ABATE’s legislative program monitors and lobbies against legislation that would negatively effect motorcyclists’ rights and safety at the State level, and partners with AMA & MRF at the Federal level. In addition ABATE supports and seeks out sponsors for legislation that would benefit motorcycling. ABATE’s Official Position Papers are located below. ABATE of Colorado has been fighting for our rights to ride since 1983.
Some of our legislative efforts:
Helmet Law: ABATE along with other involved motorcycle groups helped repeal the mandatory helmet law in Colorado.
Motorcycle Operators Safety Training: Members of ABATE were instrumental in starting a state training program, with funding coming from a self imposed additional tax on motorcycle registrations and licensing. This funding was to make training affordable and accessible to the citizens of Colorado. In 2007, ABATE proposed an amendment to the MOST statute to classify Military students to obtain the Colorado resident rate for the training.
EPA Proposed Emissions Standards: New emissions standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will cost thousands of jobs and businesses in the American motorcycling community. ABATE, along with The Motorcycle Riders Foundation and motorcyclists nationwide have repeatedly asked the EPA to consider establishing a reasonable, non-catalyst forcing emissions standard for highway motorcycles that even the smallest of bike makers can meet, while enabling motorcyclists to refine their machines to improve rideability and safety. In a nutshell, the EPA will impose rulings where you will no longer be able to modify your motorcycles, other than painting the tanks and adding chrome.
Health Care Issues and HIPAA: The federal government regulates all employer- and union-provided health care plans (with some important exceptions involving state regulatory authority). There is a provision in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which prohibits the mandate of benefits, has resulted in discrimination against motorcyclists. In short, insurers can now extend health care benefits to employees who have accidents while driving cars, while denying accident benefits to employees who ride motorcycles. It is unfair, it is discriminatory, and we are fighting it with innovations at the state and federal levels and in concert with the AMA. Colorado implemented a law against this discriminatory practice, however there remained a loophole. ABATE has worked with legislators to get this changed at a state level.
NHTSA - National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: The Transportation Equity Act of the 21st Century (TEA) includes the federal government's blueprint for motorcycle safety. By law,TEA is reauthorized by Congress every few years. This year, with the reauthorization of TEA looming on the horizon, ABATE and MRF have launched the most ambitious motorcycle safety agenda ever mounted in history, hence was born SAFETEA-LU. We begin by establishing accident prevention as the priority of government. That means safer riding, not safer crashing. SAFETEA-LU was passed in 2005 allowing monies to be allocated to states with certain criteria to be used solely for motorcycle safety and awareness.
COLORADO AGE BASED HELMET LAW: ABATE along with other motorcycle groups united in an effort to defeat this law. We were unsuccessful.
THREE WHEEL ENDORSEMENT: ABATE proposed a separate 3 wheel endorsement for riders unable to ride 2 wheels or chose not to. This bill was passed and became law.
ABATE’s Official Position
Noise issues (link to Excessive noise…)
FREEDOM OF CHOICE – ABATE supports the voluntary use of rider safety apparel and believes the right to decide belongs to the rider. ABATE does not, and will not, support mandatory universal helmet laws. The primary focus is on accident prevention, not safer crashing. Inferences that motorcycle accidents always result in head injuries are untrue. Assertions that motorcyclists generally lack insurance and therefore are a burden to the public, is also a falsehood. Motorcyclists participate in health and vehicle insurance plans and pay into the risk pools at a rate equal to, or better than, the public at-large. Motorcyclists are no more likely to rely on public funds than any other segment of the population engaged in a legal activity.
ABATE of Colorado does not condone drinking and riding. ABATE does neither sell nor serve alcohol. Over the past several years, the number of motorcyclists killed on our nation’s highways has increased. Some of these fatalities can be attributed to drinking and riding. Statistics show that the percentage of legally intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of legally intoxicated drivers of passenger cars, SUV’s or pick-up trucks. Impaired riding is not just alcohol; drugs (even over the counter) can impair your ability to ride. ABATE urges all motorcycle riders to always ride smart and sober.