Motorcycle Riders Foundation • Federal Government and Legislative Update • Jeff Hennie • Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs • Washington, DC
Issues in Congress Highway Bill Federal Agency News Census Motorcycle myths Politics
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) • -62 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 recent 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 exceed the consumer product safety levels.”
H. Res. 269 • Supporting the goals of a motorcycle safety month • 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.
Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers inside the Beltway • Second annual • 100+ attendees • 16 States represented • Over 200 Congressional office visits • Stay tuned for info on next years event which will be bigger and better!
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 • 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?
Right 2 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, 64 cosponsors • -Senate Bill 3181 has 4 cosponsors • Good, bipartisan legislation
Distracted Driving • Senate Bill 1938 • Texting while driving only • Blackmail tactics • No MRF support
3 Wheelers • The MRF asked the feds to tighten the language. • Should reflect the modern vehicle landscape • Request for Comment on a proposed rule by the US DOT was issued recently. • MRF will be instrumental in the final rule.
Highway Bill • -Overview of current bill • -5 year bill that funds our nations transportation infrastructure and safety programs. • -Eighteen and half cents deposited from every gallon of gas bought. • -Grant program and Advisory Council.
Arizona $100K California $480K Colorado $110K Idaho $100K Minnesota $100K Montana $100K Nebraska $100K Nevada $100K New Mexico $100K North Dakota $100K Oregon $100K South Dakota $100K Texas $366K Utah $100K Washington $126K Wyoming $100K FY 2009 funds
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) expire 9-30-09. An house passed extension moves that to 12-31-2010 • -Current bill is in early phase and likely wont see passage this year. • -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. • Eligible uses are rider education and awareness. • Congress extended the program one year. • August 1st is deadline.
Highlights • HOV access maintained • 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.
Rumble Strips • -Big picture problems • -Funding sources • -250 billion projected. House Chairman Oberstar wants to spend about $550 bill. • -Gas tax increase. • -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.
Crash Causation Study • Mandated in SAFETEA-LU • Pilot study completed • 53 investigations, 23 completed • 7507.00 per crash • 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. • Analyze data without having a crash. • Other MSF news. • New curriculum to include a one day course, and a 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. • “Horsepower is bad enough, cheap horsepower is even worse”
DOT NHTSA NTSB -Secretary LaHood former US Congressman and MRF Champion. -NHTSA Administrator nominee Chuck Hurley former head of MADD withdraws. -David Strickland, former Senate staffer, is now NHTSA boss. MRF met with him last month. -NTSB traveling to states to lobby in favor of helmet law.
GHSA • Motorcycle Fatalities drop almost 16 percent according to a Governors Highway Safety Assoc. • 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. .
Where’s Everybody Going? • States that have powerful SMRO’s are going to loose congressional seats after this years Census. • Motorcyclists will need to adapt. • States Rights argument decreases every time federal money and resources are diverted to the states. • Urge your State government to not rely on Washington DC.
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)
New York, New York • Silent Night, 416-a, and Alan Gerson • Bikers unite! • Defeated in primary • More bills were introduced • None have moved
New Hampshire • Mandatory helmet bill • Motorcycle Sound bill • MRF testified on both bills • Both bills defeated
Build Political Capital • Engage your local officials on every level. • Federal, State, County, Township • Face to face, phone calls, emails, faxes. • Get involved in a campaign of some kind. • Parades, Propaganda, Financially • Come to Washington DC to lobby your Federal elected officials.