AMA News & Notes
is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events around the world, AMA News & Notes
welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris by email at email@example.com
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Washington, D.C.: On April 19, the AMA
sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner
urging the House to consider H.R. 3199
that would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to seek independent scientific analysis of the effects of E15 gasoline (85% gasoline, 15% ethanol) on engines as soon as possible.
The AMA is concerned about E15 because it burns hotter than gasoline that contains a lesser amount of ethanol. In engines not designed to dissipate that extra heat, damage in the form of premature wear can result. Although this is a concern in all motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), it’s particularly problematic for air-cooled engines found in many bikes and ATVs.
The new E15 gasoline formulation may soon appear at a fueling station near you, and you need to be careful how you use this new fuel blend. That is because the EPA, in October 2010, approved E15 for use in model year 2007 and newer light duty vehicles (cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles). In January 2011, it added model year 2001-2006 light duty vehicles to the approved list. Riders should pay attention to this list because no motorcycles or ATVs are currently on the approved list. Moreover, the use of E15 may even void the manufacturer warranty.
House Bill 2073, sponsored by Rep. Jerry Weiers
(R-Glendale), would extend the period of time (from July 1, 2012 to July 2014) the state has to receive U.S. EPA approval to exempt motorcycles in the Phoenix area from vehicle emissions requirements. Gov.Janice Brewer
signed the bill into law on Apr. 11.
Irvine, Calif.: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has released a new safety video highlighting the importance of motorcycle riders and their passengers wearing personal protective gear. “Fool’s Gear, Cool Gear,” based on the popular MSF safety poster of the same name, communicates a serious message in an entertaining manner.
This two-and-a-quarter-minute video is now airing on the MSF website
and YouTube channel
. A high-definition version is available for use on broadcast or cable television, and a companion Spanish-speaking version is also available for viewing on the MSF homepage
Sacramento, Calif.: Assembly Bill 1047, introduced by Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries
(R-Lake Elsinore), would prohibit state and local law enforcement agencies that receive National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) grant money intended for motorcycle safety programs from using the money for motorcycle-only checkpoints (MOCs).
The AMA and ABATE of California
applaud Jeffries for this bill. It is similar to a bill introduced in North Carolina, which is now law. The North Carolina bill prevents law enforcement officials from implementing MOCs. To view the North Carolina bill, click here
Denver, Colo.: Gov. John Hickenlooper recently signed into law
House Bills 1023, 1153 and 1162. These bills instruct the Division of Motor Vehicles to begin issuing three new license plates, signifying the owner’s choice of support for fallen law enforcement officials, military recipients of the Distinguished Flying Cross and veterans of Operation Desert Storm.
Topeka, Kan.: House Bill 2459, sponsored by Rep. Tom Sloan
(R-Lawrence), provides that applicants for class M licenses who have completed prior motorcycle safety training in accordance with Department of Defense instruction 6055.04 (DoDI 6055.04) are not required to complete further written and driving testing. Gov. Sam Brownback
signed the bill into law on March 21.
Frankfort, Ky.: House Bill 328, sponsored by Rep. Royce. Adams
(D-Dry Ridge), provides that the instruction permit to operate a motorcycle shall be valid for one year and may be renewed one time. A person whose motorcycle instruction permit has expired may apply to the circuit clerk to receive a motorcycle operator’s license or endorsement if the person presents proof of successful completion of a motorcycle safety education course approved by the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet. Gov. Steve Beshear
signed the bill into law on Apr. 11.
Baton Rouge, La.: Senate Bill 168, also known as the “2012 Pickholtz Act,”
which is sponsored by Sen. Gary Smith
(D-Norco), would establish additional penalties for those found guilty of, or pleading nolo contender to, certain traffic violations that result in injury or death to other road users. The Senate passed the bill on May 2, sending it to the House for consideration.
Leesville, La.: The Sandstone multi-use trail in the Kisatchie District of the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) opened for the season on May 1. The 36 miles of designated trails for off-highway vehicles (OHV), hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders are located 40 miles north of Alexandria. The trails loop through upland pine forest and sandy hardwood bottoms, including sandstone bluffs and picturesque vistas.
Visitors to the Sandstone multi-use trail, especially OHV riders, should be aware that due to recent flooding the trail is passable but areas may have some rutting or other flood-related damage.
The day-use fee for the Sandstone multi-use trail is $5. KNF also offers a pass for those who use the trails on a regular basis. The annual Trail Use Pass is $50 (for ages 16 and up) and $25 (for ages 15 and younger) and is good for a calendar year. A pass can be purchased at any ranger district station or the U.S. Forest Service Supervisor’s Office in Pineville.
For more information about the Sandstone multi-use trail or the Kisatchie Ranger District,
call (318) 472-1840 or log onto www.fs.fed.us/kisatchie .
Minneapolis: Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, was named 2012 Powersports Business Executive of the Year by PowerSports Business, which publishes news, features and profiles for powersports dealers, manufacturers and suppliers. Powersports Business honored Dingman for the intensive efforts by the AMA to successfully overturn provisions of the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA), known as the lead law, that effectively banned the sale of kids’ dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
The CPSIA, which went into effect on Feb. 10, 2009, banned the making, importing, distributing or selling of any product intended for children 12 and under, including kids’ dirt bikes and ATVs, which contained more than a specified amount of lead in any accessible part.
Proctor, Minn.: Look for more motorcycles and scooters this year on June 18. It will be the 21st annual worldwide “Ride to Work Day.” An estimated 1 million riders will become two-wheeled commuters to help demonstrate that riding is an efficient, economical and beneficial form of personal transportation. Participant-riders are of all ages, occupations and from all walks of life.
More than 100 American cities recognize Ride to Work Day by proclamation. According to the Ride to Work non-profit organization, commuting showcases the positive value of motorcycles and scooters for transportation. For hundreds of thousands of workers, motorcycles and scooters are an economical, efficient and socially responsible form of mobility that saves energy, protects the environment and provides a broad range of other public benefits. Motorcycling and scootering clubs around the world encourage their members to ride to work, especially on this annual day.
Jefferson City, Mo.: Senate Bill 897, sponsored by Sen. Kurt Schaefer
(R-Columbia), would prohibit any law enforcement agency from establishing a roadside checkpoint or roadblock pattern based upon a particular vehicle type, including the establishment of motorcycle-only checkpoints. The bill does not restrict any other type of checkpoint or roadblock that is lawful and is established and operated in accordance with the provisions of the U.S. Constitution and the Missouri Constitution. Voted out of the Senate Judiciary and Civil and Criminal Jurisprudence Committee
on April 30, the bill now goes to the full Senate for consideration.
Carson City, Nev.: The Early registration deadline has been extended for the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference. The deadline for early registration for the 2012 International Women & Motorcycling Conference has been extended through May 15 due to popular demand. The conference will take place July 26- 29, in Carson City, Nev. The discounted price of $125 represents a savings of $50 off the regular member rate.
Included in the AMA International Women & Motorcycling Conference registration fee is entry to seminars, the marketplace and Moto Action center, the Saturday Women’s Health Fair, priority registration for manufacturer demo rides, the Friday Night Cookout and Saturday Night Celebration Party, as well as a conference t-shirt and gift bag.
Baker City, Ore.: In response to overwhelming public outcry
over a proposed closure of thousands of miles of long utilized routes of travel, the Forest Service has taken the rare step of withdrawing their recently released Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest
The withdrawal, announced in an April 17 letter written by Forest Supervisor Monica Schwalbach, acknowledged that the move was effectively terminating the Travel Management Plan appeals process a mere two weeks before the previously announced April 30 deadline.
Richmond, Va.: House Bill 97, sponsored by Delegate Tony Wilt
(R- Harrisonburg), provides that two two-wheeled motorcycles may ride abreast while traveling in a lane designated for one vehicle. House Bill 187, sponsored by Delegate C. Todd Gilbert
(R-Woodstock), prohibits the establishment on any highway of police checkpoints where the only vehicles subject to inspection are motorcycles. Both bills were signed into law by Gov. Bob McDonnell
and take effect July 1.
Madison, Wis.: Championed by ABATE of Wisconsin
and signed into law on April 2 by Gov. Scott Walker
, Assembly Bill 55, sponsored by Assemblyman. Don Pridemore
(R-Hartford), requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to suspend the driver’s license or operating privilege of anyone causing bodily injury or death to another road user.
If an offender’s operator’s license has been suspended for a failure to yield violation that resulted in injury or death, the DOT may not reinstate a person’s driving privileges unless the person has successfully completed a vehicle right-of-way course. In addition, all driver education courses must include at least 30 minutes of motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle awareness instruction.