Update on Federal Legislation from the MRF

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been working hard to prevent any government interference at the national level that may affect our riding freedom and here is a brief summary of three areas that have an impact on our lifestyle.

H.R. 1861 The summary of the bill is: “The Secretary of Transportation may not provide a grant or any funds to a state, county, town, or township, Indian tribe, municipal or other local government to be used for any program to check helmet usage or create checkpoints for an operator of motorcycle or passenger on a motorcycle”.

That’s pretty straight forward, motorcycle only checkpoints are nothing more than a harassment tool and a waste of money. The bill does one more thing; it strikes the words “motorcycle helmets” from the highway safety programs section and inserts “to prevent accidents in order to reduce injuries and deaths resulting from accidents involving motor vehicles and motorcycles”.

As we all know, crash prevention saves lives and that is where the government should focus their attention. If you agree with this there is something you can do. H.R. 1861 is in the U.S. House of Representatives and if your U.S. Rep has not signed onto this bill then you should ask them to do just that. U.S. Reps McCollum, Ellison, and Nolan all need a polite yet firm nudge to sign onto this common sense legislation. U.S. Reps Kline, Walz, Bachmann, Peterson, and Paulsen have all signed onto this bill. If your Rep has not signed on please contact them. If they have already supported us then please contact them to say thanks. All of their contact info is on the back page of every issue of Road Noise. That’s not all that you can do. The MRF has learned that there will be a U.S. Senate companion bill coming soon. That means when the call goes out we also need to contact U.S. Senators Klobuchar and Franken.

H.R. 875 This bill is all about ethanol, E15 (gas with 15% ethanol) and the effect that it may or may not have on our motorcycle engines. The fact is we just don’t know. But we do know that most of the manufacturers that make our rides have language in their owners manuals that state the use of E15 will void our warranties. This bill simply asks for an impartial study to be conducted on the effects of E15 on our motors. If it doesn’t harm our motors great - E15 for everybody. But if it does we need to know. Contact your member of the U.S. House of Reps to ask for support of this bill. Again, their contact info is on the back page of Road Noise.

H.R. 2414 This is the “Black Box Privacy Protection Act” that was introduced back in June. Sooner or later all new motorcycles will have “Black Boxes” that will record what you’re up to and how fast you’re going when you’re doing it. This bill would make the data the property of the motorcycle owner (or car owner). Contact your U.S. Rep and tell them that the information should belong to the vehicle owner. And anyone else interested needs a warrant or subpoena to look at it.

Now I know some of the above may not have a direct impact on your current riding liberty, but we have to win some of these battles or the next attack will have a direct impact on your future freedom of the road. Contact me if you would like more info.

Total Vigilance,

Todd Riba

toddriba@gmail.com (952) 239-0929