August 2016 Region 5 Newsletter

August 4th, 2016

Welcome to the August edition of the Region 5 newsletter.

ABATE Foundation Bike Raffle Drawing

August 27th, 2016

The 8th Annual ABATE of Ohio Foundation bike raffle drawing will be held at 9PM, Saturday, August 27th, 2016 at the Original Margaritaville located in Sandusky, Ohio.

Raffle tickets are still available. Contact me at 513-476-6481 or if you are looking for tickets.

Clinton County CHili CookOff Flier

June’s Supreme Court Decision & Motorcycle Profiling

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

As many Americans are recovering from 4th of July festivities – unpacking their picnic baskets, traveling back home after a long weekend, or putting their red, white and blue away until Labor Day. So it’s ironic that a week prior to the day that millions of Americans celebrated their freedom and independence, the Supreme Court made a major ruling that affects your Fourth Amendment rights as an American.

In late June, the Supreme Court finished out its current term by making rulings on a number of major cases. Though arguably, access to abortions generated the most media coverage, another decision was made that didn’t generate much media attention, but affects Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures and probable cause. Specifically, the decision in the Utah v. Strieff case could impact the issue of profiling in America.

An Anonymous Tip

In 2006 in Utah, a white male who left someone’s home and was walking to his car in a parking lot was stopped by law enforcement and told to remain there. The detective wanted to know what was going on inside the house after receiving an anonymous tip. While Strieff waited, the officer discovered that Strieff had an outstanding arrest warrant for a traffic violation. As a result, Strieff was searched and drug paraphernalia was discovered in his pockets. Strieff was then charged with drug-related offenses. The problem with this scenario is that Strieff was stopped without reasonable suspicion. And according to the constitution, when police illegally stop an individual on the street without reasonable suspicion, any fruits of that stop—such as the discovery of illegal drugs—may not be used in court, because the stop was “unreasonable seizure” under the Fourth Amendment.

However, the Supreme Court ruled 5-3 that the evidence obtained during the event in Utah could be used in court. Again, up until this case, law enforcement had to cite a reason for stopping the person. To detain someone, you had to have reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed or was about to be committed. That fell aside with this decision, because the court found that if an officer illegally stops an individual then discovers an arrest warrant—even for an incredibly minor crime, like a traffic violation—the stop is then legitimized, and any evidence seized can be used in court.

Connection to Motorcycle Profiling

This should raise red flags for some in the motorcycle community who have already begun to voice concerns about being at greater risk of being stopped arbitrarily by law enforcement. The issue of profiling and motorcyclists has started to gain traction after a law in Maryland was passed in May addressing the issue. Washington passed a similar bill in 2011.

How the Supreme Court’s decision will play out has yet to be determined, but it certainly sparks questions about the Fourth Amendment going forward.

You can read the Supreme Court Decision HERE

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Names Motorcyclist Governor Mike Pence as Running Mate

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

Speculation on who would be Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s possible Vice-President pick grew to a fever pitch this week. All eyes were on Indiana when candidate Donald Trump made a pair of visits to the Hoosier state earlier in the week. The first was a standard fundraiser but the second event was a rally where inquiring minds waited for a possible announcement of Trump’s Vice-Presidential pick. They were rewarded on Friday when it was announced via twitter that Governor Mike Pence would indeed round out the Republican presidential ticket. Speculation on Governor Pence as a running mate grew as rumors of a series of private meeting between the Governor and Trump persisted over the last several days.

Perhaps one of the groups most excited about the announcement are motorcyclists from the state. During his tenure in office, Governor Pence has been a supporter of motorcycle rights, working directly with ABATE of Indiana (American Bikers Aimed Toward Education) and receiving a personalized basic rider training course arranged by the group’s Executive Director, Jay Jackson. "I think Governor Pence saw the strong connection his predecessor, former Governor Mitch Daniels, had with the motorcycling community. He saw the value in engaging this group because they are politically active, passionate about their cause and most importantly, they show up to vote!" Jackson stated.

Governor Pence rides on a bike several times a year participating in the Ride with the Governor event which brings awareness to motorcycle safety in the Hoosier State and raises funds for the Indiana National Guard Relief Fund. He also has participated in other charity rides as well as served as an escort to bikers passing through the state on their way to the nation's capital for the Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally in Washington, D.C. First Lady Karen Pence has also started to show an interest in riding, indicating a desire to ride with her husband in upcoming events.

Though what will ultimately happen in November with the Presidential Election is anybody's guess. National polls change almost daily sometimes showing Hillary Clinton in the lead and sometimes Donald Trump. Nonetheless, some motorcyclists from the state are excited about the possibility of a motorcycle rights supporter as Vice-President. "Who knows?" Jackson said, "Maybe this time next year we’ll hold the nation's first ever ‘Ride with the Vice-President' event."

New Jersey Bill Regulates Auto Cycles as Motorcycles

Information from ABATE of New Jersey

As you probably know, the NJ Senate & Assembly have disregarded input on Autocycles. Both Houses have approved a version that will register them as Motorcycles. The only hope is to convince the Governor that this is an inappropriate action so that he vetoes the bill. We would ask that you copy the letter below, and edit it to suit your specific thoughts (please keep it professional). When finished, please email it to This is our best chance to stop this action.

Thank you,
ABATE of the Garden State


Dear Governor Christie,

I am writing, as a motorcyclist in New Jersey, to ask you to please veto bill S-1155 (Regulates autocycles as motorcycles.) in New Jersey. Autocycles bear no resemblance to motorcycles and have more in common operationally with two-seater sports cars than with motorcycles. The NHTSA is currently in the process of issuing a nationwide regulation that would mandate a completely new class of vehicle called "Autocycle". If S-1155 is enacted, it will have to be repealed to comply with the new federal regulation. This will cost the taxpayers of New Jersey a lot of unnecessary expenditures, and allow the misclassified Autocycles to avoid vehicle safety regulation in the interim.

Please veto S-1155.

(Your name)
(Your address)

Vision Zero & The Motorcyclist

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

In the late nineties, Europeans saw a flurry of activity surrounding a new concept referred to as "Vision Zero," which was intended to achieve a highway system with no (or 'zero') fatalities or serious injuries. While the objective behind the concept is certainly admirable, how that has manifested varies from the extreme to the sensible approach. And, with more and more U.S. cities following Europe's lead by adopting their own versions of "Vision Zero," the motorcycle community is paying close attention to what the practical effects of this concept could mean for them.

Founded on a Simple Principal

Guided by the principal that nothing (not money, convenience, or some would argue freedom of choice) can be put before health and safety, Sweden was the first country to adopt the concept into their law. Other countries quickly followed suit including the Norway, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. While the concept of 'zero deaths or serious injuries' remains the objective, it can be implemented in a number of different ways. Sweden focused on reduced speed limits while the Netherlands attempted to put a greater area of separation between automobiles and pedestrians or cyclists. In addition, an emphasis on the design of roads was central to many of the countries implementing new initiatives under the Vision Zero umbrella.

Not So Simple Impact on Motorcyclists

For motorcyclists in the countries embracing Vision Zero, there were pros and cons to the governments' execution efforts. In the 'pro' column, there was wide consensus that pavement conditions on roadways should be suitable so that bikers could avoid changes in friction including addressing cracks, rough spots, potholes, gravel, etc. The motorcycle community in Europe also voiced opinions over guardrail design and placement and its impact on safety.

However, for all motorcyclists, a very prominent checkmark in the 'minus' column related to the sentiment expressed by Cales Tingvall, then Director of the Swedish National Road Administration. Tingvall, one of the original creators of Vision Zero, directly addressed motorcycles as they related to the success of the initiative stating that, "We must prevent the recruiting of new motorcyclists. In long-term thinking, I regret to say that motorcycles must go." Though he later recanted, he went on to make other statements suggesting that motorcycles and Vision Zero could never find a real consensus. Understandably, sentiments like those voiced by one of the key drivers of Vision Zero resulted in serious concern about the future of motorcycling in cities and countries adopting this initiative.

Further, during the initial concept building phase for Vision Zero, motorcyclists across Europe, represented by the Federation of European Motorcyclists' Associations (FEMA) worked to ensure that motorcyclists were not restricted nor discriminated against. Alongside FEMA were representatives from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and other motorcycle rights groups and associations including the broader International Motorcyclist Cooperation Group. The parties worked together to ensure anti-motorcyclist rhetoric was minimized as well worked to defeat a recommendation to remove powered two-wheelers from some traffic patterns, as this had been suggested in previous conversations surrounding Vision Zero.

Despite the positive work done on behalf of motorcyclist rights' groups during the initial Vision Zero planning period, many of the concerns about motorcycle discrimination remain.

Jumping the Pond

It wasn't long before proponents of Vision Zero began pushing the initiative in the U.S. In 2014 and 2015, twelve U.S. cities announced their own adaptation of Vision Zero using Sweden as the model.

From Los Angeles to New York City and cities in between like Austin and Ft. Lauderdale, initiatives started being announced. While some focused on pedestrian safety and others took a softer approach, other cities, like Seattle for instance, set lofty goals stating that they would achieve Vision Zero by 2030 and take whatever precautions necessary in order to attain the objective.

At the time of this writing, it is unclear what, if any, role motorcyclists have in some of the new initiatives popping up in the U.S. Though draconian statements like those spoken by Cales Tingvall have not been repeated yet, some in the motorcycling community that have been following the issue are starting to express apprehension over the growing number of Vision Zero cities and what that might mean for universal helmet laws, high visibility attire and the future of motorcycling itself.

Bi-partisan Bill To Reopen The Clear Creek Management Area In California For Recreational Use

Information from the American Motorcycle Association(AMA)

The bi-partisan bill to reopen the Clear Creek Management Area in California for recreational use passed the U.S. House in July. If enacted, the Clear Creek National Recreation Area and Conservation Act (H.R. 1838) would direct the BLM to reopen the 75,000 acre Clear Creak Management Area in San Benito and Fresno counties for public recreational use, including access for off-road vehicles. It would also protect an additional 21,000 acres of BLM land adjacent to Clear Creek as the Joaquin Rocks Wilderness. Clear Creek was temporarily closed in 2008 to the public after an Environmental Protection Agency analysis laid out the perceived risk created by naturally occurring asbestos. H.R. 1838 instructs the BLM to develop a rigorous plan to minimize the risk from asbestos exposure and educate visitors about the naturally occurring asbestos. The BLM would also be required to develop ways to reduce the impact of off-road vehicles to protect the area’s habitat.

CALL TO ACTION - Motorcycle Profiling

Information from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation(MRF)

Congressional summer recess is upon us!

From today thru September 5, the U.S. Senate and House have adjourned and completed their commitments to the political conventions. They now return to their home states and districts — making now the perfect time to schedule a meeting with your elected official!

Establishing and maintaining relationships with your elected officials and their staff in your home state is an important and effective way to further our mission. Right now, we have a legislative measure pending and we need to shore up additional co-sponsors. As you know, in July, House Resolution 831 was introduced before Congress by Reps. Ribble (Wisc.) and Walberg (Mich.). Now is the time to ask your elected officials to consider adding their name as a co-sponsor!

I have drafted talking points and attached them to this email for your use and reference. It contains all the pertinent information you will need when meeting with your elected official or their staff.

If you need ANY assistance getting in touch with your elected official, please reply directly to me and I can provide phone numbers, email addresses and any other information you might need to conduct your outreach.

Thank you for your support and keep me informed as to your progress!

Megan Ekstrom
Vice-President, Government Affairs & Public Relations
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
1325 G Street N.W. Suite 500
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: (202) 725-5471
Fax: (202) 546-0986

Talking Points Can Be Downloaded HERE

Region 5 Monthly Meeting Info

Locations and times for the next Region 5 county meetings

Next Region 5 meeting for Clinton County is 11AM, August 14th at American Legion Post 49 in Wilmington, Ohio.

Next Region 5 meeting for Butler-Clermont-Hamilton counties is 11AM, August 7th at The Train Stop in Foster, Ohio.