Currently, Congress is working on the next version of a national transportation bill. This program covers everything from highway safety, to congestion mitigation, and tolling projects. The House of Representatives is considering its options, but the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is seeking passage of H.R. 7, the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012.”
The AMA supports H.R. 7, because it contains many critical measures to address motorcycle safety programs, motorcyclist rights, and motorized recreational access. Additionally, H.R. 7 begins the tough process of modernizing the national transportation program by eliminating some wasteful spending programs and streamlining the project delivery process.
Of the many important programs for motorcyclists in H.R. 7, the continuation of the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a notable distinction. The RTP is funded by the fuel used for off-highway vehicle recreation -- by snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks. In some states, a motorized trail program would not exist without the RTP. It is very important this program continue.
Additionally, H.R. 7 would require state highway safety programs to include initiatives that prevent motorcycle crashes while limiting the establishment of mandatory universal helmet laws. Moreover, the bill would prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary from providing federal grants to states and local governments for discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints.
Furthermore, under H.R. 7, motorcycles and motorcyclists would be included in research and development of new technologies, called intelligent transportation systems, which riders have typically been excluded from in the past.
H.R. 7 also begins to eliminate the delay on transportation project delivery by streamlining review and approval processes. Therefore, the country can begin adding new capacity, improving safety, and reducing congestion at a much faster rate. Additionally, states would no longer be burdened with the mandate to spend tax revenue on “enhancements” that drain resources from the highway trust fund.
The AMA strongly encourages you to write your Representative today and urge them to pass H.R. 7, the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012.” A pre-written letter is provided for your convenience. You can access it by simply clicking the “Take Action” option.
This bill contains many programs of significant importance to motorcyclists, and we believe is the best path forward for transportation in this country at this time. Please write your Representative today.