Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Big Wins for Motorcyclists on Capitol Hill - Five-year Highway Bill Passed

US Congress Passes Favorable Laws for Motorcyclists

Don’t say that the 114th US Congress hasn’t done anything for you, as the American Motorcyclists Association (AMA) is happy to report that our legislature has passed a $305 billion highway bill – The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act – which has a number of favorable provisions for motorcyclists.
The big wins come in the form of funding for recreational off-road trails, and the prohibition against motorcycle-only checkpoints, two growing concerns that the AMA has been involved in fighting.
In total, The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act includes:
  • Continued funding for the Recreational Trails Program, which provides funding to states for maintaining, improving and expanding off-highway recreational opportunities;
  • A prohibition against using federal funds for discriminatory motorcycle-only checkpoints;
  • Reestablishing a Motorcyclist Advisory Council to coordinate with and counsel the U.S. Department of Transportation administrator on specific infrastructure concerns to motorcyclists;
  • Funding of highway safety grants that include programs to reduce distracted driving, including language that make it easier for states to successfully qualify for and receive the money;
  • Measures to ensure privacy and security in vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure technology; and
  • No expansion of pilot programs to place tolls on the nation’s existing interstate highways under the Interstate System Reconstruction & Rehabilitation Pilot Program.
Of note is the provision about the vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) privacy and security concerns, a topic we have talked about at great lengths at  Asphalt & Rubber.
As wireless devices become more common on vehicles, this issue will also increase in their importance, though how motorcycles will fit into that digital landscape remains to be seen. Taking security and privacy concerns seriously though, is a good sign.
The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act now goes to the desk of President Obama, where it is expected to be signed it into law.

 Image result for motorcycle bill passed
Congress passes five-year highway bill, including big wins for motorcyclists: