June Motorcycle News
HOUSE APPROVES HEALTH INSURANCE PROTECTIONS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS

The U.S. House of Representatives voted 422 to 3 on March 31st to pass HR 1253, the “Health Insurance Restrictions and Clarifications Act of 2009”; bipartisan legislation to strengthen health insurance coverage for injuries incurred while participating in legal recreational and transportation activities, such as motorcycling, riding ATVs, snowmobiling and horseback riding.

While the language falls short of closing the loophole that allows insurance companies to deny benefits to motorcycle accident victims, it does prevent them from concealing such coverage exclusions by requiring them to be “explicit and clear” in fully disclosing benefit limitations and restrictions “in a form that is easily understandable” to the enrollee in advance of the point of sale.

The bill now goes to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and concerned riders are encouraged to contact their U.S. Senators in support of the legislation.

MANDATORY REFLECTIVE VESTS URGED FOR FILIPINO BIKERS

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is proposing mandatory training and the wearing of reflector vests for motorcycle riders in an effort to curb rising deaths and injuries.

According to MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando there is a need to "enhance the skills" of motorcycle drivers nationwide, and further suggested that the government adopt the practice in Bogota, Colombia where motorcycle drivers are mandated to use reflectorized vests to allow for greater visibility during nighttime and eliminate road mishaps.

There are now an estimated 2.5 million registered motorcycles in the Philippines, and motorcycle sales have been growing at an unprecedented rate, driven by high fuel costs and easy-on-the-pocket installment plans. Some 671,588 new motorcycles were registered in 2008, compared with only 46,183 new cars.


WEIRD NEWS: MAN FAKES KIDNAPPING TO FIND STOLEN MOTORCYCLE

After hours of searching for a toddler whose father claimed he was attacked by motorcycle thieves who abducted the child, police arrested the Florida man for fabricating the kidnapping to get police to launch an intensive search for his stolen motorcycle.

According to The Gainesville Sun newspaper, Alachua County deputies took the 37-year old man away in handcuffs for filing a false report after his story unraveled during the manhunt and police learned that the 1-year old was safe with his mother.

Officers believe the man was the victim of thieves who posed as interested buyers and then took his gold-and-black Yamaha, so he told his wife to take their son out of day care and he then called police to report that the child had been taken.

"His thinking was if they thought my child was missing, there would be a more intensive search than for the motorcycle," a Sheriff's Office spokesman told the paper.  The bike and the thieves are still at large.

CPSC STAYS BAN ON SALE OF YOUTH MOTORCYCLES & ATVs

In denying a petition from the motorcycle industry to overturn a ban against the sale of youth-model motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) due to the lead content of some components such as brake parts and battery terminals, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) voted on April 17, 2009 to keep the ban in place but granted a two-year stay of enforcement to allow the continued sale of these vehicles while industry attempts to comply with the new federal lead-content rules.

Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 to protect children under 12 from the lead content of toys and other products intended for the youth market but, intended or not, the ban has crippled a huge segment of the motorcycle industry, costing an estimated $1 billion a year as more than 13,000 dealers across the country were stuck holding millions of dollars in inventory.

The two-member CPSC board voted unanimously, citing safety concerns as the reason for issuing the stay; "A bigger safety concern than lead exposure is that the elimination of youth ATV sales will likely increase the number of adult ATVs purchased to be used by younger children, therefore increasing risk of injury and death."

The stay extends through May 1, 2011, at which time the products must be brought into compliance or the industry can demonstrate to the CPSC why it is technologically infeasible to comply.

In the meantime, legislation has been introduced in Congress (H.R. 1587) by Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) to exempt youth-sized motorcycles and ATVs from the CPSIA.  Help end the youth bike ban permanently by calling your members of the U.S. House of Representatives today and ask their support for H.R. 1587.

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