May 19, 2021
For Immediate Release - Taking Back the Hill
For the last 15 months the halls of Congress have been silent. Health and safety restrictions have all but eliminated the normal atmosphere on Capitol Hill. However, this week things began to return to normal. Bikers from over 25 states made their way to Washington D.C. and spent Monday and Tuesday meeting in person and via zoom with lawmakers and their staff. In many cases MRF members were the FIRST in person guests many members of congress had hosted since March of last year!
Bikers advocated on issues related to profiling, autonomous vehicles, the highway bill, ethanol and a host of other items. The action wasn’t limited to D.C. as MRF members who couldn’t make the trip spent the last few days meeting with elected officials and staff back home. In the coming weeks the MRF will put out calls to action on many of the topics we covered this week. You can help move our agenda forward by responding to these calls to action and build off of the great work done in D.C. But for now, enjoy some of the pictures your fellow rides snapped while in out nation’s capital!
Responsible and law-abiding motorcyclists across the country continue to report instances of being harassed and singled out by law enforcement simply because they are riding a motorcycle or wearing motorcycle-related apparel. Understanding this, in 2018 the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution focused on the topic. Additionally, coast to coast state legislatures are introducing bills and resolutions to end the profiling of bikers.
Despite these successes the House of Representatives has failed to follow the lead of the U.S. Senate and state lawmakers by going on record about the need to end the profiling of bikers. Last month Congressman Tim Walberg of Michigan reintroduced a House version of an anti-profiling resolution which gained 138 cosponsors during the 116th Congress.
The updated version of the resolution, H. Res 366, now needs to match or surpass the cosponsor total from last year. Let's help Congressman Walberg gain cosponsors and finally get this resolution passed!
Take Action H. Res 366
RIDING FREE FROM DC:
Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway
Automated Driving Systems (AKA Autonomous Vehicles)
Late last year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced a rulemaking process for developing a “Framework for Automated Driving System (ADS) Safety.” As part of the process public comments were solicited by NHTSA. This week the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) submitted a 6-page formal letter outlining our thoughts on the development, testing and deployment of ADS.
Building on past submissions to both Congress and the U.S. Department of Transportation, the MRF laid out important priorities that NHTSA should consider. Some of the main topics the MRF highlights include the need to account for the unique attributes and characteristics of motorcycles, cyber security concerns, liability provisions, the role of individual states, the need for public transparency, threats to the protected communication spectrum and the challenges of regulations keeping pace with this technology.
While ADS has promising potential, the devil will be in the details. How this technology is developed, tested and deployed will impact all Americans. We at the MRF will continue to fight to ensure motorcyclists are included in these discussions.
To read the full letter from the MRF to NHTSA click here.
SMRO Meetings Around the Country
January and February are traditionally the busy season for state motorcyclist rights organizations (SMRO) annual meetings. This year many of those meetings have been rescheduled, held virtually or have unfortunately been cancelled all together. While we know these are difficult times, the MRF remains committed to working with our state partners and participating in these events when possible.
In January, MRF Vice President Jay Jackson travelled to Bowling Green, Kentucky to attend the Kentucky Motorcycle Association/Kentucky Bikers Association Freedom Fighters Forum. Also, that month MRF lobbyist Rocky Fox traveled to Austin, Texas for Texas Bikers Legislative Weekend. This event was sponsored by the Texas Council of Clubs and Independents, Region 1 Texas Defenders and hosted at the Veterans Collective facility.
Both events included a number of speakers and elected officials discussing issues important to all motorcyclists. Elected officials from Kentucky included, Secretary of State Michael Adams, State Senator Jimmy Higdon, staff from U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s office and via video message Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Slider Gilmore from Iowa even made a presentation in Kentucky! The Texas event included a townhall style question and answer with State Senator Drew Springer. Texas also welcomed leaders in the motorcycle rights movement from California, Illinois, New Mexico, New York and Pennsylvania to Austin. Thank you again to the riders in Kentucky and Texas for including the MRF in these events and working hard to deliver results for riders in those states.
If your SMRO has hosted an event in 2021 please submit your pictures and details to firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them with your fellow riders across the country!