AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input.
National and Regional News
Washington, D.C.: A bipartisan bill introduced by U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) would prohibit the use of federal funds to establish motorcycle-only checkpoints.
Specifically, S. 127, the "Stop Motorcycle Checkpoint Funding Act," would restrict the U.S. Secretary of Transportation from granting funds to any government entity for a program to check helmet use or to create checkpoints for an operator of a motorcycle or a passenger on a motorcycle.
The AMA fully supports the bill.
Motorcycle riders are already subject to state registration, inspection, licensing and helmet laws and must stop at sobriety checkpoints like all other motorists. The AMA has fought motorcycle-only checkpoints since the state of New York announced plans to set up 15 of them in 2008 to stop riders on their way summer motorcycling events.
"Evidence suggests that motorcycle-only checkpoints do not effectively reduce motorcycle injuries or fatalities and do not address the factors that are the main contributors to motorcycle accidents," the senators wrote in a press release about the bill. "Accordingly, NHTSA does not list the practice in its own 2013 Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Offices, which details policies and activities that the agency considers effective at reducing crash injuries and fatalities."
States use funding from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pay for the checkpoints, so federal legislation can halt the practice. If passed, this federal bill will cut off NHTSA funding and ensure that riders across the country are safeguarded from these ineffective and discriminatory stops.
California, Louisiana, Missouri, North Carolina, Illinois, New Hampshire and Virginia have passed legislation curbing motorcycle-only checkpoints.
For more information on the efforts by the AMA to fight motorcycle-only checkpoints, go to www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/motorcycleonlycheckpoints.aspx.
Washington, D.C.: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the number of motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes declined by 6.4 percent from 2012 to 2013, and the number injured dropped 5.4 percent.
In 2013, 4,668 motorcyclist fatalities were reported, down 318 from the 4,986 in 2012. Similarly, 88,000 "occupants" were reported to have been injured in motorcycle crashes in 2013, down from 93,000 the year before. The NHTSA also reported that motor vehicle crash fatalities overall decreased by 3.1 percent in 2013 and injuries declined 2.1 percent.
One factor in the lower incidence of motorcycle crash fatalities was an 8.3 percent decrease in the number of motorcycle crashes in which the rider was impaired by alcohol, the NHTSA reported. The NHTSA report also noted that there were 190 fewer fatalities in 2013 among motorcyclists aged 50 to 69 years. That decline represented 60 percent of the total decrease in motorcyclist fatalities.
"Motorcyclist safety is of utmost importance," says AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "That is why the AMA is participating in the Motorcycle Crash Causation Study underway at Oklahoma State University. We hope that the information from this extensive examination of motorcycle crashes will lead to better strategies for making our roads safer for motorcyclists."
The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study is the first comprehensive examination since the 1981 Hurt Report on the factors contributing to motorcycle crashes in the United States. When the project is completed in 2016, it will provide a large and unique data set derived from actual motorcycle crashes and riders with similar risk characteristics, with a focus on the unique circumstances that produce motorcycle crashes.
The Motorcycle Crash Causation Study will provide up-to-date information on the types of dangers modern motorcyclists face. The study is important, because it will provide new insights into which factors affect motorcyclist safety and how.
AMA members contributed money to help pay for the study, and the AMA encouraged states to redirect unused federal funds to the effort. Supporting the study are the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the states of Iowa, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Wisconsin.
Yuma, Ariz.: The BLM Yuma Field Office has announced that the La Posa Travel Management Plan preliminary Environmental Assessment will be available for review starting Jan. 21. Written comments about the preliminary EA will be accepted through Feb. 19. The comments should be specific to be most effective.
The La Posa Travel Management Area surrounds Quartzsite, Ariz., and encompasses more than 380,000 acres of public land in La Paz and Yuma counties. For more information, visit the Yuma Field Office website.
Ames, Iowa: The state transportation commission approved more than $1.3 million in total funding for six federal Recreational Trails Program projects. The Recreational Trails Program was created in 1991 to develop and maintain recreational trails and trail-related facilities for motorized and non-motorized trail users. This funding is available to cities, counties, state and federal agencies and private organizations through an annual application-based program.
The projects and approved funding amounts are:
- Gypsum City OHV Park – Phase 3 Trail Construction - $195,559
- Iowa DNR AmeriCorps Trail Crew - $280,000
- Mitchellville to Prairie City Rails to Trails Corridor Acquisition - $450,599
- Raccoon River Valley Trail to High Trestle Trail Connector Phase 1 Acquisition/Construction -
- Perry to Bouton - $119,575
- Snowmobile Trail Grooming Equipment Purchase - $240,000
- Support for Program and Bicycle/Trails Summits - $18,400
For additional information on any of these projects contact: Craig Markley at (515) 239-1027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jackson, Miss.: House Bill 1359, sponsored by state Rep. Brad A. Oberhousen, would allow a motorcycle, when the motorcycle is the sole occupant of a lane and does not cause the sensor to trigger a green light, to cautiously enter the intersection and proceed through or make a turn, provided that the motorcycle shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians lawfully within an adjacent crosswalk and to other vehicular traffic lawfully using the intersection. A motorcycle shall not make a turn under this subsection if a sign stating "No Turn On Red" is in place prohibiting a turn.
Granite Falls, Wash.: A Plans to build a motocross track along the Mountain Loop Highway have again received approval from the Snohomish County hearing examiner, but the project must adhere to a long list of conditions intended to limit noise, water runoff, dust, light pollution, fire danger, traffic and more.
The examiner's decision can be appealed to the County Council and to Snohomish County Superior Court. Before starting construction, the project also must obtain permits. The examiner's 93-page decision is the latest turn in a nearly decade-long effort by MXGP of Kirkland to build a motocross facility in Snohomish County.
The proposal calls for building out a complex of multiple tracks in five phases. The work could take up to 15 years to complete. It would occupy a 437-acre site located between two quarries, Green Mountain Mine and Snohomish County's Sand Hill gravel pit. About 80 percent of the property would remain as forest. One-day attendance cannot exceed 800 people for riders, spectators and facility staff. The motocross park can be used for a maximum of 150 days per year.
Okanogan, Wash.: A A Superior Court judge has upheld a county resolution allowing ATV use on county roads. Assertions that Okanogan County’s approach to ATVs could damage sensitive environmental areas and lead to violations of the law are merely speculative, Okanogan County Superior Court Judge Henry Rawson ruled.
The Dec. 26, 2014, decision was issued in an appeal by two environmental organizations of the county commissioners’ decision to allow ATVs to ride on all roads with speed limits of 35 mph and below. The plaintiffs argued that the county had failed to do an adequate environmental review of the impact of the opening of 421 miles of county roads to ATVs.
The commissioners’ June 2014 resolution opened 421 miles of roads to ATVs, the majority unpaved, adding to 336 miles that already were open.
Costa Mesa, Calif.: MotoAmerica, the new home of the AMA Superbike Series, has announced it will have three rider-entry options for Superbike, Superstock 1000 and Supersport in its debut season with riders/teams having the choice of Premier Entry, Season Entry and Single Event Entry. The Superstock 600 and KTM RC Cup riders/teams will be eligible for Season Entry and Single Event Entry.
MotoAmerica is accepting applications for both Premier and Season Entry for Superbike, Superstock 1000 and Supersport with an entry closing deadline set for Feb. 10. Riders and teams who are accepted for the limited number of Premier Entries will receive benefits such as a guaranteed purse, paddock hospitality footprint, permanent credentials, and media initiatives.
Premier and Season Entry is the only way to guarantee a registration space for MotoAmerica classes. In early March, MotoAmerica will release single-event entries on a per-track and space-available basis.
For more information and to receive a Premier Entry or Season Entry application, email email@example.com.
Irvine, Calif.: The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has announced that Donald L. Green has joined the MSF to manage the Indiana Motorcyclist Safety Program and assist MSF in advancing national motorcyclist safety initiatives.
Green will coordinate all day-to-day operations of the IMCSP, including training site selection, RiderCoach recruitment and training, quality assurance, and motorcycle fleet procurement and maintenance. He will also be responsible for monitoring certification of Indiana RiderCoaches, RiderCoach Trainers and license examiners, managing the quality assurance program, and ensuring compliance with operator licensing procedures.
Green received the AMA Outstanding Road Rider Award in 2014 for his efforts to train armed forces personnel at Fort Knox in Kentucky and his commitment to the Kentucky Motorcycle Rider Education Program.
Pickerington, Ohio: When Bob J. Loguidice of Ramona, Calif., renewed his AMA membership in February 2014, it earned him the status of AMA Life Member and qualified him for the 2014 American Motorcyclist Association membership sweepstakes.
Recently Loguidice won the sweepstakes prize, a 2014 Yamaha Super Ténéré motorcycle, courtesy of Yamaha Motor Corp. U.S.A.
AMA members who joined or renewed in 2014 got a chance to win the Super Ténéré. In addition, riders participating in the 2014 Yamaha Super Ténéré AMA National Adventure Riding Series earned additional entries in the sweepstakes.
Independent auditing and accounting firm Plante & Moran of Columbus, Ohio, administered the sweepstakes.
Designed to ride for extended periods across just about any kind of navigable terrain in comfort and style, the Yamaha Super Ténéré serves as the perfect inspiration for the AMA National Adventure Riding Series. The bike, known as the ultimate transcontinental adventure machine, was improved for 2014 with a more powerful inline twin-cylinder engine, electronic cruise control, updated wind protection and heated grips as standard equipment. It also has sport and touring drive modes, traction control, anti-lock brakes, an adjustable seat and more.
While Loguidice was elated to win the motorcycle, he was equally enthusiastic about protecting motorcyclists' rights through his AMA membership.
AMA Life Member status comes with 25 consecutive years of paid membership dues.
New and renewing AMA members already are earning an opportunity to win great prizes in the 2015 membership sweepstakes. Participants in the 2015 Yamaha Super Ténéré AMA National Adventure Riding Series are improving their odds as well. For the 2015 season calendar, see www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Dirt/EventsAndSeries/NationalAdventureRide/NationalAdventureRideSchedule.aspx.
Pickerington, Ohio: Beta -- one of the fastest-growing brands in off-road racing and riding -- has signed on as the new title sponsor for the country's largest and longest-running dual sport series: the Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series.
As part of Beta USA's title sponsorship of the series, one lucky participant will win the choice of a 2015 Beta 430 or 500 RS model. The RS line is designed to the same performance standards as the company's enduro race bikes, including the latest engine updates to the Beta RR lineup. RS bikes come from the factory with a Voyager GPS unit that features GPS, speed, tachometer, engine coolant temperature, a compass, an odometer, maps and more.
The Beta AMA National Dual-Sport Series, created by the AMA in 1987, has become increasingly popular as off-road and street riders alike have turned to dual-sport recreation to experience the freedom of two wheels. The individual rides that make up the series take riders on daylong adventures on courses that range from flowing country roads to challenging singletrack trails.
Beta USA sells a wide range of two- and four-stroke off-road race bikes in addition to the RS dual-sport lineup. The company offers base models, Race Editions as well as its innovative Build Your Own Bike program, which allows new owners to have their new bikes built to order at the factory with custom suspension, ergonomic and power characteristics.
The 2015 schedule for the Beta AMA National Dual Sport Series is available here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/Riding/Dirt/EventsAndSeries/NationalDualSport/NationalDualSportSchedule.aspx.
AMA News & Notes is a monthly publication compiled and edited by the American Motorcyclist Association Government Relations Department. Designed to inform motorcyclists of rights-related issues and events in the United States and around the world, AMA News & Notes welcomes your input. Suggestions and editorial contributions can be sent to AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris.
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