Motorcycle Riders Foundation Federal Government and Legislative Update Jeff Hennie Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs Washington, DC
Issues in 111th Congress Federal Agency News Motorcycle myths Politics
Right to Repair • Current law forces vehicle owners to return to the dealership for diagnostic issues. • OEM’s do not have to make diagnostic tools, training and software available to general public. • Think of it as a windows update on your computer. • Shuts out small shops and vehicle owners. • 111th Congress, HR 2057, 71 cosponsors • Senate Bill 3181 has 5 cosponsors • What you can do: Contact your Federal Reps and Senators and ask them to Co Sponsor the Bills.
Distracted Driving • US DOT second DD summit Sept 21 2010 • 80% of crashes and 65%of near crashes • Senate Bill 1938 • Texting while driving only • Blackmail tactics • Comprehensive laws are best. • Maine.
3 Wheelers • The MRF asked the feds to tighten the language. • Should reflect the modern vehicle landscape. • Voyager kits are tough. • MRF submitted comment the Federal Governments revamping of official motorcycle definition. • MRF will be instrumental in the final rule.
Health Insurance • HIPAA loophole • Previous Congress have attempted to address loophole. • Many issues kept a bill from getting through both bodies of Congress. • Goal is to make it illegal for health insurance providers to refuse payment for an injury simply because it came from a motorcycle mishap.
HR 1253 Health Insurance Restrictions and Limitations Clarification Act of 2009 • Requires insurance companies to disclose in writing all health benefit exclusions or limitations at the point of sale. • Passed the US House April 1 2009, Unanimously. • No Senate bill, yet. • Puts Congress on record that this issue needs addressing. • Bill sponsor Bart Stupak(D-MI) is Retiring
Health Reform • Some reform is long overdue • No mention of specifics for motorcycles • Congressional leadership drafted bill in secrecy. • Could changes include mandatory eyewear, glove, foot wear, leggings, helmet and jacket use? • Mandatory rider education? • Or just not cover motorcycle injury at all? • Problematic Promulgation.
Highway Bill Reauthorization (TEA) Overview of current bill • 5 year bill that funds our nations transportation infrastructure and safety programs passed in 2005 known as SAFETEA-LU. • Eighteen and half cents deposited from every gallon of gas bought. • Why do we care? • Grant program (2010 funds) and Advisory Council.
Instructor fees Other “look for motorcyclists” campaigns Promotion of rider education Improvement of training ranges Mobile classrooms Bumper stickers Awareness rallies Video PSA Billboards Money may be allocated to non profits according to law. Training motorcycles Radio PSA Current Highway bill 2010 uses
Highway bill • Current law (SAFETEA-LU) expired 9-30-09. • Passed extension moves that to 12-31-2010 • Current bill is in early phase and likely wont see passage this Congress. • No highway bill has ever been completed the year it was started.
Details • 2 page scribble grew to 775 pages • No transfer penalties or Federal blackmail for motorcycle issues • 2010 grant funding stream will be improved to a mandated percentage of each states highway safety funds. • HOV access maintained
Highlights • NHTSA lobby ban maintained • Requires that all highway -safety plans submitted by the states shall not include any rule or regulation requiring any motorcycle operator 18 and older to wear a helmet. • What you can do: Contact your Federal Representatives and Senators and let them know you want the to pass a robust highway bill with no helmet requirement language.
Long Road Ahead • Funding sources. • 250 billion projected. House Chairman Oberstar wants to spend about $550 bill. • Gas tax increase. • Political problems • All funding options have effectively already been taken off table by the inability for the House, Senate and Obama administration to agree on anything.
Lautenberg (D-NJ) • Huge helmet advocate. • Chairs the subcommittee that is responsible for the safety title of the highway bill. • Sits on every committee or subcommittee transportation related. • Recently called for a mandatory national helmet law in a Senate hearing.
C.P.S.C • -Consumer Product Safety Commission • -Lead levels in children's toys • -Congress passes sweeping reform • -Setting allowable maximums of Pb in ANY item market to Americans 12 and under.
C.P.S.C. • Wheel balancers, valve stems and foot pegs. • Parenting, common sense issues • Standoff between CPSC and Congress. • HR 1587 introduced by Rehberg (R-MT) • 70 cosponsors. • child safety advocates • This is why its important to keep entire motorcycle community engaged on every issue.
C.P.S.C • Commission voted to keep ban in place • Also voted to extend stay of enforcement for 2 years. • Gives industry time to come into compliance • Decision was based on what would happen if the smaller vehicles disappear
-At a House hearing the MIC testified and won support from several member of Congress. -George Radanovich (R-CA): “the FDA allows 1 microgram of lead per gram of candy, A toy maker wanted an exemption to the law but was denied. The toy he was seeking exemption for had less than 1 microgram of lead in a brass axle but it still exceeded the consumer product safety levels.” What can you do? Call your Federal Representative and ask them to Cosponsor HR 1587, the Rehberg Bill.
Livability Communities Act • Halts development of currently undeveloped property • Claims “urban sprawl” has led us to be too dependent on vehicles • This has lead to pollution and energy use. • Cars and Motorcycles would be swapped non paying users. • What is the opposite of livable?
Livability • Less lanes of travel=more congestion and energy use. • Would strip States of the right to determine what is the best use of infrastructure. • S 1619 has passed out of Senate by a party line vote. • What you can do: Call your Senator and tell them to oppose the Dodd Bill S.1619
H. Res. 269 • Supporting the goals of a motorcycle safety month. • Passed US House unanimously. • Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and Michael Burgess(R-TX) • Lead sponsors and also co chairs of US House Motorcycle Safety Caucus. • Giffords is an avid rider.
Co Chair Giffords (D-AZ) Tim Walz (D-MN) Bob Filner (D-CA) John Duncan (D-CA) Michael Conaway (R-TX) Co Chair Burgess (R-TX) Chet Edwards (D-TX) G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) Bart Stupak (D-MI) Randy Forbes (R-VA) Doug Lanborn (R-CO) US House Motorcycle Caucus • What you can do: Call your Federal Representative and ask them to join Reps Giffords and Burgess in the Motorcycle Caucus.
Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers inside the Beltway • Second annual • 100+ attendees • 16 States represented • Over 200 Congressional office visits • Third Annual May 12, 2011 • Thursday before BEAST in Baltimore.
Crash Causation Study • Mandated in SAFETEA-LU • Pilot study completed • 53 investigations, 23 completed • 7507.00 per crash • NHTSA report 391 • 900 crashes now 300 • MSF withdraws $3 million pledge
MSF Naturalistic study • Unhappy with the feds, MSF launches own study. • Using volunteers, cameras and other sensors are attached to the motorcycle. • MSF to partner with UVA. • Analyze data without having a crash.
Other MSF News • 33 new different curricula. • Sport bike course. • a one day refresher course. • set of on-road classes.
IIHS & HILDI • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety • Highway Insurance Loss Data Institute • Motorcycle Study • Rider Ed doesn’t work. • ABS Bikes are 37% percent safer. • All bikes should have ABS • “Horsepower is bad enough, cheap horsepower is even worse” • Grunt in the Front slap down!
GHSA&NHTSA • Motorcycle Fatalities drop almost 16 percent according to a Governors Highway Safety Assoc. & National Highway Traffic Safety Admin. • Not because of reduced riding, although that’s what they want you to believe. • Only addition nationally was the 2010 grants • Helmet law advocates will use this as a springboard. • MRF quoted in USA Today, AP, Gannet .
DOT NHTSA NTSB NHTSA issues request for application from law enforcement to conduct roadside motorcycle only checkpoints. MRF is working to determine which Law Enforcement Organizations have applied. MRF is working on a letter from Congress to NHTSA urging them not to discriminate against Motorcyclists. What you can do: once that letter is public you can ask your Reps and Senators to sign on.
EPA and DOT • The EPA and DOT are both exploring moving from E-10 to an E-15 gasoline blend. • 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline. • Both claim OK for all vehicles after testing just a handful of cars and no motorcycles. • MIC claims that a 15 percent blend could affect engine durability and deterioration. • Some have successfully modified motorcycle engines to run on the new blend.
EPA • Sent 9 motorcycle exhaust manufacturers survey. • Profit and loss statements • Employee information • Part numbers and units shipped • Claiming that they need to update the 20 year old standard due technical changes. • Those manufactures in the MIC are sending back a compiled report. • This is a personal past time of a particular EPA employee who has targeted motorcyclists his entire career. • What you can you do: The MRF is working with Congress to send a letter to the EPA asking the EPA to cease targeting motorcyclists.
The myth of motorcycle data • Government ALWAYS uses 1997 today as the baseline when referencing the increase in motorcycle fatalities. • Actual government numbers go back to 1975. • When the entire picture is viewed it shows that 1997 was the lowest number of fatalities for the entire 33 year period
Light Blue: Registrations (in millions)Dark Blue: Fatalities (in thousands)
November, 2010 • Perfect time to meet with Federal elected officials at home. • Perfect time to volunteer for ANY campaign. • Parades, BBQ’s, yard signs all work. • Money always works. • MRF PAC is your Federal PAC.
MOTORCYCLE RIDERS FOUNDATION POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE SURVEY • 1. Would you support or oppose legislation to provide states with grants for motorcycle rider training, automobile driver education and awareness and licensing enforcement? • 2. Would you support or oppose legislation concerning educating automobile drivers about motorcycles? • 3. Would you support or oppose legislation guaranteeing states the right to make their own decisions regarding transportation safety equipment requirements; for example, motorcycle helmets, without interference from Congress or federal agencies? • 4. Would you support or oppose legislation to prohibit discrimination against motorcyclists by public or private health care providers? • 5. Would you support or oppose legislation to ban discrimination against motorcyclists by federal, state, corporate, or private entities? • 6. Would you support or oppose the inclusion of motorcycles in national transportation planning such as intelligent transportation systems, road, bridge and barrier design?
INFLUENCE! • Anti motorcycle legislators come from both sides of the isle and at every level of govt. • Unity is key. • Issues we face are diverse and dynamic. • The ultimate minority. • Worst enemy? • Recruit riders.
Citizen Lobbyist Unite! • Everyone that can vote can lobby. • Get involved and stay informed. • Develop and maintain relationships with as many elected officials as you can. • Neglect no one. • Volunteer. You help them, they help you. • Organize a trip with your MRO to Washington DC.