NCOM Biker Newsbytes
Millennials Are Negatively Impacting Motorcycling
U.S. motorcycle sales for Harley-Davidson, which represents about half of America’s big-bike market, were down 3.9% last year, and investment management firm Alliance Bernstein recently downgraded the Motor Company’s rating while citing the millennial generation as a key contributor in the brand’s downturn.
“Our data suggests the younger Gen Y population is adopting motorcycling at a far lower rate than prior generations,” AB analyst David Beckel told AOL’s Business Insider. “Gen Y’s are aging into the important ‘pre-family’ cohort of riders and Boomers are increasingly handing over their keys to the smaller Gen X population.”
Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers in numbers to become the largest generation pool in the United States, and these 18 to 35-year-olds grew up during a recession, which has impacted their spending habits.
“I think we have got a very significant psychological scar from this great recession,” according to Morgan Stanley analyst Kimberly Greenberger. “One in every five households at the time were severely negatively impacted by that event. And, if you think about the children in that house and how the length and depth of that recession really impacted people, I think you have an entire generation with permanently changed spending habits.”
Bike-To-Vehicle (B2V) Technology To Prevent Motorcycle Accidents
Drivers involved in an accident with a motorcycle often claim they didn’t see the bike. Their smaller size, quickness and maneuverability makes motorcycles more difficult to identify in traffic. Autotalks, the world leader in V2X (Vehicle-to-Everything) communication solutions, is launching its bike-to-vehicle (B2V) solution, a technology for the prevention of motorcycle accidents. The solution is based on the B2X (Bike-to-Everything) chipset developed by the Israeli company.
Research conducted by Bosch, a leading global supplier of technology and services, finds that motorcycle-to-car communication could prevent almost one third of motorcycle related accidents, which has encouraged the German company to develop what they call a “digital protective shield” for riders. Digital visibility would warn the driver of a car about a motorcycle’s close presence, even when it’s not visible to the human eye.
The goal of the new technology is to prevent accidents from occurring, by providing warning notices on dashboards. The data would be exchanged by vehicle transmitters through public WLAN and ITS-G5. Potential hazards and nearby motorcycles would then show up on satellite navigation, including direction of travel, position, speed, acceleration, and vehicle type.
Advantages of the Autotalks’ B2V solution include simple integration, low power consumption, the smallest form factor, highest range of operating temperature and smallest physical size, which results in its resistance to the strong vibration and challenging environmental conditions of motorcycles.
Oregon Enacts R-O-W Law To Protect Motorcyclists
A “Right-of-Way” or R-O-W law has been enacted in Oregon, as House Bill 2598 was signed by Governor Kate Brown on June 20, 2017. The bill also known as the “Milkman Mike Act” or the “Driver Responsibility Bill” will become law on January 1, 2018 and expands the offense of vehicular assault to include contact with motorcycle, motorcycle operator or motorcycle passenger that causes physical injury.
“This means that if a reckless driver injures a motorcycle rider or their passenger, the driver can be charged with vehicular assault and will be a Class A Misdemeanor,” reports the Oregon Confederation of Clubs. The punishment can be doing time up to one year in prison and a maximum fine up to a $6,250.
“This is a great win for Oregon riders!!,” states the Oregon COC on their website (www.oregoncoc.org). “Now we have something that has some teeth in it to punish drivers who are determined to be ‘reckless’. We have had too many brothers and sisters run down by car drivers getting a ticket for nominal money or no ticket at all. At best they get a slight bump in their insurance rates. And in the case of no ticket, their insurance company never really has a clue they have a high risk client on their hands.
“All it took was a sharp attorney (Oregon A.I.M. Attorney Christopher Slater) to do a very simple thing. He had the great idea to look to see if there is existing legislation. He found legislation that covered bicyclists and pedestrians (ORS 811.060). From there it was easy to add a few words…’motorcycle rider and passenger.’ It was so simple it was brilliant. Much thanks to Christopher and his efforts. Many thanks to BikePac of Oregon and ABATE of Oregon who also worked hard to make this bill a reality.
“And may Milkman Mike rest in peace forever. This legislation is something he worked hard to achieve for many years. He was unable to see it done due to a health issue and we lost him several years ago. Mike was constantly working within the motorcycle rights community. He also worked as the coordinator for the Coalition of Independent Riders (COIR). He spent a great amount of time adding non affiliated and independent riders to his communication roster.”
North Carolina To Provide Driver Instruction On Law Enforcement Stops
Similar to a measure recently adopted in Louisiana to teach new licensees how to interact with police during traffic stops, House Bill 21 “Driver Instruction/Law Enforcement Stops” has been approved unanimously by the North Carolina legislature and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on July 12, 2017.
HB 21 provides that “The Division, in consultation with the State Highway Patrol, the North Carolina Sheriff’s Association, and the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, shall include in the driver license handbook a description of law enforcement procedures during traffic stops and the actions that a motorist should take during a traffic stop, including appropriate interactions with law enforcement officers.”
Ohio ‘Dead Red’ Law Amended For Bicycles Only
During a lame-duck legislative session ending last December, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill 154, commonly referred to as a “Dead Red” law, allowing all vehicles and bicycles to treat a malfunctioning traffic signal as a stop sign and to proceed through a red light after a reasonable time has elapsed, as long as the intersection is clear and you must yield to oncoming traffic with the right of way. Signed by the governor, the new law was to take effect in March, but an amendment was introduced and fast-tracked as an emergency measure to remove all motor vehicles (cars, trucks and motorcycles) from the law, and House Bill 9 amended the red light section to apply to bicycles only. Read More