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MRF Updates

Keep Our Interstates Toll-Free

How would you like to see the number of tolls on America’s interstates multiply like rabbits? That’s just around the corner unless we make our voices heard.

You may think the interstate in your backyard is safe from having tolls slapped on it by politicians and bureaucrats, but the interstate tolling murmur is growing in Washington DC, and it’s coming from both sides of the aisle.

Under current law, States are prohibited from tolling any roads that were built since the inception of the Federal Interstate Highway System in 1956.

Last spring, President Obama proposed eliminating the longstanding ban on tolling existing interstates and giving every state the option of tolling them to raise transportation revenue. That means continuing to pay for roads with the current gas tax and then tacking on an additional toll for each interstate you use.

How bad can it get? Have you ever traveled through New Jersey and New York? Imagine suffering that tolling nightmare everywhere across the country. We’re talking about the possibility of hundreds of dollars in tolls for a single long trip.

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NTSB Board Members & National Motorcycle Lobby Day

The Senate recently confirmed two National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) members this week: Chris Hart, and Dr. Bella Dihn-Zarr. Hart will serve as chairman of the board, while Dihn-Zarr will serve as a board member. Hart has currently been the acting chair for almost a year. Hart is a natural choice as he has served on and off the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since 1990. Dihn-Zarr, a public health and transportation scientist, has served at NHTSA, AAA, and her last post was heading up the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA Foundation). The Motorcycle Riders Foundation looks forward to working with the new NTSB members on motorcycle safety where we can agree.

Bikers Inside The Beltway

If you have not already done so, save the date for the 7th Annual Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers Inside The Beltway. This year's event will be held in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, May 14th, 2015. Come to D.C. and participate in the only national motorcycle lobby day. You likely do this at your own state capitol so why not come to D.C.? The laws made in D.C. can effect you just as much as the ones that come from your state capitol. The MRF will provide free secure motorcycle parking close to the Capitol building, lobby materials and anything you need to effectively lobby your federal elected officials. Do contact the MRF office if you plan on attending or if you have questions about the event.

Congress Addresses Three-wheeled Vehicles

Senator David Vitter (R-LA) introduced legislation that would create a new class of vehicle, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. S. 685 would create a new class of vehicles known as autocycles, to accommodate a growing trend in vehicle design. An emerging vehicle style, three wheeled enclosed vehicles equipped with a steering wheel are growing in popularity. These types of vehicles have been lumped in with motorcycles and therefore tagged and registered as motorcycles. Clearly these vehicles are not motorcycles and they do need their own category. It is easy to see why the efficient, affordable transportation would catch on so quickly.

U.S. Senate file 685 would require the new class to meet both motorcycle safety standards as well as passenger vehicle standards in vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds. These standards include seating systems, belted occupant protection, child restraints, roof crush resistance, and flammability protections.

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Congress looks at Vision Zero

Vision Zero is the concept that it is possible to drop the fatalities within the road transportation community to zero and that it should be done at all cost. Vision Zero plans are lofty and admirable, but the approach is just not plausible.

At the core of Vision Zeros philosophy, life and health can never be exchanged for other benefits within the society, rather than the more conventional comparison between costs and benefits, where a monetary value is placed on life and health, and then that value is used to decide how much money to spend on a road network towards the benefit of decreasing how much risk.

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