Federal Funds Available for Distracted Driving Programs
April 13, 2016
Did you know that funds are available from the federal government for states that enact distracted driving legislation? The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) wants you to know that H.R. 22, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (otherwise known as the FAST Act), authorizes funds for highway safety programs that include distracted driving initiatives.
Section 2005, Article 4 of the bill specifically provides funding for distracted driving legislation, stating, “In each fiscal year, 8.5 percent of the funds provided under this section shall be allocated among States that adopt and implement effective laws to reduce distracted driving.”
While there is specific language that spells out the details of eligibility, in general, states that are interested in applying for these grant monies need to: make distracted driving awareness a part of the driver’s license examination; pass legislation making it illegal to text while driving; and pass legislation that prohibits drivers under the age of 18 (or on a learner’s permit) from using a wireless communications device while driving.
EPA Raises Ethanol Blend Levels
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports that the Obama administration, along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), last week raised the amount of ethanol and other renewable fuels that must be blended into the nation's gas supply, announcing that 18.11 billion gallons of renewable fuels must now be blended into the nation's gasoline supply in 2016.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), as directed by our Sustaining State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations (SSMRO’s), does not support the use of ethanol fuels higher than E10 (10% ethanol) or any other newly developed fuel blends, including alternative renewable fuels, without further testing on motorcycle engines and obtaining specific recommendations from motorcycle manufacturers approving their use.
MAC Membership and NHTSA Ban Targets on the MRF Radar
As previously reported by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), the U.S. Senate approved the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act within a few hours of the U.S. House voting in favor of the same legislation. Now that the bill is in front of the President for his signature, it’s important to note two very important issues on which the MRF will be working vigorously.
Legislative Strategy Agenda 2016
At the 2015 Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s (MRF) 31st annual Meeting of the Minds Conference held in Milwaukee, WI, a Legislative Strategy Session was hosted by the MRF’s Legislative Committee. As has been done for the past several years, the MRF requested that it be attended by Sustaining State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations (SSMRO) Legislative and/or Executive Officers. We welcomed several representatives from our Sustaining Motorcycle Clubs and Organizations as well. The goal was to set the MRF’s Federal Legislative Agenda for the 2015 Meeting of the Minds to the 2016 Meeting of the Minds annual cycle.
The MRF’s SSMRO partners responded once again with a majority attendance that resulted in a healthy dialogue focused on motorcycling. The MRF Legislative Committee remains extremely pleased at the aligned and clear direction we experienced again this year from our SSMRO partners. This level of agreement continues to allow for solid action plans to be developed by our Legislative Committee and our Board of Directors that can be effectively employed by our Government Relations Department and our SSMRO partners while in Washington D.C. and in working federal issues in their home states. Additionally, we continue to see productive gains in state legislative activities that support our federal efforts when it comes to protecting on-road motorcyclists, motorcycling, and its associated lifestyle.