NCOM Biker Newsbytes
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
First-Ever Motorcycle Caucus Formed In U.S. Senate
In a rare bipartisan effort, motorcyclists are getting a very special form of representation in the U.S. Senate as two Senators are reaching across the aisle to establish the first Senate Motorcycle Caucus. Kickstarting this unique legislative road trip, Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Gary Peters (D-Michigan), both lifelong motorcyclists, will serve as co-chairs of the caucus, which will advocate on behalf of both motorcycle riders and manufacturers.
Sen. Ernst said her concern for motorcycles and motorcyclists started when she was a child. “Some of my most cherished memories include motorcycles, from delivering messages as a young girl to my dad while he was working out in the fields, to riding through the rolling hills of Northeast Iowa with family and friends,” Ernst said. “Throughout my 99 county tour of Iowa, I have heard from many of these folks about some of their priorities, including improving safety, infrastructure and energy efficiency. These concerns are shared by folks across our great state and country, and I look forward to working with Sen. Peters toward solutions.”
Sen. Peters bought his first motorcycle at age 11. “I’ve loved motorcycles since I was a kid, and I started a newspaper route to buy my first motorcycle at age 11. To this day, I believe there is no better way to see Michigan’s beautiful scenery than by bike, whether I’m riding to meet with constituents and small businesses or taking my bike out on the weekend,” Peters said. “Motorcyclists come from all walks of life, and I can’t think of a better way to bring together a diverse and dedicated group of advocates to discuss everything from safety concerns to manufacturing. I’m looking forward to working with Sen. Ernst as co-chair of the bipartisan Senate Motorcycle Caucus to foster these important discussions and find common ground with motorcycle lovers across the country.”
Security And Privacy In Your (Spy) Car Study Act
With motorcyclists sharing the road with a growing number of Smart vehicles, security from cyber-intrusion is a significant safety concern, and U.S. Reps Joe Wilson (R-SC) and Ted Lieu (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 701; the Security and Privacy in Your Car Study Act of 2017 (“SPY Car Study Act”) to address automotive software safety, cybersecurity and privacy regulations.
This bill would require the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct a study to determine and recommend standards for the regulation of the cybersecurity of motor vehicles manufactured or imported for sale in the United States. The study shall identify:
- isolation measures that are necessary to separate critical software systems that can affect the driver’s control of the movement of the vehicle from other software systems;
- measures that are necessary to detect and prevent or minimize anomalous codes, in vehicle software systems, associated with malicious behavior;
- techniques that are necessary to detect and prevent, discourage, or mitigate intrusions into vehicle software systems and other cybersecurity risks in motor vehicles; and
- best practices to secure driving data about a vehicle’s status or about the owner, lessee, driver, or passenger of a vehicle that is collected by the electronic systems of motor vehicles; and
- a timeline for implementing systems and software that reflect such measures, techniques, and best practices.
Police Motorcycle Hit By Autopilot Tesla
According to a report in the Arizona Republic, a Phoenix police motorcycle was hit by a Tesla Model X operating on autopilot. Police said the officer and the Tesla exited a freeway with the motorcycle in front. When the rider stopped for a light, the car stopped as well, but then started moving forward. The officer jumped off the bike, which was struck at low speed by the car.
The driver reported having the car on autopilot at the time. The officer was uninjured and the car driver wasn’t ticketed.
Tesla has warned customers in the past that its autopilot mode does not mean a driver can completely disengage, but increasingly it seems customers are unwilling to listen. Tesla’s website specifically states that drivers are in command of their vehicles after exiting freeways.
The company announced in October that it would soon begin including hardware in its vehicles that could make them fully autonomous. Currently, the vehicles are simply equipped with driver aids like forward collision warning, automatic braking and auto steering.
“Autocycles” No Longer Considered Motorcycles In Two More States
Colorado and Wyoming are the latest states to reclassify their licensing requirements which allow drivers of so-called “Autocycles”, such as the Polaris Slingshot, to operate the vehicle with a valid state driver’s license instead of requiring a motorcycle endorsement or license. Drivers under the age of 18 will still be required to wear a helmet, in accordance with the states’ motorcycle helmet laws.
Because of the three-wheeled configuration and characteristics of autocycles, determining how to classify them has been a challenge for state governments. Polaris calls the Slingshot a “three-wheeled moto-roadster.” Initially, when it was introduced to the market in 2014, consumers were required to have a motorcycle endorsement or license to operate the Slingshot, which offers a distinct ride through its open cockpit and side-by-side seating.
Currently, 30 states, including the District of Columbia, require only a driver’s license to drive an autocycle. The remaining states require a motorcycle endorsement, but Polaris says efforts are being made to reclassify the vehicle to gain full conformity throughout the United States.
“As we educate state officials on the unique attributes of this category-creating Slingshot, they are realizing that the licensing requirement for the roadster are more similar to that of a driver’s license than of a motorcycle endorsement or license,” said Rachael Elia, Slingshot Marketing Manager. “Our goal is to gain a unified classification across the country to provide more opportunity and driving freedom for consumers looking for the ultimate thrill experience.”
Driver Who “Didn’t Care” He Hit Motorcyclist Gets 15 Years
Remember the Texas driver who was filmed deliberately swerving across centerline into a passing motorcyclist and then said “I don’t care” that he’d knocked the rider and his girlfriend to the ground?
The heartless car driver is 69-year-old William Crum and following a two-day trial at 355th District Court in Hood County, Texas, he’s been sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted on one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon causing bodily injury.
The 15-year sentence means that Crum, who was arrested soon after the incident in Granbury, TX in October 2015, will be in prison until he’s 84.
Harley Pulled Into Political Fight Over Leather Products
Many challenges face motorcycle manufacturers selling their products in other countries; and a strange example of this is Harley-Davidson facing a public relations issue in India over leather, something as closely associated with bikers as the bikes they ride.
Leather comes from cows, which are revered and even worshiped by many in the Hindu community, and according to the Hindustan Times a well-known Bollywood actor is taking on the iconic American motorcycle-maker over religious principles.
Popular actor and producer Ajaz Khan is urging India’s Prime Minister to impose a ban on Harley-Davidson products, claiming they’re made from cow hide. “I just bought a leather belt from Harley Davidson,” Khan is quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying. “This is a cow leather belt. It’s being sold in the entire world. If you really consider yourself men, then I request [the Prime Minister] shuts down Harley Davidson.”
Motorcycle Awareness Rally Put On Hold After London Terror Attack
A mass London “Awareness Ride-Out” to be held a day after a deadly terrorist attack in the vicinity of the Palace of Westminster, seat of the British Parliament, had to be rescheduled in the wake of the Wednesday, March 22 car attack that killed four and injured more than 50 pedestrians.
The campaign group “We Ride London,” which aims to be the “main lobby group for riders of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds in London,” had invited thousands to join a ride at 1pm on Thursday April 23, from Regents Park through central London to City Hall, but had to call the event off. A statement on the group’s Facebook page said: “We have decided to cancel tomorrow’s awareness ride in light of the terrible events in our capital today. Now is not the time to be hindering the emergency and security services as they investigate and recover from this.”
Rolling Into Reno For NCOM Convention
With the 32nd Annual NCOM Convention in Reno just weeks away, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, Motorcycle Clubs, & riding associations submit the names of those members & supporters who have died this year, so that we may honor their memories during the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies. Dedications can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Reichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board, or e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com.
Attendees are also encouraged to bring an item on behalf of their organization for the Freedom Fund Auction, with proceeds benefiting the motorcyclists’ rights movement nationwide through Getting Our People Elected donations, NCOM Speaker Program, lobbying activities & other pro-motorcycling projects as determined by the NCOM Board of Directors.
The 32nd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-14 at the Silver Legacy Resort-Casino, 407 N. Virginia St. in Reno, NV, so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $99 by calling (800) 687-8733 and mention “GNCOM17”. Pre-register for the 2017 NCOM Convention at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
QUOTABLE QUOTE: “Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.”
~ Benito Juárez (1806-1872), President of Mexico
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.