AMA News and Notes: February 2014
February 12, 2014
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 at email@example.com.
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National and Regional News
Washington, D.C.: On Jan. 14th U.S. Sens. John Hoeven (R.-N.D.) and Amy Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) introduced S. 1925, the Driver Privacy Act. The bill would codify that information collected by an event data recorder – commonly referred to as a black box – would be the legal property of the person who owns or leases a passenger motor vehicle.
However, as currently written, the bill provides privacy protections only for vehicles that are specifically mentioned in the Code of Federal Regulations 49, section 563. This section does not include any reference to motorcycles. As a result, the privacy protections offered to operators of passenger motor vehicles would not extend to motorcyclists and all information collected from motorcyclists would remain unprotected.
The American Motorcyclist Association supports clarifying who owns the data collected in black boxes. Currently only 14 states have laws relating to ownership of data in an event data recorder. While event data recorders are not currently required for motorcycles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires all passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, trucks, and buses to be equipped with a black box. The AMA believes it is only a matter of time before this mandate extends to motorcycles.
The AMA fully supports extending the provisions in S. 1925 to motorcyclists, in much the same manner that the U.S. House of Representatives’ bipartisan H.R. 2414, the Black Box Privacy Protection Act (which the AMA supports), does.
Please contact your senators today and urge them to protect motorcyclists’ rights.
Washington, D.C.: The Omnibus Appropriations Act, a massive funding bill, includes provisions that prohibit implementation of the Wild Lands initiative and continue conservation efforts to prevent the sage-grouse from being listed as an endangered species. In addition, it requires federal land managers to disclose how Equal Access to Justice Act funds are disbursed.
The AMA supported the inclusion of these vital public lands issues in the bill. The appropriations act passed both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate and was quickly signed by the President. In a release explaining several provisions of the Act, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), former chair of the U.S. House Interior and Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, praised provisions included in the bill to address public lands issues and make litigation costs transparent.
The Act also curbs the Wild Lands initiative. The Wild Lands initiative empowers the U.S. Bureau of Land Management to identify lands in its inventory that it determines have "Wilderness characteristics" and then designate them as restricted-access Wild Lands -- all without approval of Congress.
Another provision of the Omnibus Act would allow conservation efforts to continue to protect and restore the habitat of the sage-grouse on public lands. This will help revive the sage-grouse population without the need to place them on the Endangered Species List. The move allows for protection for the sage-grouse without the closing of more federal lands to public use.
Great Falls, Mont.: Our friends at National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council need your assistance. They have asked supporters to take a short survey about efforts to participate in public processes related to the management of public lands. The information will be used to further emphasize to public officials that unilateral action to designate massive swaths of public lands as a National Monument would brush aside the dedicated efforts of off-highway vehicle enthusiasts and other stakeholders who took the time and put in the effort to actively participate in the management process. The information will be used to push back against Administration officials who would subvert existing processes with inappropriate Monument designations. The NOHVCC are particularly interested in collaborative processes where OHV enthusiasts have actively been engaged in face-to-face meetings with other stakeholders.
Moreno Valley, Calif: The BLM has initiated stage III fire restrictions in portions of the lands administered by the California Desert District outside the California Desert Conservation Area in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties. These restrictions do not apply to the ISDRA, Dumont Dunes, Johnson Valley, El Mirage, Jawbone Canyon, and Spangler Hills OHV open areas.
Due to recent hot and dry weather conditions with frequent Santa Ana winds, red flag warnings, and firefighting resources in winter staffing modes, seasonal fire restrictions are necessary to prevent wildfires on public lands outside of the CDCA. Additionally, year-round fire restrictions remain in effect for the entire Desert District. The 2014 Fire Restriction Order and a fire restriction area map can be viewed at: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/fire.html
For more information, contact any of the following BLM offices: California Desert District Office (951) 697-5200, Barstow Field Office (760) 252-6000, El Centro Field Office (760) 337-4400, Needles Field Office (760) 326-7000, Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office (760) 833-7100 or Ridgecrest Field Office (760) 384-5400.
Annapolis, Md.: House Bill 277, sponsored by Delegate Justin Ready (R-Westminster), would prohibit the state or a local jurisdiction from imposing or levying a vehicle-miles-traveled tax. It would also prohibit requiring the installation of a device in or on a privately owned vehicle to facilitate the reporting of the number of vehicle-miles traveled.
St. Paul, Minn.: House File 2017, sponsored by Rep. Brian Johnson (R-Cambridge), would establish strict standards for the use of data collected by a motor vehicle event data recorder. The bill declares the data recorded on an event data recorder are the personal data of the motor vehicle’s owner and shall not be downloaded or retrieved by a person who is not the owner, with several exceptions.
Jackson, Miss.: Senate Bill 2400, sponsored by Sen. Chris Massey (R-Nesbit), would permit a motorcyclist at an intersection controlled by a traffic-actuated signal to proceed with due caution through the intersection, after coming to a full and complete stop and exercising due care, if the operator believes the detection device didn’t recognize the motorcycle.
Jefferson City, Mo.: House Bill 1368, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Bahr (R-O'Fallon), would prohibit any global positioning system or other technology that identifies and records a person’s location to be used to monitor mileage traveled by any motor vehicle on any road, highway, or street in the state for the purpose of imposing any tax on the mileage traveled.
Trenton, N.J.: Senate Bill 895, sponsored by Senator Beck, would require a person interested in operating an off-highway training or recreation facility for motocross bikes, all-terrain vehicles, or both, to obtain a license from the Department of Law and Public Safety prior to operating any such facility. The bill authorizes the department to adopt rules and regulations as it deems appropriate for the location and operation of an off-highway training or recreation facility and prohibits the department from issuing a license for the location and operation of an off-highway training or recreation facility if it would be located within five miles of an area zoned for residential purposes.
Columbus, Ohio: House Bill 406, sponsored by Rep. Doug Green (R-Mt. Orab), would create a motorcycle road guard training and certification program to allow qualified individuals to function as traffic controllers while escorting a motorcycle group ride under certain conditions.
Olympia, Wash.: House Bill 2325, sponsored by Representatives Shea, Taylor, Overstreet, Reykdal, Short, Scott and Condotta would exempt motorcycle, scooter and moped owners from having to pay the motor vehicle weight fee when the vehicles registration is renewed. This fee reduction is intended to provide an incentive to use a mode of transportation that will have less impact on the roadways and the environment.
Also, Senate Bill 6256/House Bill 2494, would establish a motorcycle road guard certificate program. Upon successful completion of the program, the certificate holder may direct motorcycles within a group ride or other vehicle traffic affected by the group ride to stop until it is safe to proceed or to operate contrary to traffic control signals.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that Hall of Famer Craig Vetter -- motorcycle inventor, designer and racer -- will be the featured guest at its annual AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Breakfast at Daytona, on Friday, March 14, at 7:00 a.m., at the Daytona 500 Club on the infield at Daytona International Speedway.
Taking place during 2014 Daytona Bike Week, the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Breakfast at Daytona fundraiser will feature a live interview with Vetter on stage, an audience Q&A period and an autograph session with Vetter and other Hall of Famers in attendance.
The event is open to the public, and tickets are available now at www.motorcyclemuseum.org. Proceeds benefit the American Motorcycle Heritage Foundation, which raises funds for the Hall of Fame.
Pickerington, Ohio: The country's best amateur motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle racers from the track, trail, desert and everywhere in between were honored at the American Motorcyclist Association Championship Banquet on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Aladdin Event & Conference Center in Columbus, Ohio. More than 700 competitors and fans attended the banquet, which celebrated the 2013 racing season and announced the recipients of several special awards.
AMA President & CEO Rob Dingman congratulated the AMA racers and their families on a successful year and thanked them for their contributions to the sport of motorcycling.
Laurette Nicoll and Greg White emceed the banquet, which awarded national championship trophies, placement medals and AMA No. 1 plates to competitors in more than a dozen AMA-sanctioned disciplines. Special awards included AMA Athlete of the Year honors.
The AMA's highest competitive honors, the AMA Athlete of the Year Awards, recognize a rider from each of the two categories of national championship competition: AMA National Championship Series and AMA Grand Championships.
The late Kurt Caselli, the overall champion of the 2013 AMA FMF/GPR Hare & Hound National Championship Series, won the AMA National Championship Series Athlete of the Year Award. The 2013 title was Caselli's third overall AMA Hare & Hound National Championship. Caselli, who was poised to transition to world motorcycle rally racing in 2014, passed away while competing in the Baja 1000 in November 2013.
Jeffery Lowery won the AMA Grand Championship Athlete of the Year Award. Lowery, from Newark, Ohio, was the AMA Dirt Track Horizon Award Winner in 2013, winning AMA national titles in the 251-500cc DTX class and the 450cc Modified class at the AMA Dirt Track Grand Championships in Springfield, Ill.
The AMA also presented the AMA Sportsman of the Year award. This award recognizes a racer, former racer or individual who has gone above and beyond to transcend their role for the betterment of the sport of motorcycle competition. The 2013 AMA Sportsman of the Year award was presented to longtime AMA International Six Days Enduro Team organizer and volunteer Richard "Gunny" Claypoole. Claypoole recently retired from what has been a decades-long commitment to put the United States on top of the world's most prestigious off-road team championship.
Sponsors who helped honor the 2013 AMA Champions at the banquet included Traveline Travel, and a number of companies who generously donated raffle prizes and other items for the champions: FMF, Motul, Matrix, Atlas, Bell Helmets, Motion Pro, WPS/Fly Racing and Barnett.
Pickerington, Ohio: The AMA Government Relations Department is once again giving away sound testing kits to help AMA districts, club members and others educate riders about sound. Nine grant recipients will be selected by April 1.
The kits will be awarded through a competitive grant process. To apply for a sound testing kit, a club or promoter must complete an application and return it to the AMA Government Relations Department by March 1. Applications are considered twice, so those who submitted applications last year but weren’t selected don’t have to resubmit an application to be considered.
For more information, or to request an application, send an email to Marie Esselstein at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (614) 856-1900 Ext. 1224.