Staying, across the Atlantic in the United States of America, from our recent report of a US federal agency attempting to tack a 100 percent or higher tariff on motorcycles made in Europe, as part of a trade battle over hormones in U.S. beef. Now we can have a look at the riders rights organisation, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF).
The MRF formed in 1985 is immediately recognised in its agenda, make-up, advocacy on issues and campaigns. As a riders right’s organisation it protects the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists as it works within its country’s legislative complexities.
These complexities are at federal, national and local level , at Washington DC – from the Congress to government departments and agencies to the Office of the President of the United States,
Particularly pertinent at this time is the release of the MRF’s 2017, “Federal Legislative Agenda” as the United States has just inaugurated a new President.
Like all such rider organisations the MRF has to work with the democratically elected government, as the MRF President Kirk ‘Hardtail’ Willard said recently, “Our network of volunteers and staff are some of the most talented and influential in the world of motorcycle rights, and we look forward to working with President-Elect Trump, his administration and our Senate and House leaders in identifying legislation that will enhance the motorcycle lifestyle and community.”
The MRF legislative agenda which is determined by the organisations members each year includes a diverse range of interests that the MRF advocates and campaigns on is. These issues impact independent riders, State Motorcycle Rights Organizations, motorcycle and riding clubs, and others in the motorcycle community. They also work with allies in Europe and Asia to influence talks on vehicle globalization and harmonization that are proceeding under the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Agenda prioritizes aggressive campaigns to combat government overreach with a particular emphasis on the Environmental Protection Agency and other state environment agencies whose policies adversely impact the motorcycle parts and aftermarket industry, educating elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.
What Is In The Legislative Agenda!
We wrote to the MRF’s Vice-President of Governmental Affairs & Public Relations Megan Ekstrom for an outline of the MRF legislative agenda.
Perusing through and picking some specifics but not all, any rider across the globe would recognise these as similar issues that would affect them in their own countries with some peculiarities to the US.
- Autonomous Vehicles – compatibility with motorcycles ensuring strong standards and clear liability in crashes for the safety of motorcycle users.
- Engaging on motorcycle emission regulations
- Focus on crash prevention, crash avoidance versus safer crashing and rider education
- Fiercely oppose any federal mandatory helmet, apparel or conspicuity standards
- Work to discourage ALL forms of distracted driving
- Inclusion of motorcycles and biker perspectives in discussions regarding Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) and emerging technologies
- Regulate black boxes in motorcycles, seek to clarify the rights of the vehicle owner to ownership of the recorded data
- Oppose any motorcycling, motorcycle, or motorcyclist-based discriminatory legislation or rules proposed by the U.S. Congress or by any federal agency
- Monitor and ensure that the term “vulnerable roadway users” does not include motorcyclists (Motorcycle Minds comment – In the past we have had concerns of this description of motorcyclists – leading to we need protected from ourselves.)
- Closely monitor the federally mandated Affordable Care Act (ACA) for potential motorcyclist and motorcycling discrimination as well as attempts to repeal and replace provisions of the ACA for potential motorcyclist and motorcycling discrimination (Motorcycle Minds comment – commonly known as “Obamacare” but something that we not aware that any rider organisations has needed to get involved elsewhere?)
- Working to shape auto-cycle legislation at the state-level as it relates to the definition of motorcycle and/or fatality and crash statistics
- Monitor for any action that would negatively impact motorcycles, motorcycling, and motorcyclists
In other words riders’ issues are not isolated to one country – state, county, region, province; government – federal or national parliament, assembly or council!
Motorcycling is a global village and we as riders all need to be aware of the issues of common interest and not be isolated – motorcycling is not an island and we need to make sure that it is a long time before any bell tolls for motorcycling!
Find out more about the MRF at their website