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MRF News Release - Motorcycle Safety Resolution

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Motorcycle Safety Resolution

The United States House of Representatives' Committee on Transportation
and Infrastructure passed H. Res. 269, a bill entitled "Supporting the
goals of a motorcycle safety month." The bill is sponsored by Gabrielle
Giffords (D-AZ) who is both co-chair of the US House Motorcycle Safety
Caucus and an avid rider. Rep. Giffords is joined by her fellow co-chair
of the Motorcycle Safety Caucus, Michael Burgess (R-TX), as an original
co-sponsor.

The bill puts the Congress on record as recognizing the contribution
motorcycles make to the transportation mix. It encourages all road users
to be more aware of motorcycles and motorcyclists' safety. This is in
addition to encouraging all riders to receive appropriate training and
practice safe riding skills and supporting the goals of a Motorcycle
Safety Awareness Month.

The bill was passed unanimously by the committee with many positive
statements from committee members. Transportation and Infrastructure
Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) cited many positive aspects of motorcycling
and was complementary to his constituents who have been in touch with him
concerning motorcycle awareness programs. The bill will next head to the
House floor for a full vote.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation encourages its members to contact their
individual member of congress to sign on as cosponsors of this
legislation.


Consumer Product Safety Commission - Lead issue

Recently the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC) announced that
off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles marketed to children ages 12
and under are now banned for sale in the United States. As you may already
know the 110th Congress passed the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Improvement Act which set limits on the amount of lead that products
marketed to Americans 12 years old and under may contain.

The MRF certainly agrees with the intent of the law which is to protect
younger Americans from unknowingly being exposed to dangerous amounts of
lead.

However, as with many things that come from Washington, this all out ban
seems to be a case of unintended consequences. In order to correct this
oversight legislation has been introduced. Congressman Denny Rehberg
(R-MT) has introduced HR 1587 which would exempt the off-highway vehicles
the CPSC has banned. The MRF does support HR 1587 and encourages its
members to contact their representatives to cosponsor the important
legislation.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has been working this issue hard, after
making an unprecedented decision to advocate for an issue that does not
affect street riders. Vice President of Government Relations Jeff Hennie,
along with MRF Vice President Michael Kerr, have been on Capitol Hill
together the past week. Working with members from our state partner
organizations ABATE of Illinois and ABATE of Minnesota, this issue has
been raised in over 30 congressional offices.

While this seems to be as straight forward as an issue can be, after
working with Capitol Hill over the past few weeks the MRF has learned just
how political this issue can be. Several members of Congress expressed
that supporting the above legislation could be used against them in
upcoming elections by their opponents because it can be viewed standing in
the way of child safety. That point of view is certainly a stretch, but
one that will be advocated for by many child safety organizations. The MRF
believes it should be the parents that choose to allow their children to
ride and race. With the proper amount of supervision and instruction,
youth use of motorcycles and ATVs is as safe as any other sport. It is our
challenge to convince Members of Congress that supporting (and
co-sponsoring) legislation to exempt off highway vehicles from the CPSC
ban can have a positive political impact as well.

Save the Date.
May 14th, 2009 is the first official National Motorcycle Awareness day.
The MRF has secured motorcycle parking on the United States Capitol
grounds from 10am-2pm. Due to space restraints and security concerns by
the administration of the House of Representatives; we may be forced to
limit the number of motorcycles that we can bring onto the grounds. So
please let us know as soon as possible if you plan to ride your motorcycle
to this historic event. Please call 202-546-0983 or email jeff@... to
register your interest.


Ride With The LeadersTM by joining the MRF at http://www.mrf.org/join.php
or call 1-202-546-0983


(c)All Information contained in this release is copyright the Motorcycle
Riders Foundation.

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