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AMA News and Notes January 2012

Saturday, December 10, 2011
Protect your right to ride! Volunteering is easier than you think, and it’s the right thing to do. To learn how you can help, visit us online at AmericanMotorcyclist.com > Rights > Get Involved.

Sign up and stay informed! Electronic AMA Action Alerts and AMA News & Notes keep you up-to-date on hot topics, news affecting the motorcycling community and opportunities to communicate with your elected officials. By signing up to receive AMA Action Alerts, you will be notified when and how you can make a difference on important issues. Click here to see the most recent AMA Action Alerts, and click here to sign up.
 
You can also sign up to receive the monthly electronic edition of AMA News & Notes. Click here and check the “Sign me up for AMA's Government Relations News & Notes” box at the bottom of the page.
 
American Motorcyclist Association
Plus, you can subscribe to our various e-newsletters. AMA Extra includes a summary of AMA news, and Hall of Fame Insider focuses on the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Other event-specific e-newsletters go out at various times of the year.

Utilize AMA public service announcements (PSAs) featuring AMA Board member and actor Perry King. The print, video and audio PSAs are available free to the media and the public to distribute and promote. The PSAs address impaired riding, excessive motorcycle exhaust sound, the importance of proper safety gear and responsible and safe off-highway riding. They also deliver an important message to drivers to watch for motorcyclists on the road. To access the PSA messages, click here.

Washington, D.C.: The future of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is in danger. The U.S. Senate has introduced legislation—the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act—which would end dedicated funding for the RTP. Concurrently, the House is drafting its version that will also affect RTP. With the RTP’s future in question, Congress needs to be aware of the facts about the trails programs.
 
RTP projects contribute to the development and maintenance of motorized and non-motorized recreational trails, and are vital investments in infrastructure that generate jobs and revenue for small businesses in rural economies. The RTP funds represent a portion of the federal motor fuel excise tax collected only from non-highway recreational fuel use. In other words, the RTP is a “user-pay/user-benefit” program for off-highway vehicle recreation, which includes snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks.
 
Please email your senators and representative today to educate them that RTP is a “user-pay/user-benefit” program and, as a motorized recreationist, you pay for and support the RTP. Visit http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=57519541 for more information on this important issue.

Talladega County, Ala.: Talladega Outdoor Park update: One day several years ago, Danny Hubbard was riding his ATV along the perimeter of the former Coosa River Ammunition Storage Annex just north of Talladega, Ala. He looked over the 2,800 acres and thought it would be a great place for an off-highway vehicle (OHV) park.
 
Now, with the help of his club, the Cheaha Trail Riders, his dream is coming true.
 
“Over the years, the idea went from an OHV park to a multiuse park,” Hubbard says. “We’ve designed a park with a multitude of uses [including] a firing range, trap and skeet range, OHV trail system, equestrian trails, campsites and much more.

“We decided on multiuse with the idea of impacting the local economy,” he says. “We estimate the park will bring in $20 to $25 million annually once it’s matured. It’s a 10- to 15-year plan.”

Located about four miles northeast of the downtown area of the city of Talladega in north-central Alabama, the facility is in a perfect location to attract OHV riders and others who want to enjoy the park.

While there is already OHV riding going on at the park, which is called the TOP Trails—Talladega (Lincoln) Outdoor Park—Hubbard doesn’t expect an official opening until next fall. But he expected the Public Park Authority that oversees the facility to start charging $5 a head for riders by the end of 2011.

“Right now we have about 55 miles of ATV trail and 11 miles of single-track,” says Glenn Myers, president of the Cheaha Trail Riders, which was recently named 2011 AMA Club of the Year. “The goal is to have about 100 miles of ATV trails and 40 or 50 miles of single-track in a hilly part of the park property.”
 
Source and full story: http://www.atvaonline.com/News/11-11-2323/Alabama_s_Cheaha_Trail_Riders_ creating_riding_ opportunities.aspx.

Cypress, Calif.: Five organizations nationwide recently received a total of $40,000 in grants through Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.'s OHV Access Initiative for motorized trails.
 
They are: 808 MX ATV Association in Hilo, Hawaii; Forest County ATV Association in Laona, Wis.; Long Island Recreational Trails Conservancy in Long Island, N.Y.; North Country ATV Association in Greenville Center, N.Y.; and Shasta-Trinity National Forest in Redding, Calif.
 
Yamaha is actively seeking qualified projects at local, state and federal levels for funding in 2012 through its GRANT (Guaranteeing Responsible Access to our Nations Trails) program.
 
Examples of appropriate projects for GRANTs include, but are not limited to, trail development, restoration and maintenance; trail signage and map production; staging area construction, renovation and maintenance; and land stewardship, trail safety and education.
 
Updated guidelines, a GRANT application form and information on the OHV Access Initiative are available at www.Yamaha-Motor.com/OHVAccess. For specific questions about the OHV Access Initiative, call Yamaha’s dedicated OHV Access Initiative Hotline at (877) OHV-TRAIL (877-648-8724), email OHVAccess@yamaha-motor.com or write to: Yamaha OHV Access Initiative Review Committee, 6555 Katella Avenue, Cypress, CA 90630-5101.

Glenwood Springs, Colo.: State Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, chairman of the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, will host a public meeting on Dec. 13 to discuss ideas and gather input on the composition of a permanent Parks and Wildlife Board. The meeting will be held at the Ramada Inn, 124 West 6th St., Glenwood Springs, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
 
The current Parks and Wildlife board will finalize its recommendation for the composition/structure of the permanent board very soon. The recommendation will be included in a merger implementation plan that will be delivered to the General Assembly in February.
 
Mike King, executive director of the state Department of Natural Resources, and Rick Cables, director of the state Division of Parks and Wildlife, will attend. This meeting on Dec. 13 will provide an opportunity for the public to share their thoughts and ideas prior to consideration of the recommendation by the General Assembly.

Springfield, Ill.: Once again displaying their legislative effectiveness, ABATE of Illinois has succeeded in championing a veto override of Gov. Pat Quinn’s amendatory veto of House Bill 2860. Sponsored by Rep. Daniel Beiser (D-Alton), the bill authorizes motorcycle and bicycle operators under certain conditions to proceed with caution through an intersection controlled by a traffic-actuated signal that doesn’t recognize their vehicles.
 
Quinn said in his veto message: “The “reasonable period of time” language contained in House Bill 2860 is too subjective and will result in confusion amongst law enforcement, the judiciary, and motorcycle operators.” He recommended a waiting period of at least 120 seconds.
 
While working to override the veto, ABATE of Illinois requested a trailer bill to add the 120-second minimum waiting period into law. Senate Bill 2528, sponsored by Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton) will do that. Beginning Jan. 1, motorcyclists and bicyclists will now be able to proceed with caution through malfunctioning red lights within a reasonable period of time of not less than 120 seconds.

Springfield, Ill.: Senate Bill 2530, sponsored by Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palantine), would prohibit the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority from increasing toll rates without first obtaining authorization by joint resolution of the Illinois General Assembly.

Carson City, Nev.: The 2012 AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference is set for July 26-29. Nowhere is the passion and dedication of women motorcyclists more apparent than at this event. The conference focuses on educating, encouraging, inspiring and mentoring women in the lifestyle and sport of motorcycling.
 
Early registration of $125 is available now exclusively for AMA members. After April 30, registration will increase to $175 for AMA members and be available to non-AMA members for $235.
 
Carson City Mayor Pro Tem Shelly Aldean said the conference is a welcome addition to her city's 2012 calendar of events.
 
“Carson City is delighted to be hosting the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference in July 2012,” she said. “We look forward to accommodating the attendees participation in the conference. We hope that during their visit, conference goers will spend some time exploring what Carson City has to offer and, as a result of our hospitality, will feel like honorary members of our community when it's finally time to say goodbye.”
 
Previous AMA International Women & Motorcycling conferences have been held in Keystone, Colo.; Athens, Ga.; Buckhannon, W.Va.; Athens, Ohio; and Westerville, Ohio. They featured targeted attractions for women motorcyclists such as seminars, workshops, speeches, product and motorcycle displays and demonstrations, recreational riding and networking.
 
Additional event and lodging information is available at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/events/womenand motorcycling.

Pickerington, Ohio: The All-Terrain Vehicle Association (ATVA), a partner organization of the AMA, is proud to announce the launch of ATVA Extra, an e-newsletter that accompanies the printed ATVA member publication, ATVA News.
 
To subscribe to receive ATVA Extra, click here, enter your email address then select the e-newsletters you wish to receive. It's free, you can unsubscribe at any time, and ATVA membership is not required. For ATVA membership information, please click here.
 
To view the first issue of ATVA Extra, click here. To like ATVA on Facebook, click here, and be sure to visit ATVA's website at www.ATVAonline.com.
 
If you would like to subscribe to receive alerts, click here. If you are an alert subscriber and wish to update your subscription profile, click here.

Columbia, S.C.: House Bill 4451, sponsored by Rep. Don Bowen (R-Anderson), would create the offense of felony improper use of electronic communication device while driving. A motor vehicle operator convicted of or pleading guilty to causing great bodily injury or death to a person other than him or herself while using an electronic communication device could be sentenced to enhanced penalties of up to $10,000, imprisonment up to 10 years, and suspension of his or her driver’s license.

Calgary, Canada: After spending months testing the accuracy of a new device -- the $112,000 Noise Snare that pairs a sound meter with a camera -- the city is confident that it can be used to nab sound scofflaws. But the city first needs City Council approval. If approved, the Noise Snare could be in use by summer, and violators could face fines of $200.
The device takes photos of offenders and then tickets are mailed.
 
Source and full story: www.calgaryherald.com/news/calgary/Noise+Snare+ready+muffle+Calgary+bikers/5702613/story.html

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