WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI), alongside Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH), Troy Balderson (R-OH), and Harley Rouda (D-CA), today introduced the Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act, a bill that would reauthorize the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for six years. The MAC, whose authorization expires along with surface transportation programs in FY2021, provides DOT with critical firsthand knowledge on infrastructure and road safety measures and serves as the only official forum for motorcyclists to discuss motorcycle issues with the federal government. Click here for bill text.
“Motorcycle registration is at an all-time high, but this increasing popularity has brought with it increasing risks, such as fatal accidents,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Motorcycles require specific – and in some cases different – requirements of roads, and we need an open dialogue between the motorcycle community, infrastructure experts, and the federal government to discuss these challenges. Few states know motorcycles better than Wisconsin, and this bill ensures we can find ways to allow more growth in this industry and make Wisconsin roads more safe.
“Motorcycling is a time-honored part of our way of life in the Granite State and a key driver for our local economy,” said Congressman Chris Pappas. “This summer’s tragic motorcycle crash on Route 2 further underscores the need for us to do all we can to keep riders safe and out of harm’s way. I am proud to help introduce legislation that keeps the Motorcyclist Advisory Council at the Department of Transportation and ensures that those with firsthand knowledge about the unique infrastructure and safety needs of motorcyclists continue to have a seat at the table.”
“The Motorcyclist Advisory Council is a crucial asset that informs smart, strategic, and area-specific motorcyclist policy. This legislation is the first step in ensuring roads across the United States are safer for all who use them, and I thank Congressman Gallagher and my colleagues for their leadership on this issue,” said Rep. Rouda.
The Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act:
- Reauthorizes the MAC for six years
- Requires the MAC to submit a biennial recommendations report to Congress
- Establishes the structure of the MAC to include 12 members, including 5 highway engineering experts from state or local governments, 1 state or local traffic safety engineer who is a motorcyclist, one roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis, and 1 representative from each of the following groups: a national association of State transportation officials, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, a national motorcycle manufacturing association, and a national safety organization.
Nationwide motorcycle usage has increased 25 percent since 2012, with 9 million motorcycles registered in the United States in 2017—more than 400,000 of which were registered in Ohio. Simultaneously, the number of fatal motorcycle crashes in the U.S. have increased—5.1 percent between 2015 to 2016, from 5,029 to 5,286—according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).