Safety funds jeopardized

Transportation Bill Removes Incentives

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A draft proposal of the federal transportation reauthorization circulating among congressional staff members would remove incentives for states to fund motorcycle training and awareness programs.

Currently, states must meet two of six criteria to qualify for motorcyclist safety grants from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Having a training program and a motorcyclist awareness program are two of
the six.

The draft proposal would add a seventh category, mandatory helmet laws for minors, already required by 48 states.

So, the new option would provide states with the opportunity to defund training or awareness and still qualify for the federal grant money.

With states desperately searching for revenue in the wake of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the AMA is concerned that lawmakers will siphon money from those important motorcycle programs.

The AMA has long advocated a comprehensive motorcycle safety program as a means of preventing motorcycle crashes to reduce injuries and fatalities. In addition to strongly encouraging the voluntary use of helmets, gloves, sturdy footwear and protective garments, and strongly discouraging impaired operation, the AMA has aggressively supported research-based, state-approved motorcycle rider training.

The full AMA position statement on Motorcycle Rider Education is at americanmotorcyclist.com/motorcycle-rider-education.