February 2, 2022 – Threats from Europe
The last few months have seen troublesome news for the motorcyclist community in Europe. Yesterday, the website motorious.com reported on a new threat to motorcyclists in Paris, France. Officials there are taking aim at motorcycles and using sound pollution as the justification. According to the report, “Paris authorities have been experimenting with sound radars as a way to fight excessive noise pollution in the city. Such devices allow police to pinpoint which motorcycle is emitting more decibels than is allowed, then fine the rider.”
This news for Paris comes on the heels of a Politico report late last year, that the European Commission has plans to dramatically change emission requirements on vehicles. While motorcycles were not included in the initial blueprint, fears are high in Europe. A ban on internal combustion engines “Would be a disaster,” said Michael Lenzen of the German Motorcyclists’ Association.
Don’t forget that in 2020, the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), issued a warning about end-of-life vehicle directives. Such a policy would require the collection and destruction of motorcycles that have come to the end of their life. At the time, Wim Taal, FEMA’s communications officer said, “Inclusion of motorcycles in the scope of the directive could also mean a serious threat to historical motorcycles. These bikes are especially dependent upon available and affordable original spare parts to keep them in working order. And who wants to see old-timers disappear into state approved demolishing facilities?”
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) is committed to working with and supporting our partners in Europe. As MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard has repeatedly warned, “Policy ideas that first appear in Europe have a history of popping up in the United States.” The MRF is dedicated to opposing policies that destroy the motorcycling lifestyle. Thank you for your continued support as we fight to maintain our rights and freedoms.
Do you really think it couldn’t happen here?
Nominees Wanted – Class of 2022 Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame (MRFHOF) was introduced at the Meeting of the Minds in Denver, Colorado. This institution was created to recognize individuals that have worked through the MRF to positively impact motorcycling. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is proud to announce that the nomination process for the next class of inductees into the MRFHOF is now open.
The nomination form and a timeline are posted on the MRF website at:
Nomination applications are due to the Hall of Fame Committee by March 1st, 2022 – please send completed forms to [email protected]
Past Motorcycle Riders Foundation Hall of Fame inductees are: Keith “Bandit” Ball, Mark Buckner, Wayne Curtin, Michael “Balls” Farabaugh, “Still” Ray Fitzgerald, Richard Gray, Bob Illingworth, Nathan “Buck” Kittredge, Ed Netterberg, Sherman Packard, Todd Vandermyde, Paul Vestal, Penny Walker, Ed Youngblood, Vince Consiglio, Fredric Harrell, Rodney Roberts, Simon Milward, JoAnne Packard, Karen Bolin, Lee Richardson, Jerry “JT” Thomas, Teresa Hepker, Dick “Slider” Gilmore, Charles Umbenhauer, Wanda Hummel-Shultz, “Biker” Jim Rhoades, Lee Ryan, Marc Falsetti, Gary Klinker, Charlie Williams, Dave Dwyer, “Radio” Bob Letourneau, “Farmer” John Eggers, Michael “Boz” Kerr, Butch Brown, Deb Butitta, Jim Dahling and Carol Downs.
National Roadway Safety Strategy Announced
Thursday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a new national road safety campaign. The plan, known as the “National Roadway Safety Strategy,” comes in response to increased year over year fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those, approximately 9% were motorcyclists’ fatalities.
What is most alarming about the increase in fatalities, is that the total number of miles traveled on our roads decreased during the pandemic. Americans traveled 13.2% less miles in 2020 than we did in 2019, but we saw a 7.2% increase in deaths.
The preliminary numbers for the first 6 months of 2021 are also troublesome. From January through the end of June 2021 an estimated 20,160 people died in crashes. That is the largest number of projected deaths in that time frame since 2006.
To combat this trend the plan outlines five key objectives:
Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most users.
Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education, and outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.
The recently passed infrastructure bill has components and funding to help achieve some of these goals. For example, $14 billion in new funding was specifically allocated for road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also announced plans this week to increase the data it collects on crashes. The agency wants to boost the number of crashes investigated and add additional studies that examine crashes involving medium-duty trucks, pedestrians, and workers who are hit on the road.
We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are encouraged to see that the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a complete view of traffic safety, incorporating multiple factors to make our roadways safer. We also remain committed to the theory of crash avoidance, as a crash that doesn’t happen is always safer than one that does.