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 2014 AMA Vote Like A Motorcyclist campaign provides AMA members with exclusive access to an online voter guide, tips for getting a message across to candidates and resources for getting involved in a political campaign.
The AMA encourages its members to find out where their candidates stand on issues that affect motorcyclists the most. The 2014 AMA Voter Guide includes candidates' stances on motorcycle-only checkpoints, public land grabs, increasing levels of ethanol in gasoline, health insurance discrimination and a variety of other motorcycle rights issues on Capitol Hill.
In compiling the 2014 AMA Voter Guide, the AMA reached out to all candidates for Congress and to all gubernatorial candidates. In addition, many of AMA members contacted candidates in their area to encourage them to complete the AMA questionnaire, so their responses are available to motorcycling constituents. The 2014 AMA Voter Guide provides candidate biographies, links to their campaign websites, photos and the federal incumbents' stand on motorcycling issues. A key component is the candidate questionnaires and their "fuel-gauge" rating, indicating how supportive they are of motorcyclist-related issues. A full tank indicates a candidate is 100 percent in agreement with the priorities of the AMA and its members.
The 2014 AMA Voter Guide is available only to AMA members at www.americanmotorcyclist.com/votelikeamotorcyclist. AMA memberships are available online here: www.americanmotorcyclist.com/membership/join.
AMA members may post comments, videos or photos on each candidate profile page. And, for those who would like to dress the part, "AMA Vote Like A Motorcyclist" merchandise is available here: www.zazzle.com/americanmotorcyclist/.
Berkeley, Calif.: Two studies highlight advantages of responsible lane splitting. Riding a motorcycle between two lanes of stopped or slowly moving traffic -- a tactic known as lane splitting -- is a relatively safe maneuver when both the motorcyclist and nearby drivers know the law and adhere to "safe and prudent" practices, according to two University of California—Berkeley studies released in October.
One report is a crash study that examined nearly motorcyclists who were involved in crashes while lane splitting between June 2012 and August 2013. The second report examined lane-splitting habits among various groups in 2012 and 2013..
The findings bolster the position of motorcyclists and traffic-safety officials that responsible lane splitting is a safe and effective tactic for riders, particularly in heavily congested areas. The AMA endorses these practices and will assist groups and individuals working to bring legal lane splitting or filtering to their states.
The AMA position statement supporting lane splitting can be viewed at http://americanmotorcyclist.com/Rights/PositionStatements/LaneSplitting.aspx.
Hesperia, Calif.: The California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation will hold a public meeting to obtain input for the environmental analysis to be addressed in a proposed California Environmental Quality Act document for the Baldy Mesa Trails/Staging Area Development and Restoration Project. The CEQA document would be a supplement to a National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Assessment previously prepared for the project. The public meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at the Courtyard by Marriott Victorville-Hesperia, located at 9619 Mariposa Road.
The OHMVR Division will present an overview of the project, discuss the environmental review process to date, and receive public input on the environmental analysis to be addressed in the proposed CEQA document. Space is limited.
For more information and to RSVP by Friday, November 7, 2014, please contact Katie Metraux, 916-322-6678 or Katie.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vallejo, Calif.: The U.S. Forest Service has announced another series of public meetings for Forest Plan Revision for the Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo National Forests. The meetings are scheduled for the following dates and locations:
- 6:00-8:00pm - Monday, November 17, Sierra National Forest, Holiday Inn, 5090 East Clinton Way, Fresno, CA
- 6:00-8:00pm - Tuesday, November 18, Sequoia National Forest, Supervisor’s Office, 1839 South Newcomb Street, Porterville, CA
- 6:00-8:00pm - Thursday, November 20, Inyo National Forest, Tri-County Fairgrounds, Tallman Pavilion, Sierra Street & Fair Drive, Bishop, CA
The “open house” styled meetings are primarily informational to share the issues and concerns the agency heard during the recently completed scoping phase. The meetings are an opportunity for the public to participate in discussion to frame a preliminary range of alternatives. There is no formal comment period associated with these meetings, however the Forest Service welcomes thoughtful dialogue.
In September, the USFS announced its intent to develop an environmental impact statement that, when completed, will revise forest plans for the Inyo, Sequoia, and Sierra National Forests. The Sierra, Sequoia and Inyo are three of eight national forests that were selected as “early adopters,” meaning they will be the first forests to revise their land management plans using the new 2012 National Forest System Planning Rule. The planning rule provides the framework for USFS land management plans across the nation. Additional information regarding these forest plan revisions is available at: http://tinyurl.com/r5earlyadopters.
Indianapolis, Ind.: Under a new law, drivers of scooters with engines of 50 cubic centimeters or less will need to buy license plates and pass a Bureau of Motor Vehicles test involving road signals and signs. Operators of scooters with larger engines will be required to follow motorcycle requirements, including holding a valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement or valid motorcycle learner's permit.
BMV officials released an online video recently explaining which documents are needed to obtain a scooter license and the different types of licenses needed. The new law doesn't require insurance for drivers of the smaller scooters, with the registration costing $26.35, plus a $10 excise tax.
Minneapolis, Minn.: The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will restrict recreational use of off-highway vehicles in some areas during the upcoming firearms deer-hunting season. Vehicles affected by the restrictions include ATVs, off-highway motorcycles and registered off-road vehicles such as four-wheel drive trucks that are not being used in conjunction with deer hunting by a licensed deer hunter.
The restrictions, which apply to state forest trails and access routes but not to state forest roads, intend to protect recreational riders from potentially unsafe riding conditions and to minimize conflicts between deer hunters and recreational riders who may inadvertently disturb them.
Licensed deer hunters may still use these routes in conjunction with their hunting activity:
- Before legal shooting time.
- From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- After legal shooting hours.
- Effective dates of the recreational riding restrictions will be:
Because recreational OHV trails located in southeastern Minnesota close Nov. 1 each year, no additional OHV riding restrictions are necessary in that part of the state. While many recreational OHV riders have voluntarily opted not to ride forest trails during deer hunting and small-game seasons, recreational OHV riding has become a year-round sport for many. DNR officials remind everyone who visits Minnesota’s state forests this fall to put safety first.
Nov. 8 – 23 for the northeastern Minnesota 100 Series deer season.
Nov. 8 – 16 for the Minnesota 200 Series deer season.
For more information, see the 2014 deer season map online or contact the DNR Information Center at email@example.com or 651-296-6157 or 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Great Falls, Mont.: A new guidebook will soon be available from the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council that will benefit the entire OHV industry, titled “Great Trails – A Guide to Providing Quality OHV Trail Experiences.” It is being developed by NOHVCC, written by a core team of consultants, and funded by a wide range of OHV industry partners.
“Great Trails” will offer guidance on how to take an idea for an OHV trail through the planning process, then into design and construction, using proven principles and techniques to ensure the trail offers riders an outstanding recreational experience, while also being environmentally and economically sustainable. The book will be of great benefit to the OHV clubs and associations, state and federal agencies, and business leaders who want information about putting a trail in their area to draw tourism, and to local leaders who wish to improve the OHV riding in their communities.
“Great Trails” is expected to be available in the early part of 2015. NOHVCC and its state and industry partners work hard to meet its mission to “create a positive future for OHV recreation.” For more information on “Great Trails”, visit www.greatohvtrails.com. To assist in the funding of the book, contact NOHVCC by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-348-6487.
Cle Elum, Wash.: Last year the state purchased a large piece of land in the headwaters of the Yakima Basin from a private timber company with the intent of creating the Teanaway Community Forest. The stated goals include preserving working forest lands and enhancing recreational opportunities. To help guide the state in implementing this plan a citizen’s advisory committee was formed. There are 20 members on the advisory committee, but it includes only one motorized recreation representative.
The DNR has a legal requirement to allow multiple uses of the land when it does not compromise their trust management obligations. ORV use has historically proven to be one of the most compatible uses within working forests and as such should be prioritized accordingly. ORV recreation is a proven example of a form of recreation compatible with working forests and has been taking place in this area for at least four decades.
Even prior this community forest legislation, the DNR has been directed by RCW79.10 to facilitate multi-use public access whenever it is compatible with their trust obligations.
The DNR is continuing to collect comments on how the Teanaway Forest should be managed.
You can help out by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K82Q3RP and adding your comments.
For more information on how you can help save the Teanaway Forest and other ORV issues, go to www.nmaoffroad.org and www.wohva.org.
Tokyo, Japan: Honda Motor Co., Ltd. plans to equip its all-new Legend automobile with a new driver-assist system called Honda SENSING. The car will be available in Japan by the end of this year, and the company plans to include the system on more models in the future.
The system consists of several components, including a millimeter-wave radar inside the front grill of the car and a monocular camera mounted on the upper, inside part of the windshield. Those components are designed to detect pedestrians and other objects, including motorcycles, within a range of about 66 yards.
Other components include:
- Collision mitigation braking, which alerts the driver when there is a risk of collision, then automatically brakes, if necessary.
- Road departure mitigation, which helps keep the vehicle in its lane.
- Pedestrian collision mitigation, which forecasts a collision with a pedestrian and warns the driver.
- Lane-keeping assist, which helps keep the car in the middle of the lane during highway driving.
- Adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, which controls acceleration and braking to maintain an appropriate distance.
- Traffic sign recognition, which calls the driver’s attention to the signs.
- False-start prevention, which detects the vehicle directly in front of the car or other objects in close range while the car is stopped or traveling very slowly. The system prevents acceleration while the object or person is in range.
- Lead-car departure notification, which alerts the driver when the car in front starts up from a standstill.
With further improvement in performance, the new millimeter-wave radar expanded its scope of detection to include pedestrians regarded as being hard to detect due to their low rate of radio wave reflection as well as the position and speed of target object.
Orlando, Fla.: Seven new members of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame were inducted for their achievements and contributions to motorcycling during the 2014 American Honda AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Harley-Davidson Motor Company, at the Chapin Theater in the Orange County Convention Center on Friday, Oct. 17.
During a ceremony hosted by actor, motorcyclist and AMA board member Perry King, the new inductees are: race tuner and innovator Byron Hines; motocross pioneer Pierre Karsmakers; Tom White, acclaimed motorcycle collector, former nationally ranked racer and founder of White Brothers Cycle Specialties; George Barber, founder of the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and the Barber Motorsports Park; national off-road racing champion Scott Summers; AMA motocross champion and current Supercross/motocross team manager Mike LaRocco; and legendary tuner, engine builder and team owner Rob Muzzy.
Also honored was AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend William "Willie G." Davidson. Willie G. is the grandson of Harley-Davidson founder William A. Davidson and is responsible for many of the innovative motorcycle designs that ushered in a new era for the iconic company. AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legends are existing members of the Hall of Fame whose lifetime accomplishments are showcased as part of the annual induction ceremony of new Hall of Famers.
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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