From September 19 through 23, 2018, ABATE of Colorado hosted hundreds of bikers for the annual Meeting of the Minds conference. What an amazing gathering of caring bikers from around the country! Everywhere you turned, bikers were greeting each other with hugs, questions about family members, big barks of laughter, and a few embraces of condolence. Such a warm, passionate, loving gathering of bad-ass bikers!
Rider Justice was proud to attend and we learned a lot about biker priorities and concerns for the coming months, especially related to federal laws. Here are a few of the legislative priorities shared by the amazing MRF lobbyist Megan Ekstrom, who is sadly leaving the Foundation for a new job. We wish her well but we will miss that spunky, take-charge lady!
- Autonomous Vehicles: According to Megan, the latest federal legislation addressing safety for these vehicles doesn’t include measures for motorcycle safety. Namely, we’re not sure autonomous vehicles can properly identify motorcycles and avoid hitting them! Megan asked everyone to watch House Resolution 3388 and Senate Bill 1885. Keep pushing for motorcycle inclusion in these safety bills!
- Profiling: We all know it happens. Now, a couple of pending laws help bring this issue front-and-center! Watch House Resolution 318, titled, “Promoting awareness of motorcycle profiling and encouraging collaboration and communication with the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”
- RPM Act: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is keeping an eye on the EPA with the aim of limiting the fed’s ability to regulate changes we make to our motorcycles. Watch HR 350 and S 203, both titled “The RPM Act of 2017.”
- Ethanol: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is worried that ethanol laws will require bikers to use a fuel that damages their small engines. Watch HR 5855, titled “Consumer Protection and Fuel Transparency Act of 2018.”
- Infrastructure Modernization: Finally, Megan also shared that the Foundation is keeping an eye on any new legislation aimed at improving our country’s infrastructure, including roads and bridges. Obviously, bikers are all for improved roads, but Megan’s worried that legislators will slip in lots of tolls and even helmet rules. The Foundation is monitoring this closely.
As the Founder of Rider Justice, I’m most interested in the autonomous vehicle legislation and the profiling laws. I’m passionate about biker safety and I’ve seen far too much biker discrimination in the legal system. On a local level here in Colorado, I want you to know that I’m working closely with State Senator Lois Court to write and pass laws against distracted driving, which injures and kills motorcyclists at alarming and unacceptable rates. In the past couple of years, we successfully fought to increase fines for distracted driving. Now we’re pushing for even tougher legislation, outlawing the use of hand-held devices while driving. Watch the Rider Justice website to monitor our progress.
If you have any questions about Rider Justice, contact me at 303-865-3934 or Scott@RiderJustice.com.