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MRF Updates

United Nations General Assembly Calls For Global Mandatory Helmet Law

Recently the 68th session of the United Nations voted to approve a non-binding resolution entitled “Improving Global Road Safety,” which sounds innocent enough, but when closely examined, has some very disturbing ideas concerning motorcyclists, motorcycles, and helmet laws.

The most disturbing directive is “to encourage Member States (countries participating in the UN) to enact comprehensive legislation on key risk factors for road traffic injuries including the non-use of helmets.” Or in other words, universal mandatory global helmet law. Keep in mind this is a non-binding resolution, but many countries and legislative bodies take the UN’s suggestions very seriously. This is the warning shot across the bow. The United Nations is coming for motorcyclists.

That is why it is so unfortunate that Americas own Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and a member of President Obama’s Cabinet voted in support of the resolution. She even spoke to the General Assembly in strong support of the resolution.

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Bikers Inside The Beltway National Lobby Day

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is pleased to report that the 6th annual Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers Inside The Beltway will be held Thursday, May 15th in the nation’s capitol, Washington D.C. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation will have secure free parking for motorcycles just steps from the U.S. Capitol Building.

Last year this event drew hundreds of motorcyclists from across the country. Don't miss out on the greatest gathering of politically active motorcyclists in Washington, D.C.

9:00 am to 11:00 am is arrival, registration, instruction and lobby material pickup. Meet at the motorcycle parking area on 3rd street, map below.

The MRF encourages you to schedule appointments with your Representative and Senator’s offices.

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CDC Task Force Pushes Universal Mandatory Helmet Law

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports that a task force that is funded by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued its findings statement for motorcycle safety, with the singular solution being universal mandatory helmet laws.

The task force, known as the Community Preventative Services Task Force, is a 15 member, non-federal, independent group that utilizes CDC staff and resources to develop “Findings and Rationale Statements.” The statements make recommendations that run the gamut of topics from asthma control to work place safety. The recommendations have included motor vehicles in the past focusing on seat belts, child seats, and alcohol use. This is the first time the task force has recommended anything to do with motorcycling. Task force members are appointed by the Director of the CDC and serve five-year terms. All current members are doctors, with one exception.

The CDC asserts that fatalities have nearly doubled since 2000 while failing to take into account the increase in registered motorcycles. In fact, in 2000 there were 2,862 fatal crashes for 4.9 million registered motorcycles. That means in 2000 .058% of all registered motorcycles were involved in a fatal crash. In 2010 there were 4,502 fatalities for 8.4 million registered motorcycles, which puts just .053% of registered motorcycles, a slight decrease in the ratio of registered motorcycles to fatalities with 3.5 million more motorcycles on the road. These are just some of the facts about the CDC research that have been presented in all four MRF conferences going back to fall of 2012.

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Motorcycle Checkpoint Bill Introduced in U.S. Senate

The United States Senate is seeking to end the unfair practice of federally funded motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has introduced legislation, which would further prohibit the federal government from funding mandatory motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints. Joining her as the lead republican on the bill is Senator Ron Johnson. Also joining, as original co-sponsors, are Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

The federal government funded motorcycle-only checkpoints through a $70,000 grant in 2011. Georgia state police conducted two mandatory motorcycle only checkpoints. They timed the checkpoints with Daytona Florida bike week traffic setting up on the southbound lanes of I-75 and I-95 on March 9th 2012, the same day Daytona bike week began. They did the same setup during the closing day, but set up in the northbound lanes.

The MRF supports this legislation to end these checkpoints whole-heartedly and will be working with the United States Senate to pass this important legislation.

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