MRF Pushing Our Biker Agenda – The Latest In Motorcycle Legislation
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) recently made its annual announcement of the legislative issues it will be focusing on in the coming year, and if you ride a bike, you need to know what they have in mind if you want to have any input into the process.
The list was developed and approved by member motorcycle rights organizations at the MRF’s recent Meeting of the Minds, held in Detroit in September, and the list takes on a whole passel of items of concern to motorcyclists in the US.
The Strategic Action Plan includes the following issues, and riders should be aware of them.
- Transportation Equity Act (TEA) and Reauthorization (the Highway Bill) – The group plans to closely monitor for any action that would positively or negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists.
- Continuation of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) lobbying ban within individual states. The NHTSA is, at least at this point, legally prohibited from lobbying for measures such as a national mandatory helmet law, but the NHTSA has been has been actively promoting those efforts with federal dollars and efforts in contravention of the law.
- Insure continuation of the Motorcycle Advisory Council designed to advise the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) on motorcycling issues.
- Oppose any and all federal blackmails or sanctions contained in the Highway Bill having to do with motorcycles. The MRF cites examples like states being required to pass helmet laws or forfeit federal highway funding.
- Pursue reintroduction of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) HR1253 to require health insurance companies to disclose the list of “source of injury” exclusions in the policies they issue. The Feds passed legislation several years ago forbidding insurance companies from excluding motorcycle-related accidents from coverage, and that’s all good, but when the agency set up the rules by which this law is actually administered, it somehow managed to specifically allow exclusions to be made for motorcycles. Go figure.
- Cut off all funding for NHTSA motorcycle-specific checkpoint grants. This controversial NHTSA provision allows for funding for states to operate checkpoints where only motorcyclists are stopped. The stops included provisions which require bikers to provide proof of license and insurance, and nothing like that exists for any other variety of motorists.
- Monitor the crash causation and the naturalistic studies now ongoing.
- Press for complete abolition of all forms of distracted driving…
- Promote a Right to Repair Act which would prohibit manufacturers from making technical know-how and equipment necessary for independent shops to work on bikes available only to registered dealerships. This provision would allow independent shops to repair and modify motorcycles and take on industry groups seeking to close down that avenue to motorcyclists needing repairs.
- Work to clarify the actual definition of what a motorcycle actually is considered to be a motorcycle. If a wide variety of non-two-wheel vehicles are counted as motorcycles for licensing purposes, the MRF says the expanded definition will skew accident data and make it difficult to develop valid policy in accident prevention efforts.
Tips for buying your motorcycle insurance, coverage you need:
- Collision to pay for damage caused to your vehicle in an accident with another vehicle or any stationary object.
- Comprehensive to cover such things as fire, hail, wind, vandalism, hitting an animal, etc.
- Towing / Pickup
- Medical payment or personal injury protection to cover the medical bills resulting from an accident.
- Uninsured or underinsured motorist to protect us when the other driver is at-fault and does not have coverage or assets out of which your bills can be paid.