Lawmakers urge NHTSA motorcycle safety focus

A group of U.S. Congressmen want the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to focus more on motorcycle crash prevention rather than lobbying states for the passage of helmet laws.

U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) plans to introduce a resolution supporting the continuance of a ban on state and local lobbying by the NHTSA on May 2, according to the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). May is traditionally Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The resolution urges the NHTSA to stop lobbying state and local lawmakers to pass mandatory helmet laws. It states that the House of Representatives “supports efforts to retain the ban on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) ability to lobby state legislators using federal tax dollars, encourages continued growth in the motorcyclist community, and encourages owners and riders to be responsible road users.” The anti-lobbying language was first written into the Transportation Equity Act that Congress approved in 1998.

Supporting the resolution with Sensenbrenner are Reps. Ken Calvert (R-Calif.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Ron Paul (R-Texas), Tom Petri (R-Wis.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Tim Walberg (R-Mich.). Sensenbrenner introduced a similar resolution during the previous Congress.

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