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.: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency accepted a settlement with the American Petroleum Institute and Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers that calls for the federal agency to establish Renewable Fuel Standard requirements by Nov. 30 for the years 2014 and 2015.
The settlement stems from a March 18 lawsuit the oil and chemical industry groups filed over the EPA’s failure to meet congressional mandates.
Under the agreement, EPA pledged to propose the 2015 RFS mandate by June 1 and re-propose the 2014 mandate to reflect the volume of renewable fuels actually blended in 2014.
Washington, D.C.: A bipartisan bill would reopen the Clear Creek Management Area in California for off-highway-vehicle use. The bill, H.R. 1838, was introduced by U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.) and is co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.).
In 2008, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management closed the CCMA due to concerns about high levels of naturally occurring asbestos. Upon further investigation, these concerns turned out to be unwarranted.
While the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency contends that levels of asbestos within the CCMA are unsafe, studies commissioned by the state of California demonstrated that the amount of asbestos that OHV riders are exposed to is limited. In fact, other activities in the area expose recreationists to significantly higher levels of asbestos.
H.R. 1838 would direct the BLM to reopen the Clear Creek Management Area. More information is available at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/rights/issueslegislation.
Pickerington, Ohio: Forty-two members of the 113th Congress were honored on April 28 by the American Motorcyclist Association for their support of motorcyclists’ rights and issues of importance to motorcycling.
“These lawmakers have demonstrated an interest in, and support for, the issues that most directly affect the motorcycling community, and we take great pleasure in honoring them for their efforts,” says Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations and a former U.S. senator and U.S. representative from Colorado.
U.S. Reps. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and Tim Griffin (R-Ark.) and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) were recognized as AMA Heroes. “Hero” awards are presented for extraordinary efforts to support motorcyclists and motorcycling.
A presentation ceremony, organized by the AMA Government Relations Department, took place at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.
To download a complete list of the award recipients, click here: http://americanmotorcyclist.com/Libraries/Rights_Documents_Federal/2015_GRD_Congressional_Awards_Full_List.sflb.ashx?download=true
Ventura, Calif.: The Friends of Oceano Dunes has won its appeal challenging the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District’s attempts to use its permitting process to control air emissions in state parks.
The county’s “dust rule” requires the California Department of Parks and Recreation to reduce the particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area or face fines of $1,000 per day. The 2nd Appellate Court in Ventura, Calif., ruled in early April that the county pollution district has no authority to regulate air emissions at state parks through the permit process.
AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris says the county was “ignoring all of the particulate matter in the air generated by the local farmers and requiring Pismo Beach to mitigate it as if they were the only source.”
In 2012, the Friends of Oceano Dunes filed suit against the county Air Pollution Control District, saying the district used flawed scientific practices in its report and failed to prove that off-highway-vehicle activity caused an increase in pollution on the Nipomo Mesa.
Tracy, Calif.: The Preliminary General Plan and associated Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area are being circulated for public review and comment for a period of 45 days that began April 23.
Written comments about the documents must be submitted no later than June 8 to:
California Department of Parks and Recreation
Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division
c/o AECOM, attn. Carnegie SVRA General Plan
2020 L Street, Suite 400
Sacramento, CA 95811
Comments also may be submitted electronically at http://www.CarnegieGeneralPlan.com/DEIR-comments, or by e-mail to email@example.com.
These documents may also be viewed online at http://www.CarnegieGeneralPlan.com/document-library.
Hard copies of the Preliminary General Plan and Draft EIR may be reviewed at the following locations during normal business hours:
18600 W. Corral Hollow Road
Tracy, CA 95376
Carnegie SVRA Sector Office
15751 Tesla Road
Livermore, CA 94550
Tracy Public Library
20 East Eaton Avenue
Tracy, CA 95376
Livermore Public Library
1188 South Livermore Ave.
Livermore, CA 94550
California Department of Parks and Recreation
OHMVR Division Headquarters
1725 23rd St., Suite 200
Sacramento, CA 95816
Birmingham, Ala.: The state House passed a bill that would require motorcyclists to take a rider safety course or written test to obtain a Class M endorsement on their driver’s licenses. Alabama is the only state that does not require an endorsement for motorcycle operators. The law would grandfather all riders who currently hold a Class M endorsement.
Milton, Fla.: A 270-mile network of off-highway-vehicle trails has opened in the 210,423-acre Blackwater River State Forest near the town of Milton in Northwest Florida. Local riders have been working on the project since 2004.
The Clear Creek Off-Highway Vehicle Trails offers switchback trails through the woods, beginner-friendly tracks and a youth training area.
The facility was funded through OHV title fees, along with about a $300,000 grant from the Federal Highway Administration's Recreational Trails Program and donations from OHV manufacturers Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A. and Polaris Industries Inc.
Augusta, Ga.: The General Assembly passed the “dead red” bill that would allow motorcyclists to drive through red lights if their bikes failed to trigger the traffic signal. The bill was sent to the governor for his signature.
Lexington, Ky.: The General Assembly passed and the governor signed a “dead red” bill that allows motorcyclists to pass through red lights when their bikes fail to trigger the traffic signal. The law provides the motorcyclist with an affirmative defense should a law enforcement officer issue a traffic citation for the action.
Jefferson City, Mo.: The Missouri House voted 95-57 to repeal the state’s existing helmet law and require helmets only for those younger than 21 years. The bill was referred to the state Senate.
Salem, Ore.: A bill to legalize limited lane splitting passed the state Senate and goes before the House of Representatives for consideration. S.B. 694 would allow lane splitting on roads with posted speed limits of 50 mph or higher when traffic is moving 10 mph or slower and the motorcyclist travels at 20 mph or slower.
Austin, Texas: S.B. 754, introduced by state Sen. Kirk Watson (D-Austin), would increase funding for the state’s motorcycle training and safety programs. The legislature has declined to appropriate money from the fund since 2005. As a result, the general revenue dedicated account for motorcycle education has accumulated a balance of more than $17.7 million in unspent funds.
Irvine, Calif.: Gear Up Every Ride, a new initiative built around innovative ways of encouraging riders to use proper motorcycling apparel, will launch during May’s Motorcycle Awareness Month. The Motorcycle Industry Council’s Rider Safety Committee — a team of experts representing riding gear manufacturers, distributors and marketers — designed the program.
Gear Up will roll out May 1 with a new website (gearupeveryride.org) and an online contest featuring nearly $10,000 in prizes and growing.
More information is available at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/News/15-04-23/Motorcycle_Industry_Council_Members_Launch_Gear_Up_Every_Ride_New_Initiative_Encouraging_Motorcyclists_to_Wear_Proper_Riding_Apparel.aspx.
Modesto, Calif.: For the fourth consecutive year, Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., is sponsoring the True American Heroes Weekend, a fundraising event at Kenny Roberts’ legendary ranch in Modesto, to benefit “Welcome Home Heroes” and the Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr. Memorial Foundation. Yamaha has also donated a brand-new Super Ténéré adventure-touring bike to the True American Heroes Benefit Auction.
More information is available at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/news/ridingnews/15-04-24/Yamaha_donates_Super_T%C3%A9n%C3%A9r%C3%A9_and_once_again_sponsors_True_American_Heroes_Weekend_Hosted_By_Kenny_Roberts.aspx.
Brea, Calif.: This year marks 30 years of performance heritage for the Suzuki GSX-R sportbike. To celebrate the brand and the owners who have helped make it so popular, Suzuki Motor of America is hosting “GSX-R 30 Years of Performance” events throughout the summer – 10 Anniversary events total.
The celebration kicked off in April at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, coinciding with the inaugural race of the 2015 MotoAmerica Road Racing Championship series, as well as the RedBull GP of the Americas.
Suzuki is eager to celebrate the 30-year tradition of “Own the Racetrack” GSX-R sportbike performance at events all summer. The company’s events calendar is here: http://www.suzukicycles.com/Events.aspx.
Berlin, Germany: Through the U.S. State Department, the AMA voiced its concerns about a proposal from the German Federal Transport Minister to charge road tolls to foreign motorists on German motor routes.
The AMA’s concern was that U.S. military personnel stationed in Europe would be directly and unfairly affected by this new toll.
In a letter to U.S. ambassador to Germany John B. Emerson, the AMA pointed out that the NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) governs the treatment of military personnel.
In an April 22 response, liaison officer Glendon Pitts stated that the lower house of the German parliament passed an amended draft of the bill that exempts U.S. forces covered under SOFA from the toll obligations.
“The embassy’s goal is to ensure that U.S. service members received the fullest possible set of SOFA privileges and exemptions during their stay in Germany,” Pitts wrote.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony returns to the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) in Orlando, Fla., on Oct. 17. The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be recognized at the Orange County Convention Center's Chapin Theater.
For the second year, the induction ceremony will be held in conjunction with AIMExpo, the fast-growing and impactful event that brings together consumers, dealers, manufacturers, and the world press in one location for global product launches, demo rides, motorcycling seminars, and much more.
Additional information is available at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/News/15-04-23/AMA_Motorcycle_Hall_of_Fame_Induction_Ceremony_Returns_to_AIMExpo_Oct_17_in_Orlando_Fla.aspx.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA Board of Directors ratified three new board members at a March 27 board meeting in Stecoah, N.C.
Tony Moseley, from Fort Worth, Texas, was ratified as an individual member representative, filling a vacancy in the South Central Region. David Foley, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., was approved as an AMA Business Member representative. Jerry Abboud, from Thornton, Colo., was appointed as an at-large director.
The full report is available at http://www.americanmotorcyclist.com/news/ridingnews/15-04-06/American_Motorcyclist_Association_announces_additions_to_AMA_Board_of_Directors.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 Government Affairs Editor, Jim Witters.
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