Current Legislative Issues and Bills

Autonomous Vehicles – ABATE is opposed to HB2747 as it is currently written and has great concerns about the capability of current AV technology. Currently, discussions regarding Autonomous Vehicle regulations / standards have excluded motorcycles and the detection capability of AV systems with regards to motorcycles. Only one AV company is actively testing Motorcycle detection.

Tesla automated systems failed to see a motorcycle officer in front of the car resulting in a collision. This same system failed again in Culver City colliding with a stopped firetruck at 65mph.

A GM autonomous vehicle also collided with a motorcycle in California when its lane detection system couldn’t decide on a lane to be in.

Most AV systems use Lidar, which has documented problems seeing stationary and smaller objects.

HB2747 is locked to SAE standards from 2016 and does not provide for updated standards as they change. The SAE standards do not specify detection capability, causing concern for motorcyclists.

HB2747 also assigns liability to the company under product liability acts instead of vehicle insurance standards. A motorcyclist hit by one of these machines would face years of court and massive legal fees before receiving a settlement for injuries caused by this technology.

Profiling - ABATE is aware of some police departments using the wearing of vests as a pretext to traffic stops and interactions with motorcyclists. So far, we have been able to work with local authorities to address our concerns with potential 1st amendment violations. If the patterns of harassment continue, a statewide solution may be pursued. Washington & Maryland have recently passed laws against motorcycle profiling.

Cycle Rider Safety Training Fund – This fund is paid for by motorcyclists through registration and license fees. It pays for rider safety training which creates better riders and provides formal training to riders of all levels. ABATE is opposed to any attempts to sweep this fund for unrelated uses.

Off Highway Vehicle Trails Fund – This fund is paid for by off road riders through fees paid only by them. It is used to pay out grants for developing Off Road trails and parks which benefit tourism in the state. ABATE supports SB2233 allocating money from this fund to be used for its stated purpose.

E15 – Currently it is illegal and hazardous for motorcycle engines to utilize gas with Ethanol blends higher than 10%. ABATE has concerns about the spreading use of this fuel, and the possibility of contamination of our fuel tanks by using so called “blender” pumps which can pour up to 4 gallons of a previously selected fuel into your tank. This could cause a rider to end up with 4 gallons of E15 when they select E10 increasing the possibility of engine damage caused by higher engine temps.

ABATE also opposes any attempt to use tax credits or incentives to expand E15 programs. Such incentives rob the state of needed revenue in times of budget crisis and could result in the sweeping of funds like the Cycle Rider Safety Training Fund & Off Highway Vehicle Trails Fund.

Helmets – ABATE continues to support the freedom of riders to choose whether or not to wear a helmet. There is inconsistent data on the effectiveness of this device, therefore we feel it should be up to each rider to research and decide for themselves.

We agree with Dr. David Gill (Emergency Room Doctor and former IDPH Assistant Director) who said “rather than focusing on dictating actions to be taken by motorcyclists, we need to focus on educating those who drive other types of vehicles.”