MRF Washington Update
October 17, 2008
NHTSA Quarterly Motorcycle Safety Network Meeting
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a quarterly Motorcycle Safety Network meeting in Washington DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports. The meeting, originally the brainchild of NHTSA, has mushroomed into almost an entire DOT meeting as the room had a good number of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials either reporting or just listening. It seems that as with the
sales of new motorcycles, so goes this meeting’s attendance. Each meeting’s attendance has increased significantly and has now grown out of the current DOT conference facilities.
The meeting was attended by all government transportation officials as well as representatives from SMSA, MIC, MSF, AMA, IIHS, Honda, Harley and ASMI.
Tim Buche of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation reported that the MSF trained just over 400,000 individual riders last year and estimate now that about half of the riders on the road have now been through some form of rider education program.
FHWA had a lengthy report on the crash causation study that was legislated by Congress in the last highway bill. The seemingly straightforward request from Congress has found itself stuck between the FHWA and the executing institution, the University of Oklahoma. The study originally had a price tag of about $3 million; however several issues have already doubled that to around $6 million, and at this recent meeting it was acknowledged that it could ultimately end up costing around $7.5-8 million.
Who’s picking up the tab for this study, anyway? Essentially you, the motorcyclist, are. Lets break down the funding streams; there’s the federal share of about $2.1 -2.4 million, the motorcycle industry has pledged $3.1 million, and the AMA has kicked in $130,000 cold hard cash to kick start the study. That’s about 5.5 million on a good day. When you look at it, really it’s the motorcyclists that are funding this. The federal share is from gasoline taxes, and the industry will ultimately pass the cost on to its customers. Where the additional $2.5 million comes from is uncertain but one thing should be certain, motorcyclists have paid more than enough and we deserve better. Another certainty is every day this study is delayed it gets more expensive. At this point getting the study moving seems impossible at best, but government and universities have a history of moving at a glacier’s pace and then pulling through at the last minute. The MRF’s message to the powers that be on this one; stop playing the blame game and wasting the money of the motorcyclists and get this study underway.
Some Positive News:
The pilot study to the main study is set to begin in December - they will also begin training investigators within the next few weeks. The pilot study will be conducted by FHWA to test the methodology; the full study is going to be done by the University of OK. The pilot study will investigate 37 crashes or last three months, whichever comes first. The full study will investigate around 900 crashes. One senior DOT official in the room did caution the group to not put too much hope into the outcome of the study, as these types of studies rarely produce the single panacea many hope for. Expect a laundry list of contributing factors, not a silver bullet.
Studies Coming Soon:
The much anticipated Conspicuity Study will be released in just a few months. This is the study that tried to determine if universal daytime running lights (DRL) on cars reduces the conspicuity of motorcycles on the road. One segment of the study put an individual in a parked car on the side of the road and used eyeball tracking equipment to see what they looked at.
This study, also due out soon, takes a look at antilock braking (ABS), combined braking (CBS) and conventional braking, and whether they stop a motorcycle differently and why.
Braking Follow-on Study:
This study used a simulator to determine what brake riders used most in the last milliseconds before artificial impact. According to the 1981 Hurt report, 83% of riders don’t use the front brake in the crucial 1.9 seconds prior to impact. This study is also due out soon; noticing a pattern here?
Some future studies under consideration by the feds include an eyeball tracking study which would utilize a tiny camera aimed at the rider’s eyes to essentially see what they are looking at while riding. Another idea in the works is a similar study in which a camera would be worn by the rider, except that volunteers would wear the camera every time they rode for an entire year to get a sense of patterns and behaviors. Lastly, the feds are thinking of doing a study to determine if it’s even possible to employ some new Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) recording technology on a motorcycle. This is sort of a “let’s see if we think we can build it” sort of study. All of these are purely in the concept phase.
The third round of the 2010 funds has been announced and it’s another successful year for 47 states and Puerto Rico. Again 3 states did not apply. The 48 grants are listed below. This round spent $6 million, the next and final round will spend $7 million. The deadline for that application is August 1st 2009, and the guide to apply is on the MRF website.
FY 2008 SECTION 2010 MOTORCYCLIST SAFETY GRANTS
State Year SAFETEA-LU Programmatic Basic Criteria Total Award
1. Alaska 3rd Training, Impaired $100,000
2. Arizona 3rd Aware, Fees $102,607
3. Arkansas 2nd Aware , Impaired $100,000
4. California 3rd Training, Fees $365,542
5. Colorado 2nd Training, Fees $101,815
6. Connecticut 3rd Training , Fees $100,000
7. Delaware 3rd Training, Aware $100,000
8. Florida 3rd Training, Fees $205,733
9. Georgia 3rd Aware, Impaired $140,234
10. Hawaii 3rd Training, RFC $100,000
11. Idaho 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
12. Illinois 3rd Training, Fees $180,184
13. Indiana 3rd Aware, Fees $118,289
14. Iowa 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
15. Kansas 2nd Aware, Impaired $100,000
16. Kentucky 3rd Aware, Fees $100,000
17. Louisiana 3rd Aware, Impaired $100,000
18. Maine 3rd Training, Aware $100,000
19. Maryland 3rd Training, Aware $100,000
20. Massachusetts 3rd Training, Aware $108,810
21. Michigan 3rd Training , Fees $156,129
22. Minnesota 3rd Training, Aware $116,293
23. Missouri 3rd Training, Fees $120,344
24. Montana 3rd Training, Impaired $100,000
25. Nebraska 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
26. Nevada 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
27. New Hampshire 3rd Training , RFC, Fees $100,000
28. New Jersey 3rd Training , Fees $126,221
29. New Mexico 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
30. New York 3rd Training, Fees $229,882
31. North Carolina 3rd Training, Aware $136,206
32. North Dakota 3rd Training, RFC $100,000
33. Ohio 3rd Training, Fees $167,043
34. Oklahoma 3rd Impaired, Fees $100,090
35. Oregon 3rd Training, Aware, Fees $100,000
36. Pennsylvania 3rd RFC, Fees $175,342
37. Puerto Rico 3rd Aware, Impaired $100,000
38. Rhode Island 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
39. South Dakota 2nd Training, Aware $100,000
40. Tennessee 3rd Training, Fees $113,809
41. Texas 3rd Training, Fees $283,221
42. Utah 2nd Training, Aware, Fees $100,000
43. Vermont 2nd Training, RFC $100,000
44. Virginia 3rd Training, Fees $121,987
45. Washington 3rd Training, Fees $114,149
46. West Virginia 3rd Aware, Fees $100,000
47. Wisconsin 3rd Training, Aware $116,070
48. Wyoming 3rd Training, Fees $100,000
Total $ 6,000,000
Programmatic Grants: Training= Motorcycle Rider Training Course; Aware=Motorcyclists Awareness Program; RFC= Reduction of Fatalities and Crashes Involving Motorcyclists; Impaired= Impaired Driving Program; RFIM=Reduction of Fatalities and Accidents Involving Impaired Motorcyclists; Fees= Use of Fees Collected From Motorcyclists for Motorcycle Programs
Total Applied: 47 States and Puerto Rico
Total Qualified: 47 States and Puerto Rico
States which did not Apply: Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, and D.C.
Meeting of the Minds presentations are now online
Most of the presentations given at this years Meeting of the Minds are nowon the MRF website. Visit here for more information.