NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES
THE AIM/NCOM MOTORCYCLE E-NEWS SERVICE is brought to you by Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (A.I.M.) and the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and is sponsored by the Law Offices of Richard M. Lester. If you’ve been involved in any kind of accident, call us at 1-(800) ON-A-BIKE or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
NCOM BIKER NEWSBYTES
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
RPM ACT REINTRODUCED IN CONGRESS
After receiving more than 1.5 million letters from motorsports enthusiasts across the country, the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act (RPM Act) has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 3281) and U.S. Senate (S. 2736) in the 2021-2022 session of Congress!
The RPM Act of 2021 is common-sense, bi-partisan legislation that guarantees Americans’ right to modify street cars, trucks and motorcycles into dedicated racing vehicles and ensures the motorsports-parts industry’s ability to sell products that enable racers to compete.
The RPM Act reverses the EPA’s interpretation that the Clean Air Act prohibits a motor vehicle designed for street use — including a car, truck, or motorcycle — to be converted into a dedicated racecar. This American tradition was unquestioned from 1970 until 2015 when the federal Environmental Protection Agency took the position that converted vehicles must remain emissions-compliant, even though they are no longer driven on public streets or highways.
NEW U.S. NTSB CHIEF BLAMES BAD ROAD DESIGN FOR TRAFFIC ACCIDENTS
The United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has a new chief, and she says that to reduce road fatalities, the entire system must shift.
NTSB chief Jennifer Homendy, who has worked extensively on investigating air traffic incidents, including the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash, believes the government and all the stakeholders’ approach to road safety needs a “fundamental rethink” similar to how aviation now looks at air traffic safety.
Earlier this year, she said that governments and businesses should change the way they look at road and highway safety and must consider the whole system, rather than focusing only on individual driver behavior. She added that the “whole system approach” worked perfectly in aviation, where there were ZERO fatalities in 2020.
“If we are going to get to zero, we will have to do something different,” Homendy remarked in a speech to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association conference in Denver, Colorado.
In the US, there were more than 38-thousand road accident-related deaths last year, the greatest tally since 2007, and is up 10.5% in the first three months of 2021, despite a decline in vehicle miles traveled due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
Homendy added that, rather than focusing only on drivers, the “Safe System Approach” should also take into account other factors, such as the design of highways which, according to her, might encourage drivers to drive faster, or vehicles sold that are designed to go way beyond the established safe speed limits.
NEW EMISSIONS STANDARDS TARGET THAT 50% OF VEHICLES SOLD BE ELECTRIC
President Biden has unveiled another component of his administration’s plan to fight the climate crisis, announcing a new target that half of vehicles sold in the country by 2030 will be battery electric, fuel-cell electric or plug-in hybrid.
The future of America’s car manufacturing “is electric and there’s no turning back,” Biden said in signing the executive order at the White House alongside representatives from Ford, GM and Stellantis, and members of the United Auto Workers Union. The automakers are supporting Biden’s new target, announcing their “shared aspiration” that 40-50% of their cars sold by 2030 to be electric vehicles, according to a joint statement from the three automakers.
In a follow-up to an NCOM Legislative Task Force presentation on “The Demise of Gas-Powered Vehicles” at the NCOM Convention in Des Moines, Iowa this summer, NCOM-LTF Member Ed Schetter writes; “President Biden recently announced a new emissions standard that targets 50% of the vehicles sold in the US be electric by 2030,” noting further that; “This will force the petroleum and the bio-fuels industries to aggressively compete for a shrinking market.”
Schetter, who also serves as Executive Director of ABATE of Ohio, warns “We need to be vigilant in our defense of safe and affordable fuel for our motorcycles.”
NEW YORK STATE TO BAN NEW COMBUSTION VEHICLE SALES FROM 2035
New York governor Kathy Hochul approved new legislation establishing a 2035 zero-emissions goal for the state. According to the text of the bill that the governor signed into law on September 8, 2021; all new passenger cars and trucks sold in New York state would need to meet zero-emissions requirements by 2035.
As written, the law does not specifically mention motorcycles, scooters, or other two- or three-wheeled vehicles, but additionally, new off-road vehicles and equipment sold within the state must meet zero-emissions requirements by 2035, as well.
Legislation to meet emissions targets is something we’re seeing more and more in recent time, including several European and Asian countries, but so far New York and California are the only two U.S. states to have taken zero-emissions targets into their own hands.
As other similar laws in other jurisdictions have been written, New York’s law will not impact existing combustion vehicles that were sold prior to the deadline. The law as currently written only applies to sales of new vehicles from 2035.
YAMAHA AIMS FOR CARBON NEUTRALITY BY 2050
Yamaha has set ambitious goals by announcing plans to be a carbon neutral company by 2050, in both its business activities as well as in the emissions of its products.
This doesn’t mean a complete abandonment of petrol-power from the Tuning Fork brand though, as Carbon Neutrality is all about offsets. It’s not a zero-carbon plan, but a plan to implement enough carbon offset initiatives to account for the emissions it does create; hence, ‘neutrality’.
That’s not to say Yamaha’s future isn’t electric either, and there’s no doubt the brand will release a bevy of e-powered machines in all categories, but it’s all a balancing act at this point and as with many companies these days, it’s a balancing act they’ll have to navigate as more and more emissions restrictions gain hold around the world.
MOTORCYCLISTS SAY ‘NO’ TO BAN ON PETROL-POWERED BIKES
A recent survey conducted by the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA), available in 12 languages, shows that a possible ban on the sale of new petrol-powered motorcycles is rejected by more than 90% of the 23,768 motorcyclists that took part in the online survey.
When asked ‘What do you think about a possible ban on the sale of new petrol-powered motorcycles?’; 92.91% of the motorcyclists that responded rejected such a ban. While there are differences in the results between countries, the disapproval rate does not fall below 80% in any European country.
When asked what they would do If the sale of new petrol-powered motorcycles was banned, a majority of 53.38% would stop riding when they are no longer able to buy a new petrol-powered motorcycle. 38.96% of the respondents would buy a zero-emission motorcycle when there are no new or used petrol-powered motorcycles available anymore. Only 7.67% would already buy a zero-emission motorcycle when there are still petrol-powered motorcycles available.
Asked if they could enjoy a non-emission bike as much as their current bike, if a ban on all fossil fuel vehicles was implemented, or if they would stop riding, 58.92% would simply stop riding.
FEMA notes that “This could be an even larger issue when city authorities decide to ban fossil fuel vehicles from entering the city, because in that case over 76% of the respondents would change their mode of transport, rather than switching to a non-emissions motorcycle (electric/fuel cell). This could have drastic effects on urban mobility as we know it.”
ROBOT SHAMES BADLY PARKED BIKES!
Singapore is waging war on illegal parking, among other things, and is dispatching autonomous police robots to bring order to the streets.
Xavier is a four-wheeled box that features a touchscreen on the front and radar sensors and cameras on the top. The cameras can relay 360° images to a command center and is also able to automatically alert scofflaws to a number of infringements. And it’s not just illegally parked motorcycles that this crime-fighting tin can is trained to spot. Any undesirable and anti-social behavior is this little Robocop’s specialty. That means peddlers, gatherings of five or more people (COVID-19 restrictions), engaging in “undesirable social behavior,” and even smokers need to beware.
Xavier has been programmed to penalize improperly parked motorcycles — with shame. When the robot detects illicit situations, Xavier will display messages to the culprit, guilt tripping violators and hopefully deterring similar behavior in the future.
For now, the roving crime fighter is just a test, but it’s here now and nothing can stop it – apart from stairs, curbs, tall grass and being toppled over.
PER-MILE MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE LAUNCHED
An innovative InsurTech company named Voom has just partnered with insurance company Markel to offer a stunning solution to today’s motorcycle insurance premiums — and the price will purportedly be measured on a per-mile basis.
A report from CycleNews states that Voom and Markel’s concept came from a statistic stating that low-mileage riders tend to be safer and cause less chaos, posing up to 80% less risk than riders who spend the day in the saddle.
This option will make a big difference for riders living in a continental climate, who were previously limited to annual or seasonal insurance, and now won’t have to worry about the extra amount of money that goes to waste on the off-seasons — rather, riders would simply be required to submit a picture of their odometer to the company once a month, and ride as much or as little as they see fit.
The premiums are currently available to Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio, with liability, comprehensive, medical payments, collision, uninsured motorists, and accessory coverage.
The eventual goal is to expand per-mile insurance to the rest of America, with emphasis on low-mileage riders.
RISE IN SPEEDING PROMPTS GROUPS TO SLOW DRIVERS DOWN
Speeding is a leading factor in motor vehicle deaths, and “Though speed management has been a problem for decades, speeding became even more acute during the COVID-19 pandemic, as less traffic has prompted some motorists to drive at high speeds on highways and city streets across the nation,” says GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.
To slow the roll, three national roadway safety organizations — the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Road Safety Foundation (NRSF) — are partnering to fund and evaluate pilot projects to reduce speeding.
Two states, Maryland and Virginia, will each receive $100,000 to develop, implement and evaluate speed management pilot programs that leverage engineering, equitable enforcement, education, public outreach and advocacy strategies simultaneously.
The goal is to develop a template for effective speed reduction strategies that can be duplicated in other states and communities.
As states prepare for these pilot projects, safety groups have launched other activities related to speeding and reckless driving and plan more initiatives for 2021.
QUOTABLE QUOTE: “It would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which make the defense of our nation worthwhile.”
~ Earl Warren (1891-1974), American politician and Chief Justice
ABOUT AIM / NCOM: The National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) is a nationwide motorcyclists rights organization serving over 2,000 NCOM Member Groups throughout the United States, with all services fully-funded through Aid to Injured Motorcyclist (AIM) Attorneys available in each state who donate a portion of their legal fees from motorcycle accidents back into the NCOM Network of Biker Services (www.ON-A-BIKE.com / 800-ON-A-BIKE).