In a collaborative effort to raise awareness of key issues and opportunities facing the motorcycle industry, riders, and motorcycle safety, the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) joined forces to share industry priorities with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and department staff.
Following the recent passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), the MIC, AMA and MSF voiced strong support for the investment in education, awareness, highway infrastructure and the reauthorization of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) to further inform the DOT, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about ways to improve infrastructure to make roads safer for motorcyclists. They emphasized that actions required under the IIJA must include motorcyclists.
The meeting also included a discussion around the need to ensure that both recognition and reaction to motorcycles are fully integrated into the developing crash avoidance and autonomous vehicle technologies in order to ensure safety for motorcyclists and drivers.
Industry leaders on the call noted that Secretary Buttigieg was very engaged in the discussion. He expressed a keen awareness and interest in ensuring that motorcyclists and the motorcycle safety community are part of safe roadway development, additionally, he conveyed a clear understanding of the limitations and challenges autonomous vehicles present. The industry leaders expressed great appreciation for the Secretary’s desire to include the motorcycle community in the implementation of infrastructure improvements and rollout of provisions in the highway reauthorization bill.
“Secretary Buttigieg was very receptive to our concerns regarding autonomous vehicles and the potential dangers they pose to motorcyclists,” said Rob Dingman, president and CEO of the American Motorcyclist Association. “The Secretary was familiar with the work of the Motorcyclist Advisory Council, chaired by AMA Director of Government Relations Mike Sayre, and conveyed his intention to reconstitute the MAC as soon as possible. We are eager to build on the work of the MAC and work with the motorcycling community to implement the MAC’s recommendations to make our roads safer for motorcyclists.”
“With the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, DOT has been equipped with resources to address decades of infrastructure needs as well as formulate a transportation system for the 21st century. Today’s meeting was a great start to ensuring that the motorcycle community has a seat at the table,” said Erik Pritchard, president and CEO of the Motorcycle Industry Council. “The Department has the tools to improve road infrastructure and design, improve awareness and safety, and ensure evolving automated technologies recognize and react to motorcycles.”
“We are very thankful for Secretary Buttigieg placing a priority on increased safety for the motorcycling community,” said Scott Schloegel, senior vice president of government relations, Motorcycle Safety Foundation. “We look forward to working closely with him and his teams at NHTSA and FHWA as they work to reduce traffic deaths through education and awareness as well as improved infrastructure and technologies.”