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MRF News

Autonomous Vehicle Crash Data

June 30, 2021
This week the federal government took an important step in the oversight of autonomous vehicles on our nation’s roadways. Under an order issued Tuesday, manufacturers of autonomous vehicles must disclose data about crashes involving this new technology. The Motorcycle Riders Foundations applauds the Department of Transportation for implementing this commonsense policy which will protect all Americans.

As reported by Bloomberg news:

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is ordering car manufacturers to disclose crashes involving automated driving systems as part of an effort to monitor safety of new technologies being used on the nation’s roads.

The agency announced Tuesday it is issuing an order requiring crash reporting from manufacturers and operators of vehicles equipped with advanced driver assistance systems, including those that can perform driver tasks such as steering, changing speeds and switching lanes.

NHTSA said the action would allow regulators “to collect information necessary for the agency to play its role in keeping Americans safe on the roadways, even as the technology deployed on the nation’s roads continues to evolve.”

“By mandating crash reporting, the agency will have access to critical data that will help quickly identify safety issues that could emerge in these automated systems,” Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s acting administrator, said in a statement. “In fact, gathering data will help instill public confidence that the federal government is closely overseeing the safety of automated vehicles.”

The reporting requirement applies to automated driver assist systems that meet SAE International’s Level 2 automation, the agency said. SAE International, which is an automotive engineering association, crafted self-driving definitions that were later adopted by NHTSA. They used to be named the Society of Automotive Engineers.

To read the official NHTSA release here.

2021 Highway Bill Unveiled

June 7, 2021

 

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure unveiled its 2021 highway bill, titled the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation (INVEST) in American Act. As you may remember, every five years Congress is required to reauthorize many of the highway related spending bills it passes. The current highway bill, known as the FAST Act, was given a one-year extension last year and is set to expire in September of 2021. The bill introduced Friday is a key component of the major infrastructure spending push the Biden Administration has made a top priority.

For the last two years, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and its members have diligently educated and lobbied lawmakers about the need to include motorcyclist specific priorities in a new highway bill. These grassroots efforts were given a boost with the inclusion of three major motorcyclist specific items in the bill. The Democrat lead bill includes the following provisions in its nearly 1,300 pages of text:

  1. Expanded prohibition on motorcycle only check points, including prohibiting using the clothing or apparel of riders or their passengers to profile or target bikers.
  2. Reestablishment of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, which gives bikers a voice within the Federal Highway Administration. Included in the bill, a seat on the council is specifically designated for a “representative of a national motorcycle foundation.”
  3. Inclusion of motorcycles as a specific category that autonomous vehicle studies must account for during the testing of this new technology. Additionally, a motorcyclist rights organization is assigned a seat on an autonomous vehicle working group at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The road ahead for a massive infrastructure plan remains uncertain. Negotiations between the House, Senate and White House will be contentious and as always political. However, what is certain is that the work of MRF members has ensured that motorcyclists are being heard in Washington, D.C. and as this newly released legislation shows they are being prioritized.

Remember them for their Sacrifice - Memorial Day 2021

June 2, 2021

After a long year, this Memorial Day weekend things are returning to normal.  In streets across our nation, traditional motorcycle events honoring those lost in military service are resuming. We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are forever grateful to our brothers and sisters lost defending the freedoms we cherish.

As Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

As our lives return to normal and we again spend time with family and friends, let’s all take a moment to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We at the MRF wish you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day.

For Immediate Release - Taking Back the Hill

May 19, 2021

For the last 15 months the halls of Congress have been silent. Health and safety restrictions have all but eliminated the normal atmosphere on Capitol Hill. However, this week things began to return to normal.  Bikers from over 25 states made their way to Washington D.C. and spent Monday and Tuesday meeting in person and via zoom with lawmakers and their staff. In many cases MRF members were the FIRST in person guests many members of congress had hosted since March of last year!

Bikers advocated on issues related to profiling, autonomous vehicles, the highway bill, ethanol and a host of other items. The action wasn’t limited to D.C.  as MRF members who couldn’t make the trip spent the last few days meeting with elected officials and staff back home. In the coming weeks the MRF will put out calls to action on many of the topics we covered this week. You can help move our agenda forward by responding to these calls to action and build off of the great work done in D.C. But for now, enjoy some of the pictures your fellow rides snapped while in out nation’s capital!

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders. The MRF is chiefly concerned with issues at the national and international levels that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. The MRF is committed to being a national advocate for the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle and works in conjunction with its partners to help educate elected officials and policymakers in Washington and beyond.

All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. Motorcycle Riders Foundation. All rights reserved. Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the MRF at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983

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