Legislative News – 2015 and previous (archive)

PDF File Link —>  This year’s Legislative Issues focus areas

See Agenda and Minutes, for current updates.

May 2015 – Our May Motorcycle awareness rally was a big success, featuring Representative Andy Olson, Representative Sara Gelser, Senator Betsy Close, and Team Oregon Director Steve Garets, who came to support our campaigns to promote motorcycle safety, awareness, and education.
Gubernatorial candidates Bruce Cuff, Tim Carr, and Gordon Challstrom came to echo our need to regain our liberties.  Finishing off with candidates Joe-Rae Perkins and Mark Callahan who also made an appearance to show their support.
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April 2016, National Legislative News
FW: NEW YORK FREEDOM RIDER NEWS- 4/29/16- motorcycle related updates
CALIFORNIA- update
AB1932: Vehicles: motorcycle safety training.
Status: Apr. 28: Read second time. Ordered to Consent Calendar.

Apr. 27: From committee: Do pass. To Consent Calendar. Vote: 19-0

Bill text: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/15-16/bill/asm/ab_1901-1950/ab_1932_bill_20160405_amended_asm_v97.pdf

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LOUISIANA- update

HB337: Restricts the safety helmet requirement to motorcycle riders and operators and riders under the age of twenty-one

Status: 04/26: Read third time by title, amended, roll called on final passage, Vote: 48-32. Failed to pass.

Bill text: http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/ViewDocument.aspx?d=993570

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MARYLAND– law
SB774: Establishing that an autocycle is considered to be a motorcycle for the purposes of the Maryland Vehicle Law; defining the term “autocycle” to include a motor vehicle manufactured in compliance with federal motor vehicle safety standards; prohibiting an applicant for a specified driver skills examination from using an autocycle for the examination; requiring that the form for specified written accident reports distinguish autocycles from motorcycles; etc.

Status: 4/26/2016: Approved by the Governor – Chapter 231

Bill text: http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2016RS/bills/sb/sb0774T.pdf

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MISSOURI- update

HB1464: Exempts motorcyclists 21 years of age or older from wearing a helmet when operating a motorcycle or motortricycle if they have the appropriate health insurance coverage

Status:  4/28/2016: Senate-Executive Session Held (S) – SCS voted do pass

4/27/2016: Senate- Public Hearing Held

Bill text: http://house.mo.gov/billtracking/bills161/billpdf/perf/HB1464P.PDF

—SB851: Allows qualified motorcycle operators to operate motorcycles and motortricycles without protective headgear under certain conditions

Status: 4/28/2016: Informal Calendar S Bills for Perfection–SBs 851 & 694

Bill text: http://www.senate.mo.gov/16info/pdf-bill/comm/SB851.pdf

—SB1046: Defines “motorcycle profiling” and creates regulations to eliminate motorcycle profiling

Status: 4/27/2016: Hearing Conducted S Transportation, Infrastructure and Public Safety Committee

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OKLAHOMA– law

HB2260: Motor vehicles; motorcycles; driver licenses; motorcycle safety course.

Status: 04/26/2016: Approved by Governor

Bill text: http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/cf_pdf/2015-16%20ENR/hB/HB2260%20ENR.PDF

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TENNESSEE– law

HB2045: As introduced, redefines “autocycle” and clarifies definitions related to the weight or engine displacement of all-terrain vehicles and autocycles; prohibits a person from operating an autocycle with a child passenger if such child is required to use a car seat in a passenger car.

Status: 04/28/2016: signed by Governor

Bill text: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Bill/HB2045.pdf

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New York Freedom Rider

Freedom is not a spectator’s sport

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

April 2014 – BikePAC officer elections – Legislative Director position is currently vacant, as this officer has been elected to Executive Director.

March 2014 – BikePAC is working proactively by crafting several bills to promote liberty and safety, as we continue to build bridges on both sides of the aisle.

February 2014 – BikePAC is working with A.B.A.T.E. of Oregon, Representative Sara Gelser, Benton County bicycle and pedestrian commission to make a 14″ by 6″ magnet to attach to the back of Corvallis and Benton County utility vehicles, reminding drivers to “Look Twice”.
The Governor’s Advisory committee on motorcycle safety supports the idea, and have a motion on the table to discuss funding, to expand it into a state wide campaign.

November-January 2014

We’ve spent the holidays connecting with Federal motorcycle rider’s advocates and Legislators, getting on track with them on some key issues, that involve you, on your motorcycle.  We’ve gone a step further and developed a 5 part questionnaire to grade our Legislators on how they align with our issues.

The American Motorcycle Association and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation have set the pace, as we look forward in to 2014 and 2015, on Oregon’s legislative issues.

1. Right to repair laws, oppose any “rubber stamping”
2. Privacy issues with black box technology
3. Lane Sharing is not on their list, but is on ours
4. Oppose any mandatory safety gear
5. Monitor MAP21 for discriminatory language or blackmale
6. Discourage CDC from reporting on motorcycle safety
7. Continue discussions to clarify definition of a motorcycle
8. Monitor the HIPPA and affordable care act for discriminatory language
9. Discourage roadside sound testing
10. Get involved with infrastructure planning
11. States to pursue anti profiling bill to discourage MC checkpoints
12. Discourage the sale of E15 until further testing is done on motorcycle engines. (Oregon Fueling stations serving E15)
13. Monitor private agencies reporting against our agenda, and watch for federal funding

July – October 2013

Governor’s Advisory Committee (GAC) on Motorcycle Safety
-Request for BikePAC
presentation on current Federal Legislation and data pertaining to E-15.
-Close collaboration with ODOT on road hazards, specific to motorcycle riders:
Reporting Road Hazards
– By order of the Governor, future Legislation relating to motorcycles will be limited to the following:
rider education, drinking and riding, road hazards unique to motorcycles, motorists awareness of motorcycles, sharing the road and other safety issues
 -Update on Oregon’s motorcycle fatalities- discussion on the impact of rider training on falling fatality counts.

Next GAC on motorcycle safety meeting:  Thursday, October 17th @ 4pm
Location:  TLC Building, Alsea Conference Room
4040 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, Oregon 97302-1142


Legislative Leadership seminar Presented: by Shown Dow: Power point available

BikePAC accomplishments this session
-Google car will not be tested on Oregon’s roads until safety data is available- Rep. Read has us covered.
-Distracted Driving fine Doubled to $500 –
BTA/BikePAC collaboration
-New relationships: Democrats, House Transportation committee, GAC, BTA, Legislative Directors own home town Bike/Ped advisory commission-
Report available, Team Oregon, O.D.O.T., Oregon Bicycycle/Pedestrian advisory committee(OBPAC), and Powerful friends with MRF.
-New opportunities for future legislation in the Senate
-Improvement in communication between MC organizations, but we can do better.
-Discovered ways to hold traffic
accountable for sharing the road, thanks to the BTA legal clinic!
Team Oregon partnership

Opportunities for improvement
-Organization
-Diversifying Legislation
-Recruiting
-Responsibility to improve technical skills
-MC Education and Awareness
-ABATE collaboration
-Long term/Short term goal setting
-Collaboration among BikePAC members
-Modeling Positive attitudes about our future

JUNE
Motorcyclists rally in Washington, D.C., seeking independent testing of E15 fuel blend June 19, 2013


AMA Board Chair Maggie McNally addresses the crowd at the AMA E15 Fuel for Thought Lobby Day. Photo: Jay Westcott
U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) speaks at the Lobby Day. Photo: Jay Westcott
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.) talks about ethanol. Photo: Jay Westcott
A few of the riders who supported the event. Photo: Jay Westcott
It was a good day for a ride by the U.S. Capitol building. Photo: Jay Westcott
Motorcyclists and federal lawmakers spoke out about their concerns over E15 fuel in a rally at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, June 19. The riders gathered to urge their senators and representatives to call for independent testing of the E15 ethanol fuel blend in motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines before it is allowed for sale at retail gas stations.
The riders attending the American Motorcyclist Association’s “E15: Fuel for Thought” event represented the millions of Americans who are fearful about the high potential for inadvertent misfueling with E15 and the subsequent engine damage that could occur in their motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle engines.
Several U.S. representatives joined the AMA in questioning the EPA’s decision to allow the sale of E15, calling it “not good to put in anyone’s gas tank,” “a disaster in the making” and “bad policy.”
“When you have a type of fuel that, if inadvertently used, has the potential to damage engines and fuel systems and void a manufacturer’s new-vehicle warranty, you really should move with caution when it comes to putting that fuel in the marketplace,” said AMA Board Chairman Maggie McNally. “Issuing rules that allow the sale of E15 at gas stations without adequate testing to be sure it’s safe in motorcycles and ATVs, not to mention engines in boats and power equipment, just isn’t wise. We’re here today to deliver that message to our legislators, so that the right safeguards can be put in place.”
E15 is a gasoline formulation that contains up to 15 percent ethanol by volume, a higher percentage of ethanol than in E10 fuel blends now on sale. Although the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved E15 for use in 2001-and-newer light-duty vehicles, which includes cars, light trucks and medium-duty passenger vehicles, none of the estimated 22 million motorcycles and ATVs currently in use are on the EPA approved list, and no manufacturer has approved E15 for use in its motorcycles or ATVs.
The AMA has repeatedly expressed concerns to government officials and federal lawmakers about possible damage to motorcycles and ATVs from the inadvertent use of E15, which is now becoming available at gas stations. That could easily occur if a rider selects E15 on a fuel blender pump thinking it is E10 or E0 (no ethanol) fuel. Many riders are also concerned about misfueling with E15 leftover in the pump hose from a previous user.
The EPA is merely telling alarmed consumers not to use E15, downplaying the possibility of inadvertent misfueling. Proponents of E15 go a step further, noting that the EPA has specifically prohibited its use in motorcycles and other small engines and stating that it would be illegal for motorcyclists to use E15.
“Telling motorcyclists that E15 use is illegal completely misses the point, because motorcyclists don’t want to use it in the first place unless independent testing confirms it is safe,” said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Wayne Allard. “One of our concerns has always been that we might unintentionally put E15 in our tanks, due to confusing implementation of the EPA’s misfueling mitigation plan.”
The AMA E15: Fuel for Thought event began with a motorcycle ride around the U.S. Capitol, followed by a rally with numerous federal lawmakers speaking. Participants then visited their congressional delegations’ offices to ask for support for legislation that calls for independent research into the effects of E15 fuel on motorcycles and ATVs.
Lawmakers speaking at the rally included: U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Chris Stewart (R-Utah), Tim Griffin (R-Ark.), David Valadao (R-Calif.), Bill Posey (R-Fla.) and Tom Petri (R-Wis.).
Sensenbrenner noted that the EPA simply is not listening when it comes to E15 fuel.
“When they started going on this push for E15, I sent out a letter to all the auto manufacturers, and every last one of them said that using E15 in automobiles manufactured after 2001 would wreck the engines and void the warranties,” Sensenbrenner said. “They didn’t listen to that. So an EPA mandate [for E15] would mean that a lot of people would end up having very expensive repairs that are not covered by the warranty.
“Corn with a lot of butter is really good to eat,” Sensenbrenner added. “But what is good to eat is not good to put in anybody’s gas tank.”
The risk is just too great for E15 fuel to be sold at the pump, said Stewart.
“The federal government does silly things from time to time, and this is one of them,” Stewart said. “You have these beautiful machines out here, and if you put one of these blends in there, you’re going to burn up those engines, and the manufacturers won’t honor the warranty. It’s just not a good idea to have this blend… We’re going to challenge the EPA, and I think we’re going to have some success.”
Griffin noted that E15 isn’t fully tested, and should be, before it is allowed to be sold.
“E15 is a disaster in the making,” Griffin said. “The research isn’t done on whether it’s safe. Ethanol is just bad for engines generally, and to take it to E15, which puts at risk a bunch of equipment, as well as your motors, it’s just ridiculous.”
Valadao said it was important for people to speak out on the issue.
“It’s just bad policy in general,” Valadao said. “For me to be a part of this, and to have the opportunity to support you, it’s an honor, because it’s an issue I feel deeply about. You stepping up here means a lot.”
Posey agreed that E15 will cause issues for vehicle owners.
“There are three things you need to know about E15: It’s bad. It’s bad. And it’s bad,” Posey said. “We all know what it can do to cars. We know what it does to bikes. We know what it does to racecars. We know what it does to motorboats. We know what it does to lawnmowers. It’s not good for anything.”
Petri noted that several manufacturers had told him of the potential dangers of E15.
“E15 will cause big problems,” Petri said. “I say this as someone who comes from a corn-producing state. But we also make Harley-Davidsons in our part of the world. We make Mercury outboard motors in our part of the world. We make an awful lot of small engines for Briggs & Stratton. And the manufacturers of all this equipment tell me [E15] will not work. It will cause a lot of problems, and involve unnecessary expense.”
A number of AMA members who rode their motorcycles to Washington, D.C., from points near and far took time to lobby legislators for testing of E15 fuels. The riders were assisted in making their visits to their elected representatives by members of the AMA’s Washington, D.C.-based staff.
In addition to the beautiful weather that greeted riders were dozens of members from the Antique Automobile Club of America, who parked classic cars alongside motorcycles on the National Mall. Tom Cox, AACA national president, spoke to the motorcyclists in the audience, telling them that E15 is a serious concern for their members, as well as thanking the AMA for organizing the event.
The AMA’s Allard observed that the AMA E15: Fuel For Thought lobby day was a success in raising the visibility of the serious concerns related to E15 fuel.
“The bottom line here is simple,” Allard said. “There’s no proof for motorcyclists that E15 is safe, and given the realities of the marketplace, anywhere it is sold, there will likely be inadvertent misfueling problems, which could lead to expensive repairs and also void a new vehicle’s warranty.
“That means the loser in all of this is the riders,” Allard said. “The AMA stands behind not only its member motorcyclists, but all riders, in calling for more extensive testing of E15, and more thorough misfueling safeguards.”
Supporters of the lobby day include EagleRider of Falls Church, Va.; Coleman PowerSports of Falls Church, Va., and Woodbridge, Va.; the National Turkey Federation; National Chicken Council; National Pork Producers Council; American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers; Specialty Equipment Market Association; and the Antique Automobile Club of America.

 

MRF Conference, Billings Montana
June 8-9, 2013

Legislative Director
BikePAC of Oregon, Inc.

The conference started off with a great presentation given by Matt Danielson, a lawyer who works only on motorcycle related issues, such as unlawful search and seizures. He pointed out the inconsistencies from the CDC report (June 2012) on helmets, and reminds us to read the actual Research articles, cited as footnotes in this, and other reports that misrepresent motorcycle safety. It is OUR responsibility to set the record straight with those who report on this and any other reports involving motorcycle safety. We must keep in mind what is being omitted from these and other reports. Matt pointed out that the actual studies were inconclusive, and reported no body part injury data to draw from, in order to make a viable claim that helmets actually save lives. The researchers concluded simply that it warrants continued discussions. The data was dissected and explained in a power point presentation (see attached), that’s easy to present to Legislators, or in a class room setting. After visiting with Matt at the banquet dinner, we exchanged contact information, and he promised to send me his power point when he returned home.

Our Washington Lobbyist – Jeff Henny

 Was a young guy (late 30ish), who also gave a great presentation on current legislation (See below), and discussed ways in which the MRF, and we must evolve along with technology requiring us to adapt our strategies.
Jeff pointed out some legislation that we’ve dealt with this term, such as motorcycle check points, the Google car, the black box technology, used to track your vehicle’s braking, controls, speed, and possible location, as well as increases in ethanol.

 These legislative issues require a watchful eye and to broadened approach to motorcycle safety campaigns. Our existence depends on it, he says. He went on to define the new reporting agencies that have grown in abundance, and dealing with motorcycle rights (SEE PAGE 1 AND PAGE 2).

Riding Responsibly and the three R’s
Wayne Wierson:

 I specifically chose this particular break out session to find positive ways to encourage Oregon’s riding groups to have a plan of action when dealing with a riding partner whose riding impaired. While doing so, it is my hope that we can cut down on preventable motorcycle fatalities. Whether it’s from too much alcohol, or current physical, psychological, or emotional state at the time. We discussed ways to address a rider whose had too much to drink, and focused on the importance of knowing your own limits BEFORE you become impaired.

 Why the urgency?

 -1/3 fatalities have high BAC

 -Every state has impaired riding at the top of their fatal crash reports.

 Riding demonstration by “Ax’ axmaker

A riding instructor from Idaho’s advanced riding course gave a demonstration on braking and crash avoidance techniques, while demonstrating both proper and improper braking.
Ax focused on the importance of practicing the skills learned in the rider training course, in order to create muscle memory that can be called upon at a moments notice. I took video with my phone, and attached as much of the demonstration as it’s memory would hold.

 I thought it was interesting that he encourages riders to film their rides to review after a ride, in order to review or pick up on possible opportunities for improving your riding skills, and eliminate potential bad habits that get overlooked while out riding. Habits, both good and bad, are developed over time with experienced and new riders.

 The attorney, Matt Danielson, also encourages riders to film traffic stops for their own protection, and discussed it’s validity in court.

 National Update on Current Motorcycle Related Legislation

 -NYC mayor bloomberg bans soft drinks

 -Smoking outdoors, in your car and home

 -NHTSA loves checkpoints

 Motorcycle check points serve as a safety inspection to close a loop hole created by motorcycles not having to stop for seat belt checkpoints. NHTSA has set aside $ 250,000 dollars for this, and has dispersed 70000 to Georgia. Accordint to Jeff Henny, NHTSA has set $250000 aside for this purpose, and has dispersed $70,000 to Georgia, which involves motor cops, helicopters, hefty fines, with no reporting being offered.

-HR 904

 would prohibit any future funding for mc only checkpoints and mandatory helmet laws

 hr1861 delegates this money to be spent on improving roads. Henny urges us all to contact our representatives, and ask them to cosponsor the Sensenbrenner bill.
according to this bill, states are prohibited from using helmet law as a method for reducing mc fatalities in their highway safety plan to get federal $$$

-current status of MAP-21 in unclear if funding will continue

 
-Ethanol – Very controversial

The EPA and DOT are both moving the E10 to and E15 gas in blend.

 MIC motorcycle injury council claims that a 15 percent blend could affect engine durability and deterioration.

 Final Ruling banned motorcycles from using the blend

 However there currently is no legal resource for blown out bike engines due to the use of E15.

 Look for blend sticker on pumps

-HR875

 would direct the EPA to do more research on the effects of e-15 blends and halt the sale of e15
Authored by Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
This bill passed out of committee last month, May 2013.

-SB 344

 would prohibit the sale of gasoline containing more than 10% ethanol blends to be used in light duty vehicles authored by states


-Club Legislation

62 bills with the term “gang” in the language

anti bullying, hate crimes, etc…

-Black Box Bill no bill number yet

Data recorders – who owns that data?

privacy concerns. This bill would make data your property and force dealers to disclose the recording abilities of the data recorder.

Authored by James Sensenbrenner…

Call your Reps and ask them to cosponsor this bill, regarding car operations recording Insurance companies are pressuring drivers/riders to install the black boxes, in order to save money on their insurance. They would then have access to your vehicles speed, time of day used, braking, as well as general operation of all your vehicles controls, including your radio.

-Google car- no safety data offered

-Legislators on the Congressional mc Caucus

Vice chair – Griffin

Braley IA

Griffin AR

Brrgess TX

Butterfield NC

Conway TX

Denham CA

Duncan TN

Forbes VA Jones NC

Walberg MI

Waltz MN


-Obama Care

Could adversely effect motorcyclists

 May include mandate that in order to be covered for motorcycle injury you must wear helmet, even in freedom states.
HIPPA story – Dept of health and human services -Total wildcard
Issues with anti discrimination laws in specific states?????????????????????????
source of injury loophole*****

-Departments operate behind closed doors, no open access. They don’t have to meet with you

-The current Crash Causation Study … not usable …

FHWA

Mandated in SAFETEA-LU

Pilot study completed

53 investigations, 23 completed

7507/00 per crash

900 crashes now 225

Feds admit that will not investigate enough crashes to generate a credible study

MSF withdraws $3 million pledge

Lead engineer resigns, however it is “law”


-MSF, unhappy with the Feds, so they Launch a Naturalistic Study using volunteers, cameras, and other sensors attached to the motorcycle.

100 riders, 7 different types of motorcycles
3.5 million dollar price tag
GSXR problems with retention of test riders

-Governors Highway Safety Association

GHSA admits that last years drop is not because people are riding less, they agree with MRF that there is more riding because of gas prices, and now having admitted, they take aim at MRO’s in a recent conference. They said they could out number motorcycle rights advocates with sheer numbers of people in state caps.


-MRF is working to prohibit CDC from spending any resources on motorcycle safety

 -US DOT

 New Secretary Nominated
Anthony Foxx, Mayor of Charlotte NC
A new comer, whose been appointment is political payback

-NTSB

 National Transportation Safety Board
Little to no experience with motorcycle safety
Experts in every thing else
Put motorcycles on their “top ten most wanted list”
Are pushing to enact State mc helmet law
MRF efforts resulted in recommendation……


-GAO

General Accounting Office
Issues report that conclude that federal mc grand funds should be allowed to be used for law enforcement and helmet law campaigns

-American Iron magazine keeps up to date on current legislative issues, and is written by Jeff Henny.

Jeff Henney on how to dress: leather or not?

Be respectful about your attire, and be clean. Jeff suggested a plain, button down shirt, but also stressed the importance of being comfortable and confident in whatever you decide to wear. Jeff likes the idea of wearing riding gear to the capitol. It sets us apart, and lets everyone know we’re there.

Recommendations from the MRF

-Influence those who are on the fence
-Admit that motorcycle legislators come from both sides of the isle and at every level of government.
-unity is key
-keep in mind that these issues we face are diverse and dynamic
-know that we are the ultimate minority
-organize
-educate
-recruit
-volunteer
-campaign
-ask for help from your MRF PAC

-DO OR DIE

MAY

Governor Kitzhaber Proclaims May as Oregon Motorcycle Awareness Month

Safety is Priority #1 for motorcyclists in Oregon and across the Nation.

biker rally
Oregon Motorcycle Safety Awareness month was kicked off at the State Capitol by hundreds of motorcycle enthusiasts (aka bikers)

(SALEM) – Motorcycle season has returned, and there could be no argument if you were anywhere close to the Oregon State Capitol on Saturday.

Oregon motorcyclists met by the hundreds in front of the Capitol in Salem, in observance of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, as officially proclaimed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.

It was a perfectly beautiful day for a ride and the smiles on the bikers faces as they visited and shared fellowship made clear they were glad to be a part of the day’s events. There was music, a bike show and BikePac, ABATE and others spoke on safety and issues facing motorcyclists in Oregon. Many motorcycle clubs were in attendance as usual, giving the public the opportunity to talk with club members, and overcome motorcycling misconceptions.

Motorcycle safety affects everyone on the road, and off road as well. All drivers need to be aware of their two-wheeled comrades on the road and what they are faced with “out there”.

There are 131,204 registered motorcycles in Oregon. That is only 3.2 percent of all registered vehicles, but motorcycles accounted for 11% of all fatal crashes (in 2008).

This is seriously out of balance.

It goes without saying that motorcyclists are more vulnerable than car drivers in a crash, motorcyclists face a higher rate of injury than car drivers. But, do you know just how much more at risk they are?

-Per mile, a motorcyclist is 35 times more likely to have a crash than someone driving a car.
-Motorcycles only account for 2% of vehicles registered in the US, but account for 5% of highway fatalities.
-For every 100,000 registered motorcycles, over 72 are involved in fatal crashes (this does not include injury accidents, just deaths).

If all those stats weren’t convincing enough, riders are an incredibly 16 times more likely to receive serious injuries than car drivers.

Motorcycle crashes in Oregon almost doubled from 2002 to 2008.

Specifically, in 2008, there were 873 crashes involving motorcycles; 834 people were injured and 49 people were killed. 48 of those killed were motorcyclists. 98%. Luckily, things are improved somewhat since 2008.

Car crash victims have a 20% chance of injury or death in a car accident, unlike motorcyclists, who have a 80% chance of injury or death.

These aren’t foolish kids we’re talking about. These motorcyclists often have generations of riders behind them. They live to ride, they love riding. Most have years of riding under their belts. The average age of motorcyclists killed in crashes is 48.

Improving safety on the road is key. So, now for the Good News: In Oregon, our numbers have shown a change for the better. According to the Oregon Dept of Transportation (ODOT), our motorcycle safety ratings are extremely high and getting better each year.

In 2010, only 38 motorcyclists died on Oregon roads, a 2% drop from the year before. This drop has been attributed to the 2009 legislature requiring motorcycle safety courses for all riders.

These facts surely motivated Oregon’s Governor to proclaim May as Oregon Motorcycle Awareness month.

The Proclamation was read aloud to the crowd of several hundred at high noon Saturday on the State Capitol steps, as follows:

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH PROCLAMATION
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
STATE OF OREGONWHERAS: Oregon is proud to be a national leader in motorcycle safety education; and

WHERAS: Motorcyclists in Oregon recognize the importance of riders to be properly trained in the safe operation of their motorcycle; and

WHEREAS: Education and safe riding habits are worthy of special recognition; and

WHEREAS: It is important that the citizens of our state should be aware of motorcycles on the highways and recognize the importance of sharing the roadway with these fuel efficient vehicles; and

WHEREAS: The designation of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month promotes public awareness of the energy-efficient motorcycle and its proper and safe use on the roads and highways of Oregon.

NOW, THEREFORE: I, John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., Governor of the State of Oregon, hereby proclaim May 2013 to be

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH
in Oregon
and encourage all Oregonians to join in this observance.
*****

Resources: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/docs/motorcycle/motlaws_factsheet2.pdf

________________________________________

APRIL

A Full Plate

ODOT Road hazards:
We’ve been working closely with Troy Costales from the Governor’s Advisory Committee on motorcycle safety, addressing all the road hazards that you all have reported.  This has been our most effective effort this year, as ODOT is eager to help promptly repair damaged pavement on the roads regularly traveled by motorcyclists. Keep sending in your reports!  THANK YOU!

Lane Sharing:
After providing the transportation committees with the safety data they requested on Lane Sharing ( SB 541 and HB 3310), they soon died, due to lack of sponsor involvement.  This was a learning experience on our part, that will require us to contact bill sponsors before picking up their bills and running with them in the future.

Ethanol:
Sorting out the tricky language, required careful monitoring in committee.  We were able to narrow down our focus to the following bills.
HB3448 has traction ( BikePAC in favor – Relating to diesel fuel stored for use in emergency power generation).

SB 213
This bill had tricky language… If this bill had gone through, it would have automatically required ethanol to be increased in our pumps, after the time specified.
Temporarily suspends minimum ethanol content requirement for gasoline.  We made several attempts to discuss our concerns with Senator Dingfelder (Chair – Environment and natural resources), who is a staunch supporter of raising the ethanol in our tanks, but we were only granted a meeting with her L. A. whose father is a Harley rider.  None of them had any idea that Ethanol is causing engine damage.  This bill is dead

The Data was sent to her office, by several of you who wrote letters, voicing your concerns.  THANK YOU!!!

Helmets:
Bicycles:
There’s a huge contradiction going on here.  Don and I attended a committee hearing, that was addressing a mandatory bicycle helmet bill, and we walked away feeling awestruck!  An infringement on their civil liberties was their argument, and there were only 6 people in the hearing room.  Their only opposition was a guy who fell in the shower, suffering a debilitating brain injury…  Really?  We provided testimony opposing this bill in support of the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and discovered we have more in common than we realized.

Motorcycle Helmets:
After providing Governor Kitzhaber with Economic impact data disproving the public burden theory, it was simply dismissed, and the committee didn’t want to allow a hearing without the Governor’s consent…
HB 2404 BikePAC in favor

Alliance with the Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee:
We attended several meetings with the bicycle and pedestrian advisory committee, who would like us to be more involved with their efforts promoting road safety and battling distracted driving, so we collaborated on a day long lobby effort, that made Oregon’s transportation committees eager to help us.  Our lobbyist is now being requested to apply for a position on their advisory board as an ex officio member, to help with road project planning.

MARCH

The two lane sharing bills are currently being reviewed for further action, and we’ve identified many Bills, potentially affecting motorcyclists, off road vehicles, ATVs, and bicyclists (See below).  We’ve also been attending meetings with the GAC on Motorcycle Safety, GAC on DUII, BTA, OBPAC , and our Legislators from both the House and Senate, regarding the following issues:

Lane Sharing

FEBRUARY

2 to 3 days per week, meeting with our Legislators, updating them on our bill, providing them with up to the minute updates on new bills and  research, attending the GAC on motorcycle safety, updating our Legislators on ABATE and BikePAC’s efforts to be proactive, as well as with our meetings with the BTA (Bicycle Transportation Alliance) and OBPAC (Oregon bicycle and Pedestrian advisory committee), to discuss plans to collaborate on equality on the road, safety, awareness, and tourism promotion efforts.  Our ideas have been received with long awaited thank yous, across the board, so far from both our Legislators and the Legislative bicycle community. 
Many doors have been opened, while we continue, politely knocking on the old familiar ones, attempting to have a different conversation about an age old argument. 

JANUARY

A disparity of support in the House is not to be mistaken for defeat!
BikePAC remains hopeful that your friendly face to face visit to your District offices, will give the exposure our diverse riding community needs, and will give us more traction in our efforts to gain bi-partisan support at the Capitol.  

We’d also like to remind everyone that Legislators listed as “RED or GRAY” should be viewed as immediate avenues for improvement, rather than “opposed to our cause’.

Our hope is to identify common ground on ANY of this year’s action items, and build from there.

Thank you in advance for your help in the protection of Civil Liberties, and our commitment to promoting motorcycle SAFETY, AWARENESS, EDUCATION, and LEGISLATION ”.

Respectfully,

BikePAC Legislative Director

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