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Thursday, June 18, 2015

From the MRF. Besides the helmet info, note the comment down at the bottom regarding Obamatrade

From the MRF. Besides the helmet info, note the comment down at the bottom regarding Obamatrade. Washington Weekly Updates
June 15, 2015
From Jeff Hennie
Motorcycle Riders Foundation, Vice President Government Relations and Public Affairs
Amendments to FMVSS 218
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation submitted its official comments to the proposed amendments to FMVSS 218 regarding motorcycle helmets, and you should too. The proposed amendments would fundamentally change the definition of a DOT-approved helmet by moving away from a performance standard and instead using construction standards that would federally mandate the thickness of the helmet liner and any energy absorbing materials.
Here’s how the changes would work: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) wants to add a new component to the definition of a helmet based on lining thickness. NHTSA has determined that 25mm (about one inch) is the bare minimum thickness of a helmet that could possibly meet the federal definition of a motorcycle helmet as defined by FMVSS 218. If a helmet cannot meet this new thickness requirement (as would be the case with novelty helmets), then you will be treated as if you have no helmet on at all in a universal helmet law state.
This proposed amendment would essentially make a helmet that was too thin illegal, thus putting you in front of a judge for essentially not wearing a helmet at all. Additionally, the amendment would give law enforcement the ability to ticket anyone wearing a novelty helmet in a universal helmet law state.
This proposed change is coming directly from law enforcement. According to NHTSA, they have been contacted by law enforcement officials from a few states citing that novelty helmets are a problem and that they need to be addressed. Because of the costly nature of testing helmets on the side of the road, law enforcement does not pull over novelty-helmeted riders and test the headgear. Instead, the police want an easy way to ticket and enforce helmet laws.
This proposed change could result in law enforcement pulling people over just to measure a helmet, even when there’s been no infraction of any motor vehicle law.
There’s another problem: NHTSA’s proposed change stymies innovation. What happens when helmet manufacturers develop a new energy absorbing material that is thinner than the proposed mandated thickness but still works just as well? Where is the motivation for motorcycle helmet designers and manufactures to continue to use modern technology to develop better and lighter materials? It was not that long ago that carbon fiber technology was so expensive that it was cost-prohibitive to use; now it’s everywhere. These proposed amendments stymie the creative process that is invaluable when coming up with new ideas.
What can we do about this proposed rule? Comment. Get your kids to comment, your mother-in-law, your doctors, your elected officials—anyone who will listen to reason. The proposed rule currently has a ridiculously low number of comments submitted, and we should take this opportunity to flood the list with positive comments against the proposed amendments.
Your comments count. They don’t have to be poetry or a doctoral thesis. Just let them know how you feel. Please keep the comments clean and please do not cut and paste other comments and use them as your own, as those sorts of things will result in your comment being removed from the pool.
This statement is from the regulatory website:
“Note: Agencies review all submissions, however some agencies may choose to redact, or withhold, certain submissions (or portions thereof) such as those containing private or proprietary information, inappropriate language, or duplicate/near duplicate examples of a mass-mail campaign.”
Please visit:…
 leave a comment, or you can go to www.regualtions.govand search for "motorcycle" and it will be the first link to come up. Deadline is July 20th, 2015 so get your comments in well before then. If you are sitting at your computer or tablet, why not do it right now?
It has been a wild ride in Washington this week. A trade bill known as “Fast Track” or “Obamatrade,” which would grant Obama the power to negotiate trade deals with Pacific Rim countries without the approval of Congress, was defeated in the House in a rare Friday vote. Its defeat is a bit of a shock because of the unlikely allies aggressively pushing for passage. The bill is widely supported by House Republicans and President Obama, but it’s vilified by House Democrats because it would scrap a program that provides financial assistance to union workers who lose their jobs due to international trade. President Obama made a visit to Capitol Hill to lobby Democrats who were going to vote no on the trade measure. (A Hill visit by a president is the ultimate in presidential lobbying.) Politics do have strange bedfellows, but it doesn't get much stranger than this.