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AMA News and Notes March 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
American Motorcyclist Association
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 by e-mail 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. In addition to signing up for AMA Action Alerts, you can sign up to receive the monthly electronic edition of AMA News & Notes. AMA News & Notes keeps motorcyclists apprised of rights-related issues and events around the world. Click here and check the “Sign me up for AMA's Government Relations News & Notes” box at the bottom of the page.


Washington D.C.: Kids Just Want to Ride Act, H.R. 412, has been introduced. On January 25, Representative Denny Rehberg (MT) introduced H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act of 2011, which would exempt kids' off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008 that effectively bans their sale beginning December 31, 2011. H.R. 412 is the most promising and viable legislative remedy available to permanently exclude kid-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the unintended consequences of the CPSIA.
The AMA strongly supports this bipartisan effort and is urging everyone who is concerned with the future of youth riding to contact his or her representative and ask them to cosponsor H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act of 2011.
Source and full story: http://www.capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=23903516&type=CO


Washington D.C.: Congressional Motorcycle Caucus goes back to work. U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) and Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) will remain as co-chairs of the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus for the new 112th Congress. The bi-partisan caucus, which has existed for many years, was formally recognized by the U.S. House for the new Congress. Official caucuses must register and be recognized at the start of every two-year Congress. The caucus is made up of members of Congress who are passionate about motorcycling and who work to promote the interests of motorcyclists. Source and full story: http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/NewsView/11-02-03/Congressional_Motorcycle_Caucus_goes_back_to_work.aspx


Washington D.C.: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced a competitive Cooperative Agreement opportunity for National Trails Training. The FHWA hereby requests applications from government agencies, institutions of higher learning, or nonprofit organizations to result in the award of a Cooperative Agreement for National Trails Training. Trails training developed and provided under this Agreement will provide technical assistance to agency staff and the public to enhance trail planning, design, construction, maintenance, and management on all kinds of trails on federal, state, local, and private lands. Source and full story: National Trails Training


Washington D.C.: The Coalition for Recreational Trails is pleased to announce its 2011 achievement awards to recognize outstanding trail projects funded by the national Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The awards will be presented on June 15, 2011 in Washington, D.C. as part of the Coalition’s ongoing effort to build awareness and appreciation of this highly successful program. Award winners will be selected from projects nominated by public agencies, trail administrators or other project sponsors. Award categories include: construction and design; maintenance and rehabilitation; education and communications initiatives; accessibility enhancement; multiple-use management or “corridor sharing”; environment/wildlife compatibility; and use of youth conservation/service corps. Forms for submitting nominations can be obtained from the AMA by contacting Sheila Andrews, Senior Legislative Assistant at sandrews@ama-cycle.org.


Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada: International Experienced Rider Training Symposium (ERTS) to be held in Niagara Falls, ON May 25-27, 2011. This Fédération Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM) sanctioned event will be hosted by the Canadian Motorcycle Association and the Canadian Safety Council. Organized every three years in a different country, this event allows an opportunity for attendees to sample rider training from around the world. This year’s event will focus on principles utilized in Canadian programming. For more details including a video of the last ERTS held in Germany and to register, please visit www.erts.ca.


Des Moines, Iowa: Department of Natural Resources (DNR) launches online ATV education course. www.ATVCourse.com. This online course features a narrated and interactive study guide, as well as visual exam and quiz questions. Riders 12 through 17 years of age must have an education certificate in order to ride an ATV on public land and public ice in Iowa. The course and exam questions contain hundreds of detailed illustrations, as well as narrated course content and interactive exercises. The online ATV education course has a one-time fee of $34.95, which includes the course, chapter quizzes and unlimited attempts at the final ATV certification exam for Iowa. The course is also available to anyone as a free study guide.
Source and full story: http://www.iowadnr.gov/news/11jan/atv.html


Concord, N.H.: The state's federal court has declined to hear a motorcycle noise dispute and remanded the case back to Rockingham County Superior Court. Additionally, it ordered the plaintiffs to pay a local Harley-Davidson dealership's legal fees. On Feb. 4, U.S. District Court Judge Landya McCafferty ruled that the case belongs in the superior court, not the federal court. The underlying dispute involves a superior court lawsuit filed by Seacoast Motorcycles in opposition to North Hampton's new ordinance regulating decibel levels emitted by motorcycles. The ordinance requires a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sticker on all motorcycles manufactured after 1982. That level is lower than the state of New Hampshire's 106-decibel requirement. In its suit, the dealership asks the court to file a restraining order preventing North Hampton from enforcing the motorcycle noise ordinance, to declare that state law trumps the local ordinance in terms of motorcycle noise, and to award attorney's fees. Last year the N.H. House killed a bill that would have mandated EPA stickers on motorcycle pipes as “inexpedient to legislate.” The bill was sponsored by former state Rep. Judith Day, D-North Hampton.
Source and full story: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20110207-NEWS-110209827


Concord, N.H.: House Bill 148, sponsored by Rep. Frank Holden (R-Lyndeborough), would prohibit any law enforcement agency of the state or a political subdivision of the state from accepting federal funding to establish motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints.


Santa Fe, N.M.: House Bill 91 would reallocate $750,000 from the State Trail Safety Fund, basically gutting the program’s budget. This fund was created at the behest of the user community primarily to build and maintain trails. A similar attempt to take $800,000 from this important fund was vetoed by the previous administration in 2009.
Riders are encouraged to visit http://www.nmohva.org/ for the latest information.


Albany, N.Y.: Assembly Bill 930, sponsored by Asm. Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) provides that drivers who cause crashes that result in serious physical injury or death while talking on a cellular phone shall be subject to identical criminal penalties as those persons who cause crashes that result in serious physical injury or death while driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.


Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA has a supply of "Kids Just Want to Ride" and "Stop the Land Grab" decals. These decals are a great way to demonstrate your stance against the law that could stop kids from riding forever and your opposition to unwarranted efforts by anti-access groups to restrict access to public lands. To request a decal, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the address below and specify which decal(s) you would like on the attention line. If you are an AMA member, please include your membership number.
American Motorcyclist Association
GRD
Attn: Kids Ride (and/or) STLG
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147-8214
Source and full story: http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/alert/?alertid=26543521&queueid=%5bcapwiz:queue_id]  


Providence, R.I.: Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. John J. Tassoni (D-Smithfield), would require designated parking spaces for motorcycles to be provided in parking areas that are adjacent to, or within plain sight of, state, city, and town buildings, with the exception of state airports. For public buildings with thirty or more off-street parking spaces, at least one parking space shall be dedicated for motorcycle-only parking. For every additional thirty parking spaces adjacent to a public building, an additional motorcycle parking space, up to a maximum of five additional motorcycle parking spaces, shall be provided.


Nashville, Tenn.: Senate Bill 74, sponsored by Sen. Doug Overbey (R-Maryville), would prohibit a child under age five years as a motorcycle passenger on any public roadway. A violation would be a Class C misdemeanor and subject the offender to a fifty dollar fine in lieu of an appearance in court.


Austin, Texas: The Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is working on motorcycle-specific outreach to reduce highway fatalities. According to Carol Rawson, director of TxDOT’s Traffic Operations Division, TxDOT will be introducing a motorcycle “Share the Road” public information campaign. The department has been testing a new program of caution signs encouraging safe travel for motorcyclists on high-use routes. TxDOT rolled out the program on scenic Hill Country highways just before Halloween. Some roads got motorcycle-specific “Stay Alert, Save a Life” signs that caution riders to be alert through the next few miles. The first four signs were unveiled on part of the Three Sisters loop, a popular route for motorcyclists and drivers alike. TxDOT also put four of the new signs on FM 244 in Grimes County. The agency will evaluate the effectiveness of these new signs for possible use on other popular motorcycle routes throughout the state. Source and full story: http://www.dealernews.com/dealernews/LATEST+NEWS/Texas-DOT-programs-focus-on-motorcycle-safety/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/703914?ref=25


Vt.: Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) announces plans to revoke a rule allowing ATVs on state lands. Debate over the use of state lands by ATV riders has been renewed after new leaders at the ANR revealed plans to reverse a recent rule opening the door for ATV trails on public land. Riders deplore the policy reversal, saying it is important to provide more legal trails to reduce illegal riding.
The recently enacted rule, aimed at allowing ATV clubs to apply to build trails across public land to fill in gaps between trails on private land, was put in place in January 2010 by the administration of former governor, Jim Douglas, who was recently succeeded by Peter Shumlin. Governor Shumlin had spoken against the policy during his campaign last year.
Local ATV clubs have at least two pending applications for new trails that, if the rule is rescinded, would have a much tougher time being approved.
Source and full story: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20110120/NEWS03/110120020/Vermont-to-revoke-rule-allowing-ATVs-on-state-land


Richmond, Va.: House Bill 1981, sponsored by Del. Thomas A Greason (R-Potomac Falls), would permit a motorcycle or moped operator or a bicycle rider to proceed through a steady red light at an intersection controlled by a traffic-actuated signal under certain circumstances. The operator or rider must come to a complete stop and wait for two complete cycles of the traffic light before proceeding with due care and after determining it is safe to do so.

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ironboltbruce   March 9, 2011 04:36 PM
Comment away! Just don't post the truth here, or it will be deleted.