Posted: May 8, 2009
ANOTHER BUSY WEEK IN WASHINGTON
By The MRF
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4980
For Immediate Release
8 May 2009
Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ANOTHER BUSY WEEK IN WASHINGTON
Bikers Inside the Beltway 2009
Do not be left out by missing this historic ride to the nation's capitol next week, May 14, 2009. Join many of your fellow motorcyclists from across the country as they converge on Washington for a day. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has reserved parking along the national mall, in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol and the Washington Monument. Come join us as we educate members of Congress on the importance of motorcycle safety. Contact the MRF's DC office if have any questions about attending or local accommodations. You can find more event details at www.mrf.org.
The MRF is pleased to report that the United States House of Representatives has passed House Resolution 269. The bill "supports the goals of May is Motorcycle Safety Month." Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and Dr. Michael Burgess (R-TX) who both also chair the U.S. House of Representatives Motorcycle Safety Caucus, introduced the bill.
Congresswoman Giffords had this to say in the House chamber the day of the vote, "H. Res. 269 also serves as a reminder to all riders and motorists to always share the road respectfully. I have been riding and racing motorcycles for over 20 years - so the issue of motorcycle safety is of great importance to me. I also want to take this opportunity to thank the Motorcycle Industry Council, the American Motorcyclist Association, and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation for all that they do to support motorcyclists."
The MRF would like to thank Mrs. Giffords and Dr. Burgess for the commitment to motorcycle safety.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gathers together, on a quarterly basis, government safety officials and the stakeholders in the motorcycle safety community to update the group on private and public motorcycle safety initiatives that are ongoing or recently completed. The MRF, AMA, MIC, MSF, ASMI, and Harley Davidson, to name a few on the private side, attended the meeting on May 6. Also in attendance were staff members from National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The newly appointed NHTSA boss, Chuck Hurley, did not attend.
Nothing especially earth shattering was discussed at the NHTSA meeting, with perhaps one exception - the much anticipated preliminary results of the Crash Causation Study pilot study. Just a few tidbits of early data were revealed, such as after launching the study with 53 crashes, they were left with complete data for just 23 of those crashes due to refusals to participate or no injury sustained, etc.
The methodology is a 1700-point data collection process with a double control function. That means after collecting the 1700 different data points on a qualifying crash, the investigators go out to the scene of the crash one week later at the same time of day and ask motorcyclists riding by to voluntarily pull over and answer some questions about why they think they didn't crash. To simply collect the data from this process costs $7,507. That is less than the $10,000 estimate that has been rumored, but that number doesn't include the data crunching, reporting, and many other administrative costs.
The full study is still laboring away with funding problems, but the feds have promised that a study will be done. It may not be as large as everyone had hoped, but they have vowed to do something.
FHWA MAC Meeting
The MRF also attended the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Motorcycle Advisory Council's (MAC) semi-annual meeting on May 7. This was the first meeting for the group's Designated Federal Official (DFO), Mike Griffith. Griffith is a career government transportation official, spending much time in the statistics and engineering fields, and he held up well for his first meeting with the MAC.
The MAC is comprised of rider groups, private sector engineers and government officials, and meets to analyze every aspect of the nation's transportation infrastructure and critique areas that impact motorcycles. The recommendations of the MAC are then delivered to the Secretary of Transportation for consideration.
The MAC spent a lot of time hearing about the upcoming national traveler opinion and perception survey. The MAC was tasked with developing questions concerning motorcycles and motorcyclists to be included in the random survey of 5000 Americans.
Also it was revealed that the Intelligent Transportation Office at the Department of Transportation has adopted an "all weight vehicles" approach to include motorcycles and the heaviest highway users.
Another noteworthy item was the announcement from the Transportation Research Board regarding a study titled "Factors Related to Serious Injury and Fatal Motorcycle Crashes with Traffic Barriers," due to be completed in late 2011.
You can read more about the charter, minutes, mission statement and members of the FHWA MAC on their website at .