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post #1 of 8 Old Apr 24th, 2006, 9:33 am Thread Starter
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AMA News

May 2006

The European Union Member States recently agreed on compromise text for a new Driving License Directive (DLD), which following an agreement with key Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), is now expected to be fast-tracked by the European Parliament without further amendments.
Using genuine road safety concerns for questionable provisions, the DLD is seeking to introduce a range of measures that restrict access to motorcycling through regulatory requirements of unjustified complexity and cost.
The Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) and its member organizations have been seeking to have a fair and reasonable consideration of the issues within the European institutions based on the contribution that motorcycles make to mobility and research-based road safety evidence.


Georgia's Oconee Ranger District of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest will begin charging a $5 daily trail permit fee for use of the Town Creek -- Roberts Bike Camp off-highway vehicle trail system. According to a Forest Service news release the funds collected will "be used for the continued safe operation and maintenance of the OHV trail system." For more information, contact the Forest's recreation fee coordinator, Carolyn Hoffman, at (770) 297-3030.


Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne recently signed S1367 into law.. The new law, which takes effect July 1, 2006, allows a motorcycle to proceed through a traffic-actuated signal ('stuck' on red) after certain standards are met.
Idaho is only the fourth state (after Arkansas, Minnesota and Tennessee) to successfully pass legislation of this type. ABATE of North Idaho Inc., with assistance from the AMA, led the effort for the new law.


New York's proposed trail program that would have used ATV registration fees to fund the development and maintenance of dirtbike and ATV trails died in the state Assembly. Gov. George Pataki (R) introduced the trail program as part of his annual budget proposal. By failing to advance the trails program the legislature has triggered the automatic repeal of the state's dedicated trail fund and last year's ATV registration fee increase.


Ohio's Wayne National Forest has announced that it will not be implementing any fee hikes this year. After initiating a public input process on proposed increases for camping and motorized trail use fees, Forest Supervisor Mary Reddan has determined that an oversight council must approve the proposed fee increases, putting off any increase until at least 2007. To comment on the proposal, go to the Forest's website at www.fs.fed.us/r9/wayne.


The Riverside County, California Board of Supervisors has approved drastic restrictions on the use of off-road vehicles on private land, ignoring pleas from families who ride and setting aside compromise legislation recommended by the Board's own planning commission.
The Board also approved a new sound ordinance that is so strict a homeowner could be in violation if he operated an electric toothbrush at his property line, in some locations.
Under the new laws approved by the Board on March 28, off-highway riders can only ride from noon to 5 p.m. on their own property in the unincorporated parts of Riverside County.
Landowners can only allow one off-highway vehicle to be in use for every 10 acres of land, with a maximum of four vehicles allowed. Landowners with smaller parcels (5 acres minimum) can, with permission, use one OHV. Also owners can have an additional vehicle in use if they have the written permission of all of their neighbors. But to have more than four OHVs using the property, a landowner must get a conditional use permit that could cost over $10,000.
Plus, under the new law, riders must stay 100 feet from property lines and 250 feet from all neighboring homes.
The Board of Supervisors also gave final approval to a new sound law that sets maximum allowable sound levels at the property line at 50,, 55 or 75 decibels, depending on the zoning of the parcel.
According to the League for the Hard of Hearing, rainfall generates 50 decibels of sound, a normal conversation is 60 decibels, an electric toothbrush is 50 to 60 decibels, and an air conditioner measures at 50 to 75 decibels.
Also in San Bernardino County a similar proposal, specifically related to OHV use on private property is under consideration. The Riverside Board of Supervisors approved the new restrictions and ignored carefully crafted compromise legislation hammered out over a period of months by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and other off-road groups working with the county's Planning Commission.
Similar scenarios continue to play out not only in high-profile places like Riverside County, California but York County, Pennsylvania; Marion County, Florida; Prince William County, Virginia; Rockford, Illinois and scores of other local jurisdictions. Each attempting to severely limit the operation of motorcycles and ATVs of any size, even on the riders own property.
Among the AMA's most effective tools for challenging issues such as this is our ability to muster grassroots political action. The AMA encourages motorcyclists and ATV riders to organize and work together to protect your right to ride and prevent OHV recreation bans.
The AMA is looking for someone to lead the charge and help us form AMA Community Councils in your area. AMA Community Councils work closely with the AMA Government Relations Department and serve as the first line of both offense and defense when local issues arise. Local, state and even national issues are much easier to address if we are organized for action ahead of time. For more information about the AMA Community Council program, contact AMA Grassroots Manager Terry Lee Cook at 614-856-1900, ext. 1288 or e-mail [email protected].


AMA government relations officials met recently with federal Environmental Protection Agency officials and obtained clarification of regulations governing motorcycle emissions that have been the subject of controversy and confusion in the industry.
AMA met with EPA technical officials at the agency's headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to seek clarification on current EPA regulations related to "kit" and "custom" motorcycles.
Kit bikes are motorcycles typically built by individuals using off-the-shelf components, while custom bikes are generally show bikes built by a business and sold to a customer.
Under the regulations, a person is allowed only one kit motorcycle in their lifetime that is exempt from meeting EPA emissions requirements. For custom motorcycles, a builder may create and sell up to 24 bikes a year that don't meet EPA emissions requirements, but those machines must be labeled as exempt and are show bikes that only rarely may be ridden.
Before the EPA adopted these new rules in 2004, it was illegal for anyone to ride any street motorcycle built in 1980 or later that didn't meet EPA emissions requirements. Many motorcyclists saw the new regulations as more restrictive, when in fact they allow exemptions that did not exist under previous regulations.
The EPA rules adopted in 2004 also require new road motorcycles sold nationwide beginning with the 2006 model year to meet strict emissions standards adopted earlier by California. The first phase of the California standards went into effect in 2004, with a second tier scheduled to go into effect in 2008.
The EPA adopted the same standards but with a two-year delay, meaning the first phase took effect this year, and the second phase will take effect in 2010.
New motorcycles sold in California beginning with the 2004 model year, and nationwide beginning in 2006, may not emit more than 1.4 grams per kilometer of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, and 12 grams per kilometer of carbon monoxide.
The California standard gets tougher in 2008, with a limit of 0.8 grams per kilometer of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides and 12 grams per kilometer of carbon monoxide. The federal standard that goes in effect in 2010 is the same.
When the EPA issued its final rules, the provisions related to kit and custom bikes were new, which the AMA notes also has led to the confusion surrounding them.
All major motorcycle manufacturers' streetbikes meet federal 2006 emissions standards, and several manufacturers' products already meet the 2010 standards.
The AMA actively voiced motorcyclists' concerns to the EPA from 2001 through 2004 as the federal agency worked to put together the new EPA emissions regulations. The AMA will continue to voice motorcyclists' concerns to the EPA, and seek clarification on the rules.


Massachusetts off-highway motorcycle and ATV enthusiasts performed 2280 man-hours of volunteer trail maintenance in six Massachusetts state forests under contract with the Department of Conservation and Recreation throughout 2005.
This trail work has included building bridges, installing water bars to prevent erosion, building causeways through muddy areas, cutting and cleaning drainage ditches, clearing blow downs, cutting new trails under State direction, and regrading/gravelling eroded sections. Lumber and supplies were paid for by the State or federal grants.


The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), working with other motorcycle-rights organizations, and with the grassroots support of Ohio motorcyclists, has derailed proposed state legislation that would have required all motorcyclists under 25 in Ohio to wear helmets.
The helmet provision arose almost as an afterthought on legislation that was originally intended to raise funds for agencies that provide services to persons who have suffered a traumatic brain injury. The bill, originally introduced late last year by Ohio state Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville), would have raised penalties for offenses such as driving with a suspended license. Some of the money raised by the higher fines would have gone to the agencies that treat victims of traumatic brain injury, including one in Patton's district.
However, tacked on to the end of the bill was a provision to change Ohio's motorcycle helmet law.
Currently, Ohio requires riders with less than one year of experience or under the age of 18 to wear a helmet. Patton's original bill would have raised the age requirement to 25.
Further, it would have increased penalties for not wearing a helmet, mandating a $500 fine and either a weekend jail sentence or mandatory safety training.
When the AMA and other organizations spread word about the proposal, grassroots motorcyclists responded. The ensuing flood of e-mails and phone calls to Patton's office convinced him to reconsider.
An even better outcome of Patton's discussions with motorcyclists was that he agreed to co-sponsor another pending bill in the Ohio legislature that would increase penalties for drivers who violate right-of-way laws and injure or kill another roadway user.
That measure, House Bill 388, was introduced by Representative Jon Peterson (R-Delaware) and resulted from the Ohio Right-of-Way Working Group's efforts. The bill fits in with the AMA's Justice for All campaign.


California Senate Bill 1021 (SB-1021), which seeks to enhance penalties on those vehicle operators who kill and maim other road users, has been re-introduced by Senator Debra Bowen with co-sponsorship from Assembly Member Bonnie Garcia. California joins with 16 other states in considering legislation to toughen penalties for traffic violations that kill or injury thousands of people each year.
Roadway users, such as motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians, often pay a terrible price for the distracted, careless, reckless, or negligent actions of other motor vehicle operators. The bill applies equally to all motor vehicle operators; it does not create a special class of victims. SB-1021 is consistent with the AMA Justice for All campaign to hold all motor vehicle operators more accountable for their actions on our roadways.


The Off-Highway Vehicle community recently lost one of their most outstanding activists. Harold Soens, a popular and active champion of the off-road community died of a heart attack at his home in Santee, California. He was 66.
Soens was president of the San Diego Orr-Road Coalition and an AMA Life Member. He was known and respected nationally for his involvement in AMA, Blue Ribbon Coalition, National OHV Conservation Council, San Diego Off-Road Coalition, and many other organizations.
Harold will be surely missed in the OHV community.
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post #2 of 8 Old Apr 24th, 2006, 9:34 am Thread Starter
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Dear AMA Member –

Dear AMA Member –

Let me begin by saying “thank you” for your previous support of the American Motorcyclist Association’s government relations efforts. With your help we have secured many successes on behalf of American motorcyclists over the last few years.

I am writing you today seeking information that will help us in our political efforts. As you may know, we are currently supporting legislation in the U.S. Congress that will end health-insurance discrimination against motorcyclists once-and-for-all. I hope that you will be able to relay to me your story if you, or someone you know, was denied health-care payments due to a motorcycle-related injury. I am particularly interested in cases that fall outside the employer-provided health care plans, meaning those cases affecting the self-insured.

Currently, U.S. law states that while an employer cannot exclude you from health-care coverage, they can deny you medical reimbursement payments due to the fact that the injury happened on a motorcycle. The purpose of the legislation we support is to end this discrimination and allow riders to get the medical payments necessary to them under their given medical plans.

Thanks so much for your help, and please let me know if you have a story to tell. Any information you relay to me will be kept in confidence and not used for dissemination purposes.

Best Regards,
Pete

Peter G. Nonis, Senior Legislative Assistant
AmericanMotorcyclistAssociation
rights. riding. racing.
101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Suite 800 West
Washington, DC 20001
202.742.4303
202.742.4304 (f)
[email protected]
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post #3 of 8 Old May 18th, 2006, 9:12 am Thread Starter
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West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin

June 2006

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin, himself a motorcyclist, has signed a bill that increases penalties for reckless driving convictions. “Danny’s Law” was named in honor of Danny Kneisly, who was hit and killed when a driver turned left in front of him; the driver subsequently received a $20 fine. Danny’s death and the ensuing support of his family added momentum to efforts to pass the bill, which ABATE of West Virginia, AMA members and staff, and other motorcycle activists had been working toward for nearly five years.
The new law provides for penalties of a minimum of 10 days in jail and a maximum of six months, and/or a fine of at least $50 and up to $1,000, for those convicted of reckless driving if they seriously injure someone.
The AMA Justice for All campaign is focused on inadequate sentencing of drivers who seriously injure or kill others on the road. Learn more at www.AMADirectlink.com.


The Ohio Office of Budget and Management (OBM) recently proposed transferring $750,000 from the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund for to be used for purposes other than rider education and training.
The AMA alerted the Ohio riding community through the AMA Rapid Response Center and encouraged AMA members, motorcyclists’ rights organizations, and other supporters of rider education to contact the six elected officials of the Ohio Controlling Board (OCB) to stop the transfer. The Fund is financed by a $6 assessment on every motorcycle registration in Ohio and is to be used solely for the motorcycle safety and training program, Motorcycle Ohio.
The OCB, at its April 24 meeting, agreed with the motorcycling community and amended the request from the OBM. The Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund was preserved.
You can keep track of issues like this in your state by visiting the AMA Rapid Response Center. Or, sign up for Action E-List alerts and you'll automatically receive an e-mail when an alert is posted that affects your area. Sign up by visiting the Rapid Response page and clicking on the Action E-List link at the bottom of the page.


New Hampshire now mandates motorcycle-awareness training as part of the drivers education curriculum. The new law calls for the inclusion of 45 minutes of motorcycle-awareness instruction as part of the classroom portion of the drivers education curriculum. This type of training is another important component of the AMA’s Justice for All campaign. The New Hampshire Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization (NHMRO) led the effort.
The AMA launched the Justice for All effort in response to numerous instances across the country in which drivers killed or injured motorcyclists and walked away with minor fines. In many cases, state laws do not provide for additional fines beyond a simple ticket for a traffic offense.
Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations, AMA members, and others also succeeded recently in getting Justice for All type legislation enacted in Oklohoma, Missouri, Georgia, Iowa and West Virginia.


A new law in Oklahoma adds a fine of up to $1,000 for drivers found guilty of right-of-way violations that cause serious injury or death, in addition to the usual fines for a traffic offense.
The measure, signed into law April 25, 2006 by Gov. Brad Henry, is consistent with the AMA's Justice for All campaign and addresses the issue of inadequate sentencing for drivers who kill or injure other road users, including motorcyclists. ABATE of Oklahoma members led lobbying efforts to get the law passed in their state.


US Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced S. 577, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act.”
Last Congress, the full Senate unanimously passed similar legislation. S. 577 aims at ending health care discrimination for individuals participating in legal transportation and recreational activities-activities like motorcycling, snowmobiling, horseback, skiing and ATV riding.
This legislation addresses a loophole caused by a Department of Health and Human Services' rule making it possible for health care benefits to be denied to those who are injured while participating in these activities.
On August 21, 1996 an important opportunity arose when President Clinton signed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), prohibiting employers from denying health care coverage based on a worker’s pre-existing medical conditions or participation in legal activities. In 2001, the Health Care Finance Administration released the final rules that would govern the law.
The rules recognize that employers cannot refuse health care coverage to an employee on the basis of their participation in a recognized recreational activity. However, the benefits can be denied for injuries sustained in connection with those activities. Essentially, the regulation grants equal status to motorcyclists without any substantive benefits.
The AMA is urging all motorcyclists to notify their Senators and tell them to co-sponsor and support S.577, "The HIPAA Recreational Injury Technical Correction Act."


The British Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) is encouraging all motorcyclists who ride into the City of Westminster to respond to a web-based consultation on motorcycle parking.
The consultation focuses on whether there is sufficient provision for motorcycle parking, whether motorcycles should pay for parking, whether secure parking facilities should be provided and whether motorcycles should pay the congestion charge.
MAG in London has long been campaigning for increased motorcycle parking provision to accommodate the increase in motorcycle commuting as commuters switch from cars to bikes to beat both congestion and the congestion charge. Presently many commuters are left with no option but to park on pavements where they are being ticketed and can cause obstructions to pedestrians.
MAG insist that riders are helping Westminster's congestion problem, as motorcycles from the smallest scooter to the largest touring bike not only use less space than cars when moving and parking but they also liberate road space for essential four wheeled traffic to move more easily.



The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is seeking information that will help us in our political efforts. The AMA is currently supporting legislation in the US Congress that will end health-insurance discrimination against motorcyclists.
To that end the AMA is looking for individuals to relay your story if you, or someone you know, was denied health-care payments due to a motorcycle-related injury. The AMA is particularly interested in cases that fall outside the employer-provided health care plans, meaning those cases affecting the self-insured.
Currently, federal law states that while an employer cannot exclude you from health-care coverage, they can deny you medical reimbursement payments due to the fact that the injury happened on a motorcycle. The purpose of the legislation we support is to end this discrimination and allow riders to get the medical payments necessary to them under their given medical plans.
Any information relayed to the AMA will be kept in confidence and not used for dissemination purposes. Please contact Peter G. Nonis, Senior Legislative Assistant, American Motorcyclist Association, 101 Constitution Avenue, N.W., Suite 800 West, Washington, DC 20001, 202-742- 4303 or at [email protected]


High gas prices could give a lot of people reason to finally buy a motorcycle. After all, motorcycles normally get much better fuel economy than cars, so sales are up considerably.
But along with the increase in sales comes the influx of new riders -- and that can create safety problems. To help get riders up to speed, 47 states offer motorcycle training classes for beginners. Likewise every experienced rider should also continue to improve their riding skills by taking formalized training.
For more information about getting into that motorcycle safety course visit www.AMADirectlink.com.


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is continuing to seek nominations for qualified people to serve on BLM's California Desert District Advisory Council for the 2007-2009 3-year term. Applications must be received by Wednesday, May 31, 2006.
The five positions to be filled include one representative each for public-at-large, renewable resources (grazing interests), and environmental protection, and two elected officials representing county government. The public-at-large, renewable resources, and two elected official representatives will complete their second 3-year term December 31, 2006, and are not eligible for reappointment.
Any group or individual may nominate qualified persons in any of these categories. Qualified individuals may nominate themselves. Applications must be submitted to the District Manager, Bureau of Land Management, California Desert District Office, 22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, Calif. 92553.
The California Desert District encompasses portions of eight counties, and includes 12.5 million acres of public land within the California Desert Conservation Area and 300,000 acres of scattered parcels in San Diego, western Riverside, western San Bernardino, Orange, and Los Angeles counties.
For more information or to request a nomination form contact Mr. Doran Sanchez at (951) 697-5220.


Washington, DC AMA Member Joshua Bolten has taken on a new responsibility of significance as the White House Chief of Staff.
Bolten, 51, crafted campaign policy for the president and served as deputy chief of staff before becoming director of the Office of Management and Budget in June 2003. During the 2000 campaign, he formed Bikers for Bush.
Holding one of Washington’s most powerful jobs, Bolten will be managing a flow of daily briefings for the president on everything. The Bush administration considers Bolten "well-respected" inside and outside the administration while the AMA considers him another valued member making a difference in our world.


Lansing (Michigan) Motorcycle Club again celebrated Arbor Day, bringing credit to the motorized recreation community in planting 4,000 trees in the Kalkaska area. Nearly 50 people, many of them families, showed up at the Leetsville ORV Trail Head parking lot, manned with shovels, water bottles, and determination to plant 4,000 pine trees in an area covering nearly 5 acres.
Comments and thanks were given to the group by Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) Manager Mindy Koch. Appreciation was also expressed by Lynn Boyd, Chief of MDNR Forest, Mineral & Fire Management Division.
If you or your organization are interested in participating in such a project in your area for 2007, contact AMA District 14 Legislative Assistant Director, Thomas Dunn @ 517 627-1417 or Dick Ranney, Chair, MDNR ORV Trail Advisory Committee @ 989 469-2405.


Cathedral City, California City Council joins the growing list of local governments who have voted to ban off-highway vehicle (OHV) recreation. The City Council voted 4-1 to make all riding of OHVs in the city limits illegal, including riding on private property. The ordinance, which will take effect during the last week of April, will also give police the power to confiscate violators' vehicles.
Fines for violating the ordinance will begin at $250 and increase to $500 for a second offense, $750 for a third and $1,000 for all subsequent offenses within a 12-month period. Offenders will likely be subpoenaed and charged based on witness reports rather than caught in the act according to Police Chief Stanley Henry.
Unfortunately this is an all too common problem all across this country with the advent of urban sprawl and the perpetuation of the “NIMBY” mindset. The AMA Government Relations Department does all it can to protect your right to ride. As a member-driven organization, one of our most effective tools is our ability to muster grassroots political action.
If this is happening in your area or you would like to get organized before it comes to your area contact AMA Grassroots Manager Terry Lee Cook at 614-856-1900 extension 1288 or at [email protected] to get started.
AMA Community Councils work closely with the AMA Government Relations Department and serve as the first line of both offense and defense when local issues arise. Local, state and even national issues are much easier to handle if we are organized for action
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post #4 of 8 Old May 18th, 2006, 4:22 pm Thread Starter
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Senator Debra Bowen

http://www.debrabowen.com/



This is just a reminder that Senator Debra Bowen is running for secretary of state and has been very good to road riders in the past few years (earplug and right-of-way legislation author).

Last edited by Nathan; May 18th, 2006 at 5:04 pm.
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post #5 of 8 Old May 24th, 2006, 10:54 am Thread Starter
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bike incident

SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Neighbors charged in dirt bike incident
Anger over noise may have led to strung-rope trap


read More--- http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGPRIVDU41.DTL
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post #6 of 8 Old May 24th, 2006, 2:11 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan
SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Neighbors charged in dirt bike incident
Anger over noise may have led to strung-rope trap

read More--- http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...AGPRIVDU41.DTL

Howdy Nathan,

The people charged in this incident, for lack of a better word, are "low-lifes" and need to be incarcerated for a long, long time.

Anderson, 48, his girlfriend, Donna Olsen, 46, and neighbor Donald Bryant, 62, were charged this week with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon for the attack...

Two of these people have been allowed to 'plead out' their prior offenses from felony to misdemeanor. Had they been charged and prosecuted properly on the prior offenses they would have been looking at their "third strike" and "life in prison" which is exactly where they belong.

.




Bill "Omaha"

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post #7 of 8 Old Jun 19th, 2006, 9:05 am Thread Starter
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Has your health care insurance been denied?

July 2006

Has your health care insurance been denied? If so, then let the AMA know.
Earlier this year hundreds of workers at the American Coal Company mine in Galatia, Illinois, were denied health-care coverage for motorcycle-related injuries.
At American Coal, if a worker is injured riding a legally licensed motorcycle on the street, there’s no medical coverage. Even if the injury is caused by another driver, the rider could lose. He’d be entirely dependent on the other driver’s insurance coverage. And these days, medical bills can quickly overwhelm minimum-coverage policies—if the other driver even has insurance.
The AMA is backing measures in Congress to bar employers from discriminating against motorcyclists and ATV riders in the health-care arena. We need your help in this fight.
We need to know if your employer-provided health insurance refuses to cover ATV-related injuries. You don't know? Now is the time to find out, before you get in a crash. Check your policies for "exclusions" that may say motorcycle-related injuries aren't covered. Or ask your plan administrator.
And if you find that you are not covered on your machine by your medical plan, let us know. We need to know the name and address of the company, the name of the health plan. And if you were hurt and the medical plan wouldn't cover the costs, we need to know the details.
We need concrete examples to take to Congress to show lawmakers that health discrimination against motorcyclists is happening, is crippling financially, and is intolerable. You can e-mail the information to Legal Affairs Editor Bill Kresnak at [email protected] or mail the info to him at AMA, 13515 Yarmouth Dr., Pickerington, OH 43147.


Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has signed into law a bill that increases penalties for drivers who injure or kill others by committing right-of-way violations. The new law, which was passed quickly due to the grassroots work of ABATE of Louisiana, AMA members, other motorcyclists, and government officials, is consistent with the goals of the AMA's Justice for All campaign, which seeks to address inadequate sentencing of drivers who injure or kill others.
The new law allows courts to impose additional penalties on drivers when they commit a right-of-way violation and cause injury or death. The additional fines can range from $250 for an injury to $1,000 for death. Previously, the statewide minimum fine for a right-of-way violation was $50, even if injury or death resulted.
While the AMA worked to help pass the bill by issuing Action Alerts through the AMA Rapid Response Center, AMA Legislative Affairs Specialist Imre Szauter credited the grassroots efforts of ABATE of Louisiana, led by its president, James "Poet" Sisco, in getting the legislation passed in record time. The bill was introduced March 16 and signed into law on June 5.
The AMA launched the Justice for All campaign in response to numerous instances across the country in which drivers killed or injured motorcyclists and walked away with minor fines. In many cases, state laws do not provide for additional fines beyond a simple ticket for a traffic offense. The Louisiana law addresses that potential injustice. Elsewhere, laws consistent with the Justice for All campaign have been passed this year in Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.


The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Off-highway Vehicle (OHV) Committee met in June and awarded $861,500 in grants to different projects in the Land of Lincoln.
One acquisition grant was approved for $556,200 for a 206-acre tract of land - $444,960 of which was taken from the Federal Recreational Trails Program - the rest from the Illinois IDNR fund. Development grants were awarded to Little Egypt ($79,600), Williams Hill Pass ($128,700), Triple H ($50,700), and Clark County ($46, 300) OHV riding areas.
John Roth was elected Chairman of the Committee and Lance Martin Vice President. AMA member Bud Northrup will continue his role as the representative on the Greenways and Trailways Committee.


South Carolina legislators, in both Houses worked to get S-772 and H-4307 passed this legislative session. S-772 was a bill that dealt with handlebar height restrictions and H-4307 corrected the property tax issue facing Palmetto State motorcycle owners.
Prior to H-4307 passing, motorcycles registered in South Carolina were taxed annually at a 10.5% assessment rate while other private, passenger vehicles such as cars and trucks, were taxed at a 6% assessment rate.
Should Governor Mark Sanford signs H4307 into law, South Carolina motorcyclists will no longer pay higher property tax on their motorcycles than their car and truck counterparts. All will be assessed at 6% annually.
It is anticipated by ABATE of South Carolina that Governor Mark Sanford will sign H-4307 into law as he signed S-772 into law a few weeks ago.


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will close nearly half of the Clear Creek Management Area in southern San Benito County, California this summer citing concerns about off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts and others being exposed to potentially hazardous asbestos.
The closure of 30,000 acres at the Clear Creek is prompted each year by the onset of dry weather and the dust that results, according to the BLM Hollister Field Office. Much of the earth in the 75,000-acre area is laced with naturally occurring asbestos.
OHV riders, campers, and hunters of wild pigs recreate at Clear Creek, which is located about an hour south of Hollister. The closed areas will be identified with large signs and information available at a kiosk in Clear Creek, The restrictions will be in effect from June 1 to October 15.
In addition to asbestos and good OHV trails, Clear Creek is known for the endangered San Benito evening primrose - a rare flower that has spurred more than a year of litigation between anti-access environmentalists and the BLM.
In November, 2004, the California Native Plant Society and the Center for Biological Diversity filed suit against BLM, claiming that the agency's management plan for Clear Creek - which cut the 400 miles of OHV trails by nearly half - did not go far enough to protect the primrose. The flower was declared endangered in 1985.
Several hearings last year produced no conclusion to the suit. The BLM is slated to file a report with the Federal Court in San Jose about how the primrose is being protected at the end of June. The suit will proceed based on the report.


The Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA), for each of the past ten years, organizes an event presenting the European Union (EU) legislators with a message about the role of motorcycles and scooters in the transportation system. This social event also seeks to raise the awareness about the needs of citizens in areas related to mobility and safety, by providing the EU legislators with a "hands on" experience of motorcycling.
The EU is currently addressing the mid-term review of the White Paper on Transport Policy, which enunciates the high-level political objectives in transport from 2006 to 2010. To mark the 10th anniversary of the "MEP Motorcycle Ride", FEMA is contributing to the debate by promoting the socio-cultural image of motorcycles and scooters, focusing on mobility and leisure, safety and accessibility.
The event will take place on the June 19, 2006 at the prestigious Autoworld Museum in the Parc du Cinquantenaire, Brussels. A buffet dinner will be accompanied by the display of motorcycles and scooters as well as past and present pro-mobility material.
To show the effects of the 3rd Directive on Driving Licenses and accessibility to the vehicles, qualified instructors of the Motorcycle Council Belgium will perform the new driving license practical test maneuvers.


The US House of Representatives passed legislation officially recognizing the right to ride pack and saddle stock animals on Federal public lands.
HR-586, the Right-to-Ride Livestock on Federal Lands Act of 2005 preserves the use and access of pack and saddle stock animals on public lands, including wilderness areas, national monuments, and other areas administered by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or the Forest Service where there is a historical tradition of such use.
“The American public has a right to utilize the lands they own for multiple uses,” said Representative Barbara Cubin, R-WY. “Passing this bill makes it clear that horseback riders have a right to enjoy pack and saddle use in America’s backcountry.”


Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle signed the Roadway Users Responsibility Act designated SB-528 on May 26, 2006. It will now become Wisconsin Act 464 when published by the Secretary Of State in the Wisconsin State Journal and will take effect on the first day of the 4th month beginning after publication. That will be October 1st.
This new law will: allow motorcyclists to proceed through a vehicle actuated red light after 45 seconds of the signal failing to recognize a motorcycle; increase the penalties for right-of-way violations; require that a motorcycle awareness class be taught in all driver education classes in the state; require that a person who violates the right-of-way of a motorcyclist and causes a crash to attend a Share the Road class and; and allow a graduate of the basic rider course obtain a motorcycle endorsement without holding an instruction (learners) permit.
Many components of this new law are consistent with the AMA’s Justice for All campaign and championed by ABATE of Wisconsin, concerned motorcyclists, and AMA members.



New York’s Senate and Assembly have recently filed legislation to repeal the ATV registration requirement. Bills numbered S7742 and A11527 have been introduced in both houses.
All concerned riders are being asked to contact their State Senator and Assembly member to ask them to become co-sponsors of these bills.
The Registration Repeal bills are available for viewing at: http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=A11527 and http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=S07742.
Please contact Alex Ernst, Albany Government Relations Director, NYSORVA Inc., PO Box 250, Clarksville, NY 12041, 518-768-8192, www.nysorva.org if you have any questions.


The Rhode Island Trails Advisory Committee is soliciting proposals for properties to be acquired or developed for motorized recreational vehicle use. Proposals can include sale, recreational easement, or lease of suitable sites.
The Rhode Island Off-Highway Vehicle Association notes that there is a demand for safe, legal areas for motorized off-highway riding in Rhode Island, and there currently is no public place in the state for riders to go. RIOHVA supports effective regulation of any proposed off-highway public access, and says that the group advocates working in harmony with the environment and neighbors in utilizing any proposed public site.
The 16-member Trails Advisory Committee, made up of recreational trail users and representatives of Department of Environmental Management (DEM), the RI Department of Transportation (DOT), RIOHVA, and the RI Department of Administration, has awarded $4.5 million in grants since the start of the program in 1993.
Under an interagency cooperative agreement, DEM administers the grant program with funds made available by DOT and the Federal Highway Administration through the Recreational Trails Program continually championed by the American Motorcyclist Association. The grants support trail development and improvement projects, as well as trail construction and maintenance equipment. To date, no grant funds have been awarded for off-highway motorized vehicle trails in Rhode Island, although grants have been awarded for such trails in other states.
Guidelines for proposals are available by contacting Richard Tierney of DEM's Division of Planning and Development at 222-2776 ext. 4310. Proposals should be sent to the RI Trails Advisory Committee, c/o Richard Tierney at DEM/s Division of Planning and Development, 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908.


The American Motorcyclist Association encourages all Off-highway motorcycle and ATV riders to fill out the 2006 Off-Highway Issue Survey. The survey is located in the Government Relations section of American Motorcyclist’s July 2006 issue.
This survey, coupled with the upcoming Road Rider Issue Survey (in the August issue) is extremely helpful in allowing the AMA Government Relations Department know where to focus our efforts and what issues are effecting you as a rider. Every two years the AMA Government Relations Department surveys the Association’s members to assist in establishing government relations policies and priorities.




--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

AMA Government Relations News & Notes is a monthly service compiled and edited by the AMA
Government Relations Staff to keep motorcyclists informed of happenings around the world. We welcome
your news & views. Please submit all material to Terry Lee Cook, Grassroots Manager,
13515 Yarmouth Drive, Pickerington, OH 43147; fax 614-856-1920 or e-mail to [email protected].
Nathan is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old Aug 11th, 2006, 9:30 am Thread Starter
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Act now to secure motorcycle safety funding

Act now to secure motorcycle safety funding


Motorcyclists need to contact their state officials by August 18th to help secure vital motorcycle safety funding available under a new federal transportation bill.
Created and developed by state motorcyclist rights organizations and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and supported by the AMA, the Motorcyclist Safety Grant Program, part of the multi-year SAFETEA-LU transportation bill. The law provides approximately $100,000 per state, per year, over five years for the purpose of improving motorcyclist safety.

The grants, administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), are available to any and all states that apply.

States seeking funding must meet at least one of the following conditions in 2007, two in 2008 and the remaining years of the program.

Have in place an effective motorcycle rider training course;
Have an effective program to enhance motorcyclist awareness;
Demonstrate a reduction in the number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities;
Have in place a program to reduce impaired riding;
Have a reduction in the number of crashes and fatalities involving impaired motorcycle operators;
Ensure that all fees collected from motorcyclists for the purposes of funding motorcycle training and safety programs will be used for that sole purpose.
Your help is needed to guarantee that the federal dollars earmarked for motorcyclist safety are spent. Please view the listing of Governors' Highway Safety Offices (PDF) and contact officials in your state and urge them to apply for the Section 2010 Motorcyclist Safety Grant Program offered by NHTSA.

The deadline is August 18, 2006. With your help, we can capitalize on this important opportunity to provide additional resources to improve motorcyclist safety.




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