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AMA News & Notes – February 2012


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
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            Pickerington, Ohio: AMA announces 2011 AMA Motorcyclist of the Year: AMA member and motorcycle activist Nancy Sabater. Awarded annually, the AMA Motorcyclist of the Year designation recognizes the person or persons who had the most profound impact on the world of motorcycling in the previous 12 months. Sabater, a motorcyclist from Charlotte Hall, Md., earned the distinction for her grassroots advocacy in 2011 to save youth motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) from a misguided federal law that would have banned their sale on Jan. 1, 2012. The victory over the “lead law” was sealed when President Obama signed legislation overturning the ban on Aug. 12, 2011, ending a three-year battle to save youth riding for future generations.
             Pickerington, Ohio: In its annual “Best of” awards for, a leading online motorcycle magazine, named the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) as its “Industry Leader” for efforts to overturn a federal ban on the sale of kids’ dirtbikes and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).
            “…It’s easy to forget there are active forces lobbying against motorcyclists—so we recognize the AMA as an Industry Leader for the tireless defense of riders’ interests,” Motorcycle USA said.
            “The AMA keeps fighting the good fight on a number of fronts,” Motorcycle USA said. “Lobbying a laggardly Capitol Hill into passing a permanent fix on the CPSC Lead Ban was a noteworthy 2011 win, but there’s also OHV land access, motorcycle-only checkpoints, emissions regulations, even the formulation of gas that goes in our tanks… all are legal issues that have direct consequences for motorcyclists. The AMA does its best to stand guard, inform the public and mobilize rider action.”
            Rob Dingman, AMA president and CEO, thanked Motorcycle USA for the recognition of the AMA’s hard work, and added that the ban couldn’t have been overturned without the diligent efforts of many people and organizations, from kid riders and their parents to the Motorcycle Industry Council and Specialty Vehicle Institute of America and many others.
            Dingman also recognized the hard work of Sean Hilbert, president of Cobra Motorcycles; the Coombs family and Tim Cotter of MX Sports; Racer X magazine; Doublin Gap Motocross Park; Mason Dixon Riding Association 6 and 7; Tomahawk MX Park; the Middle Atlantic Motocross Association; Budds Creek Motocross Park; High Point Raceway; Motorcycle USA and the rest of the motorcycle enthusiast and trade media.
            Washington, D.C.: Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recently announced a call for nominations to serve on a newly formed advisory committee that will guide better management of the national forests and grasslands. The National Advisory Committee for Implementation of the National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule will advise and give recommendations to the secretary of agriculture and the chief of the U.S. Forest Service.
            The 45-day nomination period closes Feb. 21. Additional details on the committee and the application form are available at the U.S. Forest Service website or by calling (202) 205-0830. Further information is also available in the Federal Register Notice calling for nominations.
            The committee will be comprised of up to 21 members with diverse backgrounds who represent the full range of public interests in management of the national forest system lands and who represent geographically diverse locations and communities, within each of the following three categories of interests:
            The committee will provide advice and recommendations on issues such as planning rule directives for implementation, best practices, effective monitoring practices and ongoing collaboration efforts. The announcement of this committee builds on the agency’s efforts to develop a new Land Management Planning Rule for the national forest system.
            Washington, D.C.: U.S. House passes dust bill that would help protect off-road riding. Rural “nuisance dust” would be regulated by state and local officials rather than  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under a bill approved by the U.S. House on Dec. 8. The House approved the bill by a 268 to 150 bipartisan vote. The measure—H.R.1633, the Farm Dust Regulation Prevention Act of 2011—now goes to the Senate for consideration.
            The EPA staff and its Clean Air Science Advisory Council—in its review of the national ambient air quality standards that is required every five years under the federal Clean Air Act—recommended that the EPA administrator consider imposing a much tighter particulate matter (PM) standard for nuisance dust.
            Washington, D.C.: A Senate committee has approved two amendments to a traffic safety bill that would continue a ban on a U.S. traffic safety agency lobbying state and local officials. On Dec. 14, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved S. 1449—the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011—including two amendments offered by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). The DeMint amendments deleted language in the bill that would have allowed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to lobby state and local officials.
            Sacramento, Calif.: Recently Gov. Jerry Brown’s office notified the deputy director of the Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division of State Parks, Daphne Greene, that her appointed term would end as of Jan. 1, 2012. Greene, a Democrat who has served under both the Gray Davis and Schwarzenegger administrations, has been a strong ally for the OHV community and is widely hailed as someone who brought much-needed balance to, and long-term vision for, the OHV program. Riders, law enforcement and agency personnel statewide have been contacting the governor’s office requesting he reconsider this decision.
            Sacramento, Calif.: Assembly Bill 1047, sponsored by Asm. Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore), has been amended to expressly prohibit a local law enforcement agency receiving grant money for a motorcyclist safety program from using that money for the implementation of motorcycle only checkpoints.
            Baton Rouge, La.: The National Association of Recreation Resource Planners is seeking proposals for keynote speakers, educational sessions and poster sessions for their annual conference scheduled for April 16-19, 2012. This year’s conference theme is “Restoring the Spirit of the Landscape: The Recreation Response to the Challenges of Change.” Proposals are being sought from educators, students and planning professionals who have innovative ideas, case studies or new research relating to the recreation resource planning profession.
            Source and full story:
            Great Falls, Mont.: The National Off Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) Land Advocacy Webinars are being offered again in January and February of 2012. These courses are designed for both the off-highway vehicle (OHV) professional and the enthusiast. There are four webinars in the series. The series is being offered twice, once during daytime hours and once in evening hours to be able to accommodate as many people as possible.
            The first set of webinars is for OHV riders and anyone interested in OHV land use. They are designed to give riders the skills they’ll need to keep trails open in their areas and to assist government agency personnel to develop and maintain sustainable OHV trail systems and areas. Each session will be approximately 2-3 hours long and will be conducted by the same OHV management experts who conduct NOHVCC’s on-site workshops. Continuing Education Units are awarded through the Marshall Community and Technical College for all 4 courses.
            Source and full story:
            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
            Concord, N. H.:House Bill 171, sponsored by Rep. Sherman Packard (R-Londonderry), would prohibit the New Hampshire Liquor Commission from imposing restrictions on on-premises licenses relating to clothing or appearance of patrons or employees. The bill passed a Jan. 4 floor vote in the House and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
            Albany, N. Y.: A flurry of toll-related legislation has been introduced to curb excessive toll increases either proposed or already implemented in the New York City area. Bills such as Assembly Bill 8678, sponsored by Asm. Matthew Titone (D-Staten Island); Assembly Bill 8680, sponsored by Asm. Andrew P. Raia (R-East Northport); Assembly Bill 8813, sponsored by Asm. Michael Cusick (D-Staten Island); Senate Bill 6011, sponsored by Sen. Tony Avella (D-Whitestone); and Senate Bills 6031 and 6034, sponsored by Sen. Andrew J. Lanza (R-Great Kills), include provisions such as required public hearings prior to any toll increases, dedicated trust funds for all collected tolls, and explicit requirements that toll revenue be used only for the costs of maintaining and operating the port authority facilities on which the tolls were collected.
            Harrisburg, PaChampioned by A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania, House Bill 563, sponsored by Rep. Richard Geist (R-Altoona) and signed into law by Gov. Tom Corbett on Nov. 22, provides land owners who authorize their property to be used for an approved motorcycle safety education program shall not be held civilly liable for any injury or death to persons or damage to property that may occur during the course of instruction or training, except for willful or malicious failure to warn against a dangerous condition, use, structure or activity. The new law should assist the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program as it seeks to establish new training locations throughout the state.

            Colombia, S.C.: Senate Bill 1046, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Anderson (D-Greenville), would require all two-wheeled motorized vehicle operators and passengers to wear protective helmets of a type approved by the Department of Public Safety. Currently, motorcycle operators and passengers 21 and older are permitted to make their own decision regarding helmet use. . Alert Center . Contribute to the Cause . State Legislation . Motorcycle State Laws . Register to Vote
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