AMA News and Notes April 2011

March 15, 2011
Courtesy of AMA
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Washington D.C.: 50 lawmakers now support H.R. 412, The Kids Just Want to Ride Act. This important legislation is gaining momentum on Capitol Hill, and would exempt kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from the “lead law” that effectively bans their sale at the end of the year. Introduced by Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), the bill seeks to exempt kids’ off-highway vehicles (OHVs) from the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) of 2008, which is also known as the lead law.

American Motorcyclist Association

The CPSIA bans the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under that contains more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part. It also requires all children’s products undergo periodic testing by independent laboratories approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is responsible for implementing the law.
The CPSC has delayed enforcing key portions of the law until after the end of the year. However, unless the CPSIA is changed by then, the sale of child-sized dirtbikes and ATVs will effectively be banned.

Washington, D.C.: Help protect the future of youth riding by circulating a petition in support of H.R. 412, the Kids Just Want to Ride Act. To request a copy of the petition, e-mail the AMA’s Grassroots Team at In the e-mail subject line please note: Petition. Thank you for your efforts to help protect the future of youth riding.

Washington D.C.: New ‘Wild Lands’ policy blasted at congressional hearing. The U.S. Interior Department’s new “Wild Lands” land-use policy was sharply criticized during a congressional hearing on March 1. The policy could close millions of acres of federal land to responsible motorized recreation.

Idaho Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter argued that, with the new policy, the Interior Department “has circumvented the sovereignty of states and the will of the public.” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said that “by bureaucratic fiat, one branch of government has overstepped and overreached and has devalued the rights of the states and the citizens.”

They joined several others in testifying before the House Committee on Natural Resources on “The Impact of the Administration’s Wild Lands Order on Jobs and Economic Growth.”

Robert Abbey, director of the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), defended the Wild Lands policy, testifying that it “restores balance to the BLM’s multiple-use management of the public lands in accordance with applicable law.”
Source and full story:

Washington D.C.: Motorcycle-only checkpoints challenged. On March 3, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) introduced H.R. 904. The legislation, with original co-sponsorsReps. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) and Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), would prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) “from providing grants or any funds to a state, county, town, or township, Indian tribe, municipal or other local government to be used for any program to check helmet usage or create checkpoints for a motorcycle driver or passenger.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which is part of the DOT, recently gave Georgia a $70,000 grant to conduct one or more roadside motorcycle-only checkpoints. New York State has operated a similar program using state funds. The AMA has been tracking this disturbing development of motorcycle-only checkpoints since it first appeared in New York several years ago. Source:

Atlanta, Ga.: House Bill 161, authored by Rep. Ann Purcell (R-Rincon), would permit motorcycle operators to proceed with caution through an intersection controlled by a traffic-actuated signal if, after waiting not less than 60 seconds, the actuator fails to recognize the motorcycle.

Springfield, Ill.: House Bill 2860, sponsored by Rep. Dan Beiser (D-Alton), would permit motorcycle operators, facing a steady red signal that fails to change to green within a reasonable period of time because of a signal malfunction or because the signal fails to detect the presence of the motorcycle, to proceed subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.

Topeka, Kan.: House Bill 2058, authored by the House Transportation Committee, would permit a motorcycle operator or bicycle rider facing any steady red traffic-actuated signal that fails to change to a green light with(in) a reasonable period of time to proceed with caution subject to the rules applicable after making a stop at a stop sign.

Also House Bill 2199, authored by the House Transportation Committee, would increase penalties for certain right-of-way violations that result in serious bodily injury or death to another roadway user. Failure-to-yield violations at intersections, during left turns, at stop or yield signs, while entering or crossing roadways, and in construction or maintenance zones are covered offenses under HB-2199.

Annapolis, Md.: House Bill 1282, sponsored by Del. Cheryl Glenn (D-Baltimore), would require vehicle parking facilities that are owned, leased, or operated by the State or a political subdivision of the State, or that receive funding from the State or a political subdivision of the State, to allow motorcycles to park in the facilities.

Columbus, Md.: The Rider School at Howard Community College (HCC) convenes international experts in motorcycle training. Recently The Rider School at HCC hosted 16 of motorcycling’s top authors, advanced trainers, and noted researchers for a two-day experts’ panel on how to reduce motorcycle crashes and injuries. The groundbreaking event marked the first time internationally acclaimed experts had been gathered and tasked to consider how to improve beginner and street rider training. During the two-day meeting, the group developed 31 specific recommendations for improving motorcycling.

The group then decided to prepare a report (forthcoming) aimed at influencing public awareness and public policy about riders and rider training. Organizers were invited to present the findings at the annual 2011 State Motorcycle Safety Administrators Conference in Des Moines, Iowa. The group also decided to form a think tank about motorcycle safety to be housed at HCC. For more information on the school visit

Jefferson City, Mo.: House Bill 114, sponsored by Rep. David Day (R-Dixon) and Senate Bill 28, sponsored by Sen. Dan Brown (R-Rolla), would permit operators and passengers 21 years-of-age or older to decide whether to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle or motortricycle.

Reno, Nev.: Senate Bill 156, sponsored by Sen. Don Gustavson (R-Washoe), provides that a promoter or organizer of an off-road sporting event, or a private property owner upon whose land such an event is held, is not liable for any civil damages resulting from any unintended act or omission by such a promoter, organizer or private property owner that relates to the promotion, organization or occurrence of an off-road sporting event. The immunity from liability does not apply when the damages result from the gross negligence or intentional, reckless or wanton misconduct of the promoter, organizer or private property owner.

Concord, N. H.: House Bill 148, sponsored by Rep. Frank Holden (R-Lyndeborough), would prohibit all New Hampshire law enforcement agencies from accepting federal funding to establish motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints.

Albany, N. Y.: Assembly Bill 2587, sponsored by Asm. Carl Heastie (D-Bronx) and Senate Bill 1184, sponsored by Sen. Kevin Parker (D-Brooklyn), would add a requirement for motorcycle safety and awareness instruction to be included in the classroom course for all driver license applicants and at least two written questions on the driver’s test on motorcycle safety and awareness and the potential dangers to motorcyclists resulting from the unsafe behavior of vehicle operators sharing the roadways with motorcyclists.

Also Assembly Bill 5364, sponsored by Asm. Donna Lupardo (D-Endwell) and Senate Bill 2974, sponsored by Sen. Michael Nozzolio (R-Seneca Falls), would permit operators and passengers 21 years-of-age or older to decide whether to wear a helmet while on a motorcycle.

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 visibly show 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
Attn: Kids Ride (and/or) STLG
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147-8214

Source and full story:]

Salem, Ore.: H.B. 3141, sponsored by Rep. Andy Olson (R-Albany), would amend the Oregon motorcycle helmet requirement to apply only to riders and passengers under 21 years old.

Harrisburg, Penn.: House Bill 563, sponsored by Rep. Richard Geist (R-Altoona), would exempt from civil liability landowners who authorize their property to be used for an approved motorcycle safety education program, unless the owner fails to warn against dangerous conditions, uses, structures or activities.

Providence, R. I.: House Bill 5370, sponsored by Rep. Peter John Petrarca (D-Lincoln) and Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Sen. John Tassoni (D-Smithfield), would require designated parking spaces for motorcycles adjacent to or within plain sight of state, city and town buildings, excepting airports. For each public building with thirty or more off-street parking spaces, at least one dedicated motorcycle parking space must be provided. For every thirty additional spaces, an additional motorcycle parking space (up to a maximum of five) must be provided. Unauthorized use of a designated motorcycle parking space would result in an $85.00 fine to the vehicle owner.

Nashville, Tenn.: House Bill 1810, sponsored by Rep. John Tidwell (D- New Johnsonville) and Senate Bill 1290, sponsored by Sen. Steve Southerland (R-Morristown), would require nonresidents over 21 years of age who are operating a motorcycle registered in another state to comply with the mandatory motorcycle equipment laws of that state.

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