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.
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
NEW HAMPSHIRE OUTLAWS MOTORCYCLE PROFILING
It is now illegal in New Hampshire for law enforcement to pull over, search or arrest anyone simply because that person “rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia.”
Governor Chris Sununu signed House Bill 1000 into law on Friday, May 20, 2022, making New Hampshire the fifth state to prohibit the discriminatory practice behind Washington (2011), Maryland (2016), Louisiana (2019) and Idaho (2020).
Co-sponsored by longtime bikers’ rights leader Sherman Packard, House Speaker representing Londonderry, the bill prohibits law enforcement agencies from engaging in motorcycle profiling, and states: “No state, county, or municipal law enforcement agency shall engage in motorcycle profiling. In this section, ‘motorcycle profiling’ shall mean use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia as a basis for deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest, or search a person or vehicle under the United States Constitution or the New Hampshire constitution.“
Packard, an original member of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) Legislative Task Force, testified before the House Transportation Committee that a previous encounter with a local police officer convinced him New Hampshire still has a “small problem” with some profiling of motorcyclists; “This is a problem, not as major in New Hampshire as it is in some other states, but I have personally been a victim of it.”
According to the text of HB 1000, “This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.”
SEEKING SUPPORT FOR FEDERAL ANTI-PROFILING MEASURE
Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) has sent a “Dear Colleague Letter” to all members of the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4, 2022 asking his fellow Representatives to cosponsor H. Res 366 to prevent the discriminatory profiling of motorcycle riders by law enforcement.
As the co-chair of the House Motorcycle Caucus, Rep. Walberg wrote to each of the 434 House members on behalf of America’s 10 million motorcyclists during Motorcycle Awareness Month; “Motorcycles and motorcyclists not only represent an important part of our transportation network but are also an iconic part of the fabric of Americana. Over the years numerous motorcyclists have reached out to my office and others to discuss their concerns over the profiling of motorcyclists.”
He goes on to say that, “In response to these concerns, myself, Congressman Burgess (TX), Congresswoman Bustos (IL) and Congressman Pocan (WI) introduced H. Res. 366 a resolution that promotes awareness of motorcyclist profiling and encourages collaboration between the motorcycle community and law enforcement officials to prevent instances of profiling.”
As of his writing, 90 bipartisan members of the House had cosponsored the resolution including at least one member from 34 different states. In December of 2018, the U.S. Senate passed a nearly identical resolution on this topic. “I am hopeful we in the House can do the same.”
Please contact your state’s congressional delegation by calling the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to join Rep. Walberg in cosponsoring H. Res. 366 “and support the thousands of bikers back home in your district.”
NCOM NASHVILLE – BE THERE IF YOU CARE
The 37th annual NCOM Convention in Nashville, Tennessee will draw hundreds of bikers’ rights activists from across America to “Music City, USA” from June 17-19 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville Airport, 10 Century Blvd. (615-871-0033 for room reservations), to discuss and develop legal and legislative strategies regarding issues of concern to all riders.
For more information, or to pre-register (by June 10), call the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com. ALL motorcyclists are welcome and encouraged to attend!
U.S. PRESIDENT RECOGNIZES MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH
As the month of May kickstarts the riding season around the country, and Motorcycle Awareness Month reminds drivers to watch out for us riders, so comes a welcome acknowledgement of our safety concerns by none other than the President of the United States, who himself has been spotted aboard a Suzuki Hayabusa and a Harley or two.
“My Administration remains committed to ensuring the safety of everyone who rides a motorcycle and all who travel across our Nation,” President Joe Biden wrote in a letter dated May 1, 2022.
The acknowledgment comes on the heels of the new Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, intended to benefit and modernize America’s highways, roads, and bridges. “All of us who travel America’s roads have an important role in securing a safe motorcycle-riding environment,” added Biden.
“The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) has worked closely with the Department of Transportation (DoT) and the Biden administration to bring issues facing motorcyclists to the forefront,” commented Scott Schloegel, senior vice president of government relations for MSF.
“This administration has placed a priority on reducing highway deaths and on educating the motoring public,” Schloegel continued, “and we appreciate that this presidential recognition is one of many ways they are working to accomplish that goal.”
TRAFFIC DEATHS TOP 16 YEAR HIGH
Traffic fatality figures for 2021 were the highest in 16 years, with nearly 43,000 people killed last year as Americans returned to the roadways following the coronavirus lockdowns and travel restrictions.
A 10.5% jump over 2020 numbers was the largest percentage increase since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began its fatality data collection system in 1975.
“Exacerbating the problem was a persistence of risky driving behaviors during the pandemic, such as speeding and less frequent use of seat belts, as people began to venture out more in 2021 for out-of-state and other road trips,” analysts told the Associated Press (AP) in a May 18th report.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said America faces a crisis on its roads, and urged state and local governments, drivers and safety advocates to join in an effort to reverse the trend.
Preliminary figures recently released by the agency show that 42,915 people died in traffic crashes last year, up from 38,824 in 2020. Final figures will be released in the fall.
Forty-four states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had increases in traffic deaths in 2021 compared with the previous year, led by Texas, California and Florida. Posting declines were Wyoming, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Maryland and Maine.
Americans drove about 325 billion more miles last year, 11.2% higher than in 2020, which contributed to the increase.
TEENAGERS MORE LIKELY TO DIE IN A CAR CRASH THAN BY COVID
Teen driving is nearly four-times deadlier than CoViD-19, and the “100 deadliest days” of summer are most dangerous of all with a 21% spike in teen traffic deaths between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend when kids are out of school, on the roads more, and we have more daylight hours.
Those contributing factors mean an estimated 1100 to 1600 young people will die on our roads, as compared to estimates that fewer than 400 could lose their life to coronavirus.
That’s why the National Road Safety Foundation has created a virtual campaign designed to remind young people on social media that when you’re behind the wheel, distractions by your friends, your phone, or your radio could get you killed.
Tips focus on driving safely and being responsible, and talk about everything from speeding to distractions to how to select a driving school.
You can find out more by looking up teen driving tips at The Safest Summer Ever.
SADD, which stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions has also teamed up for the program that runs through Labor Day.
CALIFORNIA MAY ESTABLISH PILOT NOISE CAMERA PROGRAM
In mid-May, 2022, the California state legislature passed a bill that would create a pilot “noise camera” program to target excessively loud motorcycles and cars. The bill now goes to Governor Gavin Newsom for his signature — and if he signs it into law, the pilot program will officially go into effect on January 1, 2023 and run through December 31, 2027, after which point it will be repealed.
Under the language of SB-1079 as passed, a total of six yet-to-be-determined cities across California would implement a pilot program, using automated, so-called ‘noise cameras’ to “capture vehicle noise levels that exceed the legal sound limit.”
Complicating matters, the legal sound limits for cars and motorcycles in California have been in place for years, and are inexplicably different, with a limit of 95 decibels for cars and 80 for motorcycles built after 1985.
Noise cameras have been used in Europe and came to the United States last fall when New York began piloting their use. Earlier this year, Knoxville, Tenn., also began testing a noise camera, and Newark, NJ is currently exploring their use.
EUROPEAN MOTORCYCLISTS FIGHT TO PROTECT RIDER DATA
Envisioning a world where your motorcycle tracks, records, and reports your departure and arrival time, speed, and GPS location, the Federation of European Motorcyclists Associations (FEMA) is taking proactive steps to address the potential issues at stake.
Far from fantasy, automotive manufacturers and legislators are actively considering privacy bills to protect vehicle owners’ data from misuse, as autonomous, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) advancing technologies allow manufacturers and consumers to turn over more of the driving responsibilities to computers.
To combat misuse, several states in the U.S., including California, Virginia, and Colorado, have introduced bills regulating the collection and use of such data, but FEMA wants to get ahead of the curve internationally when it comes to motorcycles.
On one hand, autonomous motorcycles may be a long way off, but V2V and V2X tech would certainly improve a motorcyclist’s visibility to fellow motorists, greatly enhancing safety, but while such future technologies present clear benefits, the privacy issues may be a deal-breaker for some riders. In a prepared statement, FEMA explained that, “The owner of the motorcycle must be in control of the data and be able to decide who gets access to it.”
For those familiar with computers or smart devices, this type of permissions-based check is the norm. Whether collecting browser cookies or accessing your phone’s photo gallery, firms must ask for the user’s approval before gathering data. FEMA recently sent a letter to the European Commission (EC) expressing that the same standard should apply to your vehicle’s data.
QUOTABLE QUOTE: “When all’s said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it’s not so much which road you take, as how you take it.”
~ Charles de Lint (b.1951), Canadian writer
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).