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MRF Leaders Report- June

June 10, 2008 by  

WASHINGTON UPDATE – The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is pleased to report that the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) has renewed the charter for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Motorcycle Advisory Council (MAC) for an additional two years. The MAC advises the Secretary of Transportation on all issues concerning motorcyclists and infrastructure issues such as roads, bridges, and barriers. No rulemaking was required to extend the charter; instead it was the positive results of the MAC that warranted the go-ahead from the country’s chief transportation boss. The MRF commends Secretary Peters for recognizing the need for the MAC to continue. Under normal circumstances Secretary do not reauthorize councils that they do not have to. Peters by law did not have to renew the charter which uses some of her very limited discretionary dollars to fully fund this council. That’s why we thank her for her attention to this very important issue.


The MAC met a total of four times over the initial two-year charter. The meetings are open to the public and generally span a couple of days. The MAC has no authority to issue any binding recommendations, but it does have the ear of the agency officials, and several MAC’s recommendations have been enacted upon. The MAC has put forth some meaningful and useful
recommendations to the Secretary, and recent recommendations include implementing motorcycles into the department-wide goal to reduce congestion and fuel consumption. Another recommendation was to continue the practice of letting motorcycles use high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes. On a related note, New York City police have continued to violate federal law by not letting motorcycles use HOV lanes, making this recommendation very important for motorcyclists in the Big Apple. Visit http://safety.fhwa.dot.gov/mac/index.htm for more information on the MAC and its members.

ROB ANDREWS FOR CHANGE – Last week US Rep Rob Andrews (D-NJ) challenged long-time motorcycle adversary Senator Frank Lautenberg for his seat. Bucking party politics and in the face of a huge uphill battle, Andrews waged a positive, aggressive campaign. Alas, he came up rather short on Election Day, outspent and out-recognized in the crucial north Jersey
demographic. The New York Times endorsed Lautenberg a few days before the primary, and that seemed to put the votes in Lautenberg’s column. The MRF stands by its long-term support of Andrews and wishes him the best in his future endeavors. There is somewhat of a silver lining though. Andrews had to give up his House seat to run for the Senate, and poised as the
likely successor to Andrews is his wife. Camille Andrews witnessed the outpouring of support from the motorcycling community and has vowed to continue her husband’s legacy of championing motorcycles in the Nation’s Capitol.

TIERED LICENSING IN UTAH – The state administrator of motorcycle safety in Utah has issued a mandate reorganizing the way motorcycle licenses are handed out. The way it works is that if you test on a 90cc you can ride 90cc or less; if you test on 249cc you can ride a 249cc or less; if you test on 649cc you can ride 649cc or less; and finally if you test on a 650cc you can ride whatever you want. One need not progress up the tiers to attain the unlimited license, but this process does raise a few questions. Will there be an unintended negative effect of discouraging
folks from getting M class endorsements at all? Will it force people to take a bike larger than what they are comfortable on to the test in order to ride that new Sportster? Will it turn off people to training curriculum that uses 125cc or 250cc motorcycles? The implementation date
is July 8, and the MRF is working with motorcyclists in Utah to, at the very least, have that date pushed back so we can more carefully examine what Utah is trying to do and what the implications will be. The MRF will keep you posted on this issue.

YOUNG ACTIVISTS, WHERE ARE YOU? – The MRF young activists search is on again. Applicants need to be between 18 and 30 and have a motorcycle license. Each year, a handful of superb applicants receive round-trip airfare to the MRF’s Meeting of the Minds, as well as a bunch of other goodies. For nomination info visit www.mrf.org.

KILTS VS. BIBS – It’s official. The tug of war is on! At a recent MRF board meeting there was some discussion regarding whether we should continue the tug of war or leave it off the Meeting of the Minds agenda, since both squads have a win under their belts (or shoulder straps). That
idea was quickly dismissed, and it was decided that we would have the roped-off rumble once again. Rumors are flying of a possible ladies’ bikini team, a men’s Speedo team, an all-nude team, a Gold Wing team, and several others. What’s not rumor is the fact that the undisputed champs will emerge in Denver, and they will be wearing kilts! Right guys? Speculation from the kilt camp reveals that the kilts have been in a rigorous off-season training regimen that is sure to produce some powerful pulling, not to mention seriously sexy calves. Whatever side you are on
it’s a can’t miss event at this year’s Meeting of the Minds in Denver.

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Ride With The LeadersTM by joining the MRF at http://www.mrf.org/join.php or call 1-202-546-0983

Registration is easy and secure for MRF Regional and Meeting of the Minds conferences. Visit our website at http://www.mrf.org/events.php for further details and registration information.

Send in your nominations and donations for the MRF’s Young Activist Scholarship fund today. For complete details, visit http://www.mrf.org/yascholarship.php.

Sign up today for the MRF’s new roadside assistance program by visiting http://www.mrf.org/mrfroadside.php The program is available to MRF members and non-MRF members.

(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists’ rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists’ rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC,
the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.

The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists’ rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders’ rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public
awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists’ rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

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