May 25 Motorcycle Awareness Month
It was very informative to learn what each state has been able to do in regards to Motorcycle Rights over the last year and also what happened at the Federal level.
This article is to let you know what the MRF is and how you can help and why you should. The MRF is the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. It is Federal voice for motorcyclist in Washington DC. It was originally made up of most of the SMRO’s. SMRO stands for State Motorcycle Rights Organizations and are mostly ABATE or similar organizations. But as well as all things in Washington, numbers and money talk so to increase both the MRF opened up membership to individuals and Motorcycle Clubs.
MRF has a paid lobbyist that helps with getting the Elected officials and to help write bills and resolutions. He also watches all Legislation to make sure nothing that would be bad for the Motorcycle community gets slipped into a larger bill. (Politics can be sneaky like that).
One of the things that was accomplished at this Meeting of the Minds was the MRF Legislation Priority List for this next year was discussed and voted on. I was in this meeting and so I can tell you here what is on the list. Now MRF has 3 levels on this Priority list: High, Medium, and Monitor.
- Profiling – (If you filled out the MPP (Motorcycle Profiling Project) survey like you should have. That is a big part of helping with this.)
- Renewable Fuel – Ethanol, E-15, Blender pumps, labeling
- Autonyms Vehicles – making sure they are tested to insure they see Motorcycles and that testing results and accident reports are made public.
- Emission Regulations – work to keep the ability to have air cooled engines and to be able to modify your bike (exhaust and engine upgrades)
- Definition of a Motorcycle – work to stop other vehicles being lumped into the motorcycle statics (example Sling Shots)
- Crash Avoidance – More focus on Crash Avoidance instead of Injury reduction
- Helmet laws – this includes apparel – we should not be told what we must wear to ride.
- Black Box (Data Recording) – We should own our own data, it should not sold or given to insurance companies, to be used against you.
- Highway Bill – push things to be in the highway bill that will benefit motorcycle riders and not be against us.
- Added this Year – wording is not final.
- Work to remove The California waver from EPA emissions.
- Work to oppose Vehicle Milage Tax
- Roadway Design – make sure roadway designs take motorcyclist into account
- Discriminatory Legislation
- Vulnerable Roadway user terminology
- Gang, Club, and other similar language
- Lane splitting / Filtering – (moved up from Monitor in 2021) Study the safety and issues relating to lane splitting and/or Filtering
- Distracted Driving
- Sound Testing
- International Partnerships to deal with end-of-Life and End of Combustion
- National Studies
- Exhaust systems
- Fed EPA Noise Division refunded
So now you know what the MRF is and what they are trying to do for you. Now how can you help them, help you?
- Well when you complete a Call to Action when I send out the e-mail that is a great help. These are usually very simple but very effective. Usually one click and you are able to send a letter to your Elected Officials to let them know you support or oppose something. If they get enough of these, it can really make a difference.
- You can join MRF. Leather & Lace MC has joined as a Sustaining Club. I joined with a 3 year membership. When you join you get e-mail updates, a newsletter, and the Call to Action e-mails. You can join at MRF.Org The Midwest Krue and High Cotton Chapter have both joined as Sustaining club and Lin signed up Leather & Lace MC Canada as a sustaining Club If any of the other Crews would like to join as a Sustaining Club it is $100 a year.
- You can join your local ABATE or SMRO. Most of these organizations work with the MRF to get things done at the Federal level, but they also work to deal with Motorcycle Rights at your State level. Now some of your states the COC does most if not all this work for Motorcycle Rights but in some states, it is the SMRO’s that do this work. These SMRO’s are more powerful with larger membership numbers. So even if you don’t want to be involved in most of SMRO’s events, or meetings you can join anyway. They don’t require you to attend anything, but you will still get a newsletter that will keep you updated on what issues they are working on in your area.
Now we are not requiring you to join the MRF or your local SMRO, but if you want to do more these are steps you can take to help. I do ask that you do complete any Call to Action I send you in a timely manner and let me know when you do so.
Enjoy safe riding!