U.S. Senate panel backs ban on traffic safety agency lobbying

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A U.S. Senate committee has approved two amendments to a traffic safety bill that would continue a ban on a U.S. traffic safety agency lobbying state and local officials, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

On Dec. 14, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee approved S. 1449 -- the Motor Vehicle and Highway Safety Improvement Act of 2011 -- including two amendments offered by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.). The DeMint amendments deleted language in the bill that would have allowed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to lobby state and local officials.

The committee didn't take up a proposed amendment that was to be offered by Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) that would have drastically altered the existing motorcyclist safety grant program by indirectly pressuring states to pass mandatory helmet laws.

The measure now goes to the Senate floor for a vote. It's unknown when that may take place.

"This is good news for motorcyclists nationwide because it means that federal officials won't be trying to influence local decisions when it comes to motorcycle safety and motorcycle safety-related programs," said Wayne Allard, AMA vice president for government relations.

About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world's largest motorcycling rights organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists' interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.