does work!

    Where Will I Stay?

    The MRF has booked a room block at the Holiday Inn National Airport/Crystal City for a rate of $135 a night. Call 703-684-7200 to book. The hotel is metro accessible and a 5-minute walk to the MRF’s new offices in Crystal City and is 3 miles from our nation’s Capitol.

    What’s the Schedule?

    Plan to arrive to the hotel by late afternoon on Monday, May 22. The MRF will host a prep session that evening to go over expectations and provide a deep dive of the issues and will host a dinner immediately following. Kickstands up early Tuesday morning for the ride into Washington, DC followed by a full day of meetings with legislators and staff.

    What Do You Need from Me to Sign Up?

    Your commitment! Contact mrfoffice@mrf.org or call 202-546-0983 to register for this event. Though there is not a cost to attend, you will be expected to make appointments with your lawmakers, attend the prep session and report back on your meetings. This year we will also be asking for State Leads to help coordinate meetings and serve as the main point of contact for the MRF staff. If you are interested in attending BITB and serving as a lead, please let us know.

    IN ORDER TO ENSURE A SUCCESSFUL LOBBY DAY, PLEASE SIGN UP AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT WILL CLOSE ON MAY 1ST AFTER WHICH SPACE WILL NOT BE GUARANTEED.

    SEE YOU IN WASHINGTON, DC!

    Megan J. Ekstrom

    Vice-President, Government Affairs & Public Relations
    Motorcycle Riders Foundation

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://mrf.org/alerts/. If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at:  MRFoffice@mrf.org
    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend to forward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

  • 01/17/2017 1:50 PM | Anonymous

     

    For Immediate Release

    January 17, 2017

    The RPM Act Surfaces Again in the 115th Congress

     

    WASHINGTON, DC –  For the amateur racing industry, the year started out on a strong note. One of the first bills to be introduced in the newly indoctrinated 115th session of Congress was the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act of 2017 (RPM Act). U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) reintroduced H.R. 350 which protects Americans’ right to modify street cars and motorcycles into dedicated race vehicles and industry’s right to sell the parts that enable racers to compete.

    The same measure was introduced during the last legislative session and though it ultimately didn’t see floor time, it had broad bipartisan support with over 100 supporters in the House of Representatives and dozens in the U.S. Senate. This year, H.R.350 started out with 61 cosponsors with those numbers already increasing as additional supporters begin to sign on.

    Rep. McHenry released a statement with the introduction of the bill, “Last year, I was proud to lead the fight against the misguided EPA regulation targeting racing, but our work is not done,” said the Congressman. “In the coming months, I look forward to working with my colleagues in Congress and the new Administration to ensure the RPM Act becomes law."

    The RPM Act came to fruition after the EPA proposed a rule to establish Phase 2 regulations for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2015. Within the 625-page rulemaking was one sentence that would have the effect of banning any conversion of street automobiles or motorcycles into racing vehicles. The language pertaining to race-modified street vehicles and motorcycles was included seemingly at random within a huge proposal having to do with cutting emissions from heavy- and medium-duty trucks. However, it would effectively outlaw part of the amateur car and motorcycle racing industry.

    In April of 2016, the EPA announced that, under pressure from Congress, it would drop the language from its proposed regulations. However, despite the EPA’s announcement, spokespersons from the Agency are still stating that the clarification does not affect EPA's enforcement authority. This shows the clear intent of the EPA to attempt to overstep its bounds, as outlined by the Clean Air Act, in an effort to strip motorcyclists of the rights to modify their motorcycles as they see fit.

    Supporters of the RPM Act will provide clarity to industry and enthusiasts that the Clean Air Act allows motor vehicles, including motorcycles, to be converted into dedicated race vehicles.

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://mrf.org/alerts/. If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at: MRFoffice@mrf.org
    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend to forward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

  • 01/09/2017 1:52 PM | Anonymous

     

    For Immediate Release

    January 9, 2017

    Federal Highway Administration Moves Forward with Motorcyclist Advisory Council: Motorcyclists Severely Underrepresented

     

    WASHINGTON, DC – Motorcyclists across the country were discouraged to find out that the Federal Highway Administration will only require one motorcyclist to serve on an Advisory Council supposedly dedicated to representing those who ride. The Motorcyclist Advisory Council, a newly reestablished group, is supposed to serve and advise the Federal Highway Administration on issues critical to motorcyclists across the nation. By design, the “MAC” would allow motorcyclists the opportunity to discuss how they are affected by roadway design, barriers, construction, and the emergence of intelligent transportation systems like driverless vehicles. However, according to a notice in the Federal Register, the Council is instead requiring participants with safety and engineering backgrounds and only indicating room for one representative from the motorcycling community.

    The MAC of the Past
    The original Motorcyclist Advisory Council was established in a 2005 highway bill. The 2005 law called for the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration to have a dialogue with the motorcycle community on infrastructure issues of concern to motorcyclists. The Council had 10 members consisting of representatives from the motorcycling community as well as individuals with professional expertise in national motorcyclist safety. According to the 2005 law, four of the ten council members were to include members of the motorcycling community from various state and federal motorcycle associations. The other 6 members would serve to provide the necessary technical expertise related to roadway design, safety and other issues.

    However, in 2009 the highway bill expired and along with it, so did the Council. Motorcyclists were disheartened – the MAC was the only official forum they had to express to authorities at the Department of Transportation the issues they faced on the road. That’s why when the Council was reestablished in 2016, it was viewed as a positive development to once again open a dialogue between government officials and motorcyclists across the nation.

    A Short-Lived Celebration
    Though motorcyclists applauded Congress for reestablishing the Council, this positivity was short-lived. This week, the Federal Highway Administration or FHWA, announced plans to officially open nominations for participants to serve on the newly reestablished Council. The Council would again consist of ten members, however unlike in 2005, only one representative from a motorcycle association will be required to serve. Many balked including Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard, President of the Board of Directors for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation:

    “Despite our best efforts to ensure the motorcycle community had a seat at the table, the FHWA has dismissed our concerns and efforts instead emphasizing councilmembers with safety and engineering backgrounds without any experience actually riding a motorcycle. Including only one motorcyclist in this group is not only imbalanced, unfair and contrary to the mission of the MAC, but it defeats the entire purpose of the Council. The MAC was supposed to carry the voice of motorcyclists – having only one member as an actual motorcyclist will render this Council ineffective.”

    Dozens of Members of Congress appeared to agree with Willard; over the summer a letter was sent to the FHWA encouraging them to adopt similar language as the 2005 MAC which included at least four motorcyclists in the panel of ten. It appears this letter was largely ignored by the Federal Highway Administration.

    The FHWA remains supportive of the Council and its approach to its participants going forward indicating that technical expertise was necessary to ensure the MAC is able to fulfill its charter. The notice from the Agency also indicated that all meetings of the MAC would be public therefore allowing others to speak in support or against of the Council’s activities.

    Nonetheless, the motorcycle community remains displeased. Lobbyist for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation Megan Ekstrom said, “It’s unfortunate that the Federal Highway Administration is choosing to move forward with a Motorcyclist Advisory Council that will not be representative of actual motorcyclists. There are over 10 million bikers on the road in the U.S. and those numbers are increasing. This community is desperate to have a dialogue with the Administration and yet, their requests have fallen on deaf ears. This is a perfect example of the government ‘knowing what’s best’ for a diverse community with a unique set of needs. It’s a travesty that none of this will be represented in this so-called ‘Motorcyclist’ Advisory Council.”

    Nominations to serve on the Council are due at the end of February. The notice from the Federal Highway Administration can be viewed here:

    https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/09/2017-00125/motorcyclist-advisory-council-to-the-federal-highway-administration

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://mrf.org/alerts/. If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at: MRFoffice@mrf.org
    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend to forward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

  • 12/21/2016 1:53 PM | Anonymous

     

     

    For Immediate Release

    December 21, 2016

    The Road to Zero Initiative Advances in the U.S.;
    Motorcyclists Play an Important Role

     

    WASHINGTON, DC – In October, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) unveiled a new initiative dedicated to eliminating all traffic-related deaths in thirty years. “Road to Zero” is the concept that achieving zero traffic-related deaths is achievable through new policies and solutions. First initiated in Sweden in 1997 as “Vision Zero” the program has been adopted by many European. The U.S. version made progress last week with the holding of a symposium and invited speakers to discuss the challenges and choices with the concept. The event also offered participants the opportunity to partake in “breakout sessions” to discuss proposed actions on how to achieve the lofty goal.

    The only entity representing the motorcycle community present at the symposium was the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s Vice-President of Government Affairs, Megan Ekstrom. Ekstrom was invited to participate in one of the breakout sessions focused on how to create a safer environment for other roadway users with modes of transportation outside of traditional automobiles. Working directly with DoT officials, Ekstrom emphasized the need to prevent crashes rather than concepts focused on how to have “safer” crashes. Specifically, she addressed the need for additional training and awareness programs for other drivers teaching them strategies on how to be alert, identify, react and interact with motorcyclists on the road. She suggested that this could be achieved by targeting education towards new drivers on the road and even encompassed in driver education programs as well as included as part of the testing for drivers’ licensing requirements. These sorts of activities and strategies could help to make motorcyclists safer on the nation’s roadways and help contribute to achieving Road to Zero’s goals.

    Other participants in the coalition emphasized alternative approaches; most centered around how to crash ‘safer’ rather than to avoid crashing. Dr. Grant Baldwin, Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention at the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spoke to participants touting the requirement of universal helmet laws as one of the Agency’s key recommendations in achieving zero traffic deaths.

    As the Road to Zero initiative moves forward over the next few months, there will undoubtedly be opportunities to shape the program in different ways. For the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, their emphasis will be focused on how to prevent crashes between motorcycles and automobiles and measures that can be taken suggesting that education and awareness to prevent crashes is the preferred strategy for the motorcycle community.  

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted.Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/page-1654836 or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/. If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at: mrfoffice@mrf.org

    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend to forward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page

     

  • 12/16/2016 1:55 PM | Anonymous

     

     

    For Immediate Release

    December 16, 2016

    End of Year Review – Advocacy Accomplishments & Next Steps

     

    As we edge closer to the end of 2016 and begin to look towards 2017 and all that we want to achieve on behalf of bikers’ rights, it’s important to reflect on the successes we’ve achieved this year. Below is a partial list of some of the victories realized in the realm of motorcycle rights nationally in 2016. In addition to these “wins” there is also commentary about next steps and what we can expect to see in the future regarding each of these issues.

    The Enactment of the FAST ACT -  Major updates were included in the nation’s highway bill that took effect on January 1 of this year. Not only did the FAST Act address the nation’s surface transportation issues and specifically address challenges facing the U.S. transportation system, including improving safety, maintaining infrastructure condition, reducing traffic congestion, improving efficiency and reducing delays in project delivery, but the law allocated over $4 million dollars to go towards states programs addressing motorcyclist education, training and safety.

    FUTURE ACTIVITY: The FAST Act will be in effect until 2020 and therefore conversations about the next highway bill won’t pick up speed until 2018. However, President-Elect Trump has committed to a multi-million-dollar infrastructure package calling for improvements to roads, bridges and airports. Undoubtedly, public safety advocates will try and use this package as a vehicle to insert language surrounding perceived safety issues potentially affecting bikers.

    The Prohibition of Federal Funding for Motorcycle Checkpoints Your MRF and its partners in Washington fought for years to attempt to end this often-used strategy by law enforcement that was employed to harass and conduct searches of motorcyclists. A section in the highway bill that went into effect in January helped to prohibit this practice by stating clearly that federal funds could not be used to conduct these checkpoints going forward.

    FUTURE ACTIVITY: Your MRF will remain vigilant to ensure similar language is included in future iterations of highway bills. However, many states are now using non-federal funding to continue to conduct these checkpoints. If your organization is interested in passing a bill at the state level to end this practice, the MRF can help prepare you with talking points and suggested legislative language. In addition, if you think you have been the victim of a motorcycle checkpoint paid for by federal dollars, contact the MRF for help in pursuing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to ensure your rights are not being violated.

    The Reestablishment of The Motorcyclist Advisory Council Since 2009, bikers have lacked a formal mechanism to engage with officials within the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to discuss motorcycle-related issues. In 2016, with the enactment of the FAST Act, there was a provision that reestablished the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, ensuring bikers a seat at the table and a ‘direct connect’ to our nation’s top highway safety officials when it comes to issues like driverless cars, road barriers and general highway safety issues and how they impact motorcyclists.

    FUTURE ACTIVITY: Though the Council has been directed to be reestablished, the formalized process for doing so has not yet been initiated. The FHWA is likely in 2017 to call for volunteers to serve on the Council and conduct its first meeting. Your MRF will be closely monitoring this process and work with its SMRO partners to ensure motorcycle rights’ advocates are included as a part of the Council.

    The EPA Rescinds Its Regulation Affecting Racing Bikes and Racecars In 2015, the EPA published a rule that would disallow individuals to modify their motorcycles or cars for track racing due to concerns over air emissions. After pressure from industry and Congress, in April of this year the EPA withdrew the section on modified racecars and racing bikes within the proposed regulation. Though work remains, this was a major victory over this ‘regulation happy’ agency.

    FUTURE ACTIVITY: Despite withdrawing the critical section of the rule affecting racing bikes and racecars, the EPA has continued to verbally maintain that it is illegal to make emissions modifications needed to convert a street-legal car or motorcycle into a racecar used solely on the track. Consequently, any business that makes or supplies these parts or services to modify the emissions systems is subject to enforcement. As a result, the RPM Act was introduced that would provide clarity to industry and the racing community that the Clean Air Act DOES allow cars and motorcycles to be converted into dedicated race vehicles and that doing so is not “tampering.” Despite 148 co-sponsors in the House and 33 co-sponsors in the Senate, the RPM Act was not taken up for a vote in 2016. Bikers and the MRF are hopeful that, with a more industry-friendly EPA under President-Elect Trump, this issue will be swiftly dealt with and passage of the RPM Act will be realized next year.

    Introduction of a Federal Bill to Address Motorcycle Profiling – Increasingly, bikers have voiced complaints over incidents where they have felt profiled or singled out by law enforcement because of their appearance, apparel, or because they are simply riding a motorcycle. This unjust and unlawful practice has led to activity at the state level, but in 2016 federal authorities took notice and introduced a bill addressing the issue and promoting public awareness and urging state law enforcement officials to condemn the practice in written policies and training materials. This was a major step in making this issue a national discussion.

    FUTURE ACTIVITY: The MRF will be working with the 19 co-sponsors of the bill to quickly get another bill introduced in the 115th Congress. As with all federal bills, on December 31, 2016 the congressional clock gets “reset” and all pending legislative proposals expire and therefore must be reintroduced. Your MRF is committed to getting the bill reintroduced in 2017 as well as introducing a companion bill in the Senate. However, we do anticipate obstacles as chatter from law enforcement in some states has already resulted in several Senators and Congressman withholding their support. The MRF will need help from you and our partners to ensure this bill goes ‘all the way’ in the 115th Congress.

    Conclusion

    Despite all we have accomplished together in 2016, next year is sure to bring its own set of challenges as well as opportunities to advance the cause of biker rights. In addition to all of the commentary above, together we must remain diligent and steadfast on many, many other issues including the increasing amount of ethanol-blended gasoline at the pump and the effects on our engines, ensuring that fatality statistics are separated between motorcycles and other classes of vehicles such as autocycles, advancements in self-driving cars and effects on motorcyclists and our seemingly never-ending uphill battle to force policymakers to focus on education and crash avoidance instead of “safer” crashing.

    Whatever the future brings, your MRF looks forward to maintaining its status as the ONLY national motorcycle rights organization dedicated to on-street riders and its reputation as the leading expert when it comes to bikers and the freedom to ride.

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted.Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/page-1654836 or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/. If you choose to not receive these alerts moving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at: mrfoffice@mrf.org

    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend to forward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page.

     

  • 12/01/2016 1:56 PM | Anonymous

     


     

    For Immediate Release

    December 1, 2016 

    EPA Finalizes 2017 Volume Requirements for Ethanol

     

    WASHINGTON, DC – Last week, the EPA quietly published the 2017 volume requirements and associated percentage standards under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program passed into law by Congress several years ago. The law requires oil companies to blend increasing volumes of renewable fuels like ethanol with gasoline and diesel. Under the law, the EPA has the authority to designate volume requirements,which according to the 2007 law passed by Congress must reach 36 billion gallons by the year 2022. However, the law does provide the EPA with some authority to lower the annual volumes as circumstances warrant.

    The 2017 requirements were published just days before the Thanksgiving holiday. Every year, the EPA adjusts the amount of renewable fuel it requires oil refiners to pump into the nation’s gas supply. After initially signaling lower renewable fuel goals, the agency reversed course. According to the EPA Press Release, total renewable fuel volumes grew by 1.2 billion gallons from 2016 to 2017, a 6 percent increase. Ethanol enthusiasts were quick to praise the EPA. Senator Joni Ernst, a Republican from the corn-producing state of Iowa, released a statement saying this:

    ”I am pleased the EPA has finally listened to the American people as well as the comments my colleagues and I have pushed forward, and set the final volume requirements for conventional biofuels for 2017 at appropriate and congressionally approved levels. The RFS is critical in reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and provides consumers with choices at the pump. Most importantly, it spurs investment and research in renewable fuels and supports our rural economy in Iowa.”

    Critics of the RFS program were not shy to voice their opinion on the EPA announcement. The American Petroleum Institute called the increase “irresponsible” and a bad deal for the American consumer and again called for repeal or significant reform. The American Petroleum Institute represents the oil and natural gas industry in Washington,DC.

    The U.S. Congressional Energy and Commerce Committee which has jurisdiction over the issue released a statement signed by Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), Energy and Power Subcommittee Vice Chairman Pete Olson (R-TX), and Environment and the Economy Subcommittee Chairman John Shimkus (R-IL). The statement indicated that they still believed the “right balance” needed to found on the issue of ethanol, but they praised EPA for meeting its statutory deadlines set forth in the 2007 law and vowed to continue to monitor the issue going forward.

    The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)and other consumers of small-engine motors continue to have concerns about the effects of higher blends of ethanol in gasoline and the potential to cause severe damage to their bikes.  The MRF is working with stakeholders on both sides of the ethanol debate to negotiate common sense alternatives that would allow the RFS program to continue while keeping in mind the interests of the American street biker.

    The EPA press release can be found here:

    https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/final-renewable-fuel-standards-2017-and-biomass-based-diesel-volume



     

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted.Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/page-1654836 or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at 
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  • 11/21/2016 1:57 PM | Anonymous

     

     

    For Immediate Release

    November 21, 2016

    Motorcycle Riders Foundation Responds to NHTSA’s
    Proposed Policy on Autonomous Vehicles

     

    WASHINGTON, DC –Today, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation filed official comments with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regarding a proposed policy and guidance surrounding automated vehicles or self-driving cars.Released in September, the long-awaited guidance from the Agency was a first step in attempting to regulate this burgeoning technology. The guidance included a model policy for states to better understand how such vehicles are tested and used on the road as well as a recommended 15-point safety assessment for manufacturers to follow to ensure autonomous vehicles are safely designed,developed, tested and deployed. 

    Generally,the guidance was accepted as a positive first step, but very quickly opposing sides materialized with differing views on non-mandatory guidelines versus regulations, the scope of the federal government and effect on preemption for those states that have already begun to address the vehicles in state law, and general concerns over how to ensure safety within a technology that is so rapidly evolving. 

    Representing the voice of the millions of street motorcyclists in the U.S., the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) thoroughly reviewed the proposed policies as well as attended Agency workshops, congressional hearings and other forums to better understand how this technology and these policies would consider and ensure the safety of motorcyclists on the road. The organization’s thoughts are captured in extensive comments filed with the Agency, which can be viewed by clicking on the below link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=NHTSA-2016-0090-0001.

    In short, the comments indicate that while the MRF recognizes the potential that these vehicles may offer in regards to improving road safety, other sections made clear that, “any guidelines, procedures, or regulations promulgated, are considerate and inclusive of all road users, specifically motorcyclists.” The comments centered around four main points including implementing an enforceable requirement for automakers to have robust testing when it comes to motorcycle recognition and responsiveness,ensuring that safeguards surrounding cyber security have strong standards,thoughts and considerations regarding liability in crashes with self-driving vehicles, and general concerns about the scope and enforceability of the policy as well as the need to define a clear role between states and the federal government.

    With over 10 million registered motorcycles on the nation’s roads, the MRF insists that this group is an important stakeholder that is often overlooked when it comes to driverless vehicles. The MRF is working to ensure that bikers across the nation not be overlooked; they recently nominated a well-known motorcycle rights’ activist to serve on a newly established Council at the Department of Transportation that will help advise the Secretary of Transportation on this issue. There has been no indication yet that the nomination has been accepted,but the MRF insists that it will remain vigilant in ensuring bikers have a seat at the table when it comes to automated vehicles.

     

    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.

     

    All Information contained in this release is copyrighted.Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rightsreserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/page-1654836 or call (202) 546-0983
    You are receiving this message because you opted in at 
    http://motorcycleridersfoundation.wildapricot.org/. If you choose to not receive these alertsmoving forward, please click the unsubscribe button or contact the office at:mrfoffice@mrf.org

    PLEASE NOTE: If you intend toforward this email, please remove the unsubscribe link at the bottom of thepage.

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