ABATE of MN's 2017 Legislative Talking Points

The Minnesota State Legislature convened on January 3rd, 2017 and is expected to adjourn in mid-May. Below are ABATE of Minnesota’s positions on some of the motorcycling related issues. ABATE of Minnesota’s 12th annual Bikerday at the Minnesota State Capitol will be held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

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No Change to the Adult Motorcycle Helmet Law

The motorcyclists of Minnesota ask that you continue to support the current Minnesota adult motorcycle helmet law, which requires those under 18 and those on a learners permit to wear a helmet while allowing endorsed adults the choice to wear or not to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle. No helmet on the market can prevent a crash. The best way to prevent injuries is to prevent crashes. Crash avoidance and holding those who use our roadways accountable for their actions are the key factors for injury prevention.

 

Oppose Changes to Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

There are attempts to bring motorcycles into the Minnesota no-fault insurance regulations.  When Minnesota’s automotive no-fault insurance law was created in the mid-1970s, motorcycles were specifically excluded for good reason: Motorcycles are very different from cars and require different insurance policies. In addition, this change would drastically raise motorcycle insurance rates.  Estimates up to $1500 per year have been quoted, and this is per bike, not per rider. Owners of multiple motorcycles would be especially hard hit.

 

Curtail Profiling of Motorcyclists in Minnesota

SF22 (Osmek) HF164 (Drazkowski) Motorcyclists are frequently stopped by police as they travel simply because they ride a motorcycle or are wearing motorcycle riding apparel. Often these pretext stops are accompanied with the explanation that a traffic infraction has occurred, which is not always the case. In some cases people have been told they are violating a law that does not exist. In other cases the violation cited simply has not occurred. Motorcyclists come from all walks of life and most are law abiding citizens. Motorcyclists should not be treated differently from other members of the transportation mix. We support legislation that assures chief law enforcement officers, at the state and local level, establish and enforce a written policy governing the conduct of peace officers engaged in stops of motorcycle riding citizens. 

 

Improve Motorcycle Training and Awareness

HF122 (Nash) - SF77 (Kiffmeyer) 

This three part bill will help promote ABATE of Minnesota's mission of safer riding and driving that will benefit all motorcycle riders in Minnesota. ABATE of Minnesota strongly believes that passage of this bill would benefit all motorcycle riders in Minnesota by promoting rider education, motorist awareness, and crash avoidance. 

The first part of the bill offers a premium reduction of at least 10% on motorcycle insurance coverage to riders that successfully complete a state approved motorcycle safety course. ABATE of MN believes that rider education leads to greater crash reduction and safer roads for motorcyclists and other road users.

The second part calls for the creation of a “Start Seeing Motorcycles” license plate that would be available for motorcycles, automobiles, pick-ups and recreational vehicles. The proceeds from the sale of these plates will go into the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Fund that promotes rider education, public awareness of motorcyclists, and safer riding.

The last part of the bill is related to motorcycle endorsement fees. Motorcycle riders in Minnesota pay an additional fee to have a motorcycle endorsement. A portion of these fees are credited to the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Fund up to $750,000. After that cap is reached only 90% goes into the motorcycle safety fund. The other 10% goes into the general fund. Over the last three years this cap has been reached and the 10% has equaled roughly $20,000 per year. This is a significant amount of motorcyclist’s money that would be better disbursed by the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Fund than the state general fund.

For more info, call Todd Riba @ 952-239-0929.