NCOM Biker Newsbytes
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish,
National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
Federal Agency Seeks Anti-Lock Brakes On New Motorcycles In The U.S.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has recommended that all new motorcycles built for road use in the U.S. have anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control as standard equipment. The federal safety agency says that ABS has been required on passenger cars since 2000, and electronic stability control has been required since the 2012 model year, but the technology has lagged for motorcycles and requiring it would save lives.
The NTSB voted unanimously 5-0 during their September 11 open board meeting to make the recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which has authority to impose regulations.
NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) determined that anti-lock brakes could reduce motorcycle fatalities by 31%. “That is a sizeable safety benefit that the U.S. is leaving on the table, leaving on the pavement, actually,” he told the Associated Press (AP).
Eric Emery, the NTSB’s Safety Research Division chief, said anti-lock brakes would allow riders to use maximum braking force without fear of the wheels locking up and skidding, improving the chances of keeping control of bikes in an emergency.
Anti-lock brakes are currently standard on 8.9% of U.S. motorcycles and are optional on 13.3%. Anti-lock brakes were required in Europe starting in 2016 on motorcycles with engines larger than 125 CC, agency officials said. Other countries are discussing or requiring it, including Australia, Japan, China and Brazil.
NTSB Issues New Recommendations To “Improve Motorcycle Safety”
Safety issues surrounding the causes of motorcycle crashes, and the prevention of crashes through better integration of motorcycles in crash warning and prevention systems and the use of advanced braking and stability control systems, were the subject of a National Transportation Safety Board meeting conducted Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 in Washington, D.C.
During the public hearing, staff from the Office of Research and Engineering and the Office of Highway Safety presented findings and recommendations from the “2016 Motorcycle Crash Causation Study” on select risk factors associated with the causes of motorcycle crashes, which were adopted unanimously by the five-member board.
Among 10 recommendations included in the report, “Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes,” are calls for all new on-road motorcycles sold in the United States to be equipped with antilock braking systems and that the federal government establish performance standards for electronic stability control on motorcycles sold in the U.S.
Additionally, the report recommends that motorcycles be fully incorporated in the development of technology for on-board crash prevention and vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure systems.
It also calls for further study and strategies regarding alcohol and drug use on rider crash risk, and to evaluate the effectiveness of motorcycle licensing procedures.
The NTSB does not typically investigate motorcycle crashes, but it conducted a motorcycle safety forum in 2006 and issued recommendations as a result. It has been more than 10 years since the NTSB has issued new recommendations “to help reduce motorcycle crashes and improve safety.”
The Trump Administration has announced plans to revoke a special waiver that currently allows California to regulate vehicle tailpipe emissions differently than what the federal government mandates, which would eliminate California’s more stringent greenhouse gas standards imposed under CARB (California Air Resources Board).
CARB’s stricter smog standards have been adopted in thirteen states and the District of Columbia, representing nearly 40% of the nation’s new vehicle sales.
Sikh Helmet Exemption Granted In Ontario On Religious Grounds
This winter, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation says Sikh riders will be exempt from the province’s mandatory motorcycle helmet law due to the wearing of turbans. The possibility of an exemption has been a contentious topic for years throughout Canada, with some arguing that it would pose a safety risk, but now Premier Doug Ford says he will make the change in recognition of Sikh motorcycle riders’ civil rights and religious expression. Read More