March 14, 2014 - Washington Weekly Wrap-up

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March 14, 2014 - Washington Weekly Wrap-up

14 Mar. 2014

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

March 14, 2014 - Washington Weekly Wrap-up

We knew this one was coming, so here it is, the “findings statement” from the Center for Disease Control’s Community Preventative Services Task Force. The report was exactly what we thought it would be, a push for mandatory universal helmet laws. I have a working relationship with one of the authors of the statement who is basically a hired gun. He used to ride a motorcycle, has a libertarian point of view and follows his marching orders from the doctors he works for. The actual members of the Task Force are all doctors but one. The doctors are pushing for the helmet laws. He and I had a lively conversation after the report was made public. I asked if they thought the “findings statement” would be effective. Does he believe this going to drive people to the their state house to beg for a universal mandatory helmet law? He laughed and stated matter-of-factly “not at all.” I gave him some unsolicited advice that if the CDC is going to focus on motorcycle safety and the preventative services task force was going to do anything, they should be bold. They should live up to their name and prevent crashes from ever happening. A final report is probable, then the task force is not expected to do anything further about motorcycles, he was vague about what the report actually will be. It sounds like a reissue of this statement. Read the findings statement here: 


New York Times
I had an interview with the New York Times here at their Washington D.C. office. They are doing a report on motorcycle helmet laws. One of the interesting nuggets that I got from the interview was when the reporter told me what the feds had told her. They admitted to her that the data collection process for vehicle miles traveled was deeply flawed. They really have no idea how many miles are traveled by motorcycles. This is interesting because this is not the story we have been told over the years. We have always been told face to face with the feds that they absolutely have good data. They admit that it could be better collected but since it’s always been poorly collected they can still identify trends, which makes it still valuable data according to U.S. DOT. The NYT story should be out this week. I’ll share it with you when it comes out. 


Highway Bill
Work has begun on the bill. This week there was a hearing on the old bill and a sort of “how we can make this bill better” theme. 


New Hampshire Senator

Scott Brown could be the next senator from New Hampshire. But wait, I thought Scott Brown was a former senator from Massachusetts is what you are probably thinking. You are right. Brown, a Republican, has carpet bagged his way up to the Granite State. The natives are getting restless, New Hampshirians are known for their fiercely independent streak and don’t take kindly to carpet baggers. Brown will have to raise an exorbitant amount of money to pull off a W. This race does sort of put motorcyclists between a rock and hard place. In one corner we have Scott Brown a known motorcyclist, in the other corner we have Jean Shaheen, the recent senate sponsor of our legislation to end motorcycle only checkpoints. It’s very early to tell, Brown just announced his candidacy minutes ago. Shaheen’s poling numbers are really bad for her but she's sitting on a mountain of cash that she's raised for this election cycle, over $5.8 million. 


No wrap-up expected next week, Congress will be in recess. 



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