Motorcycle checks net over 100 tickets
East Fishkill -- Some 280 motorcyclists were stopped during a motorcycle safety checkpoint Sunday, October 7 on Interstate 84 at a rest area near East Fishkill by the New York State Police, in conjunction with local police and the state Department of Motor Vehicles Field Investigations Unit. A total of 104 summons were issued for safety and equipment violations, with the most common being unapproved helmets.
Drug Checkpoint Ahead? Relax and Keep Driving
Motorcycle checks net over 100 tickets
Motorcycle Vehicle Miles Traveled
Last week the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) held a unique event,the Motorcycle
Travel Symposium, a three-day meeting aimed at improving the data used to calculate
motorcycle vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
VMT numbers are used to calculate a number of transportation data points. Most noteworthy
is the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) used by NHTSA to determine the percentage
of fatality rates per miles traveled by any given mode of transportation. Good data is important
here because if the number of actual miles traveled is not accurate, then it makes that
particular form of transportation appear deadlier than it really may be. You can listen to a
detailed presentation on how motorcycle VMT numbers affect FARS data by visiting the archives
of the MRF's 2005 Meeting of the Minds at http://www.inbradio.com/media/archives/mrf/motm2005.html.
Up until now it has been optional for states to report any VMT for motorcycles, but that has changed.
Starting in June 2008, motorcycle data is no longer optional for states to report to the feds.
Remember hearing that no motorcycles travel in South Dakota? The MRF and SMROs have questioned the
inaccuracy of motorcycle VMT numbers for several years, and the feds have finally put a stop to that
nonsense. You can read more about the MRF's research into motorcycle VMT numbers on the MRF's website
So why did the FHWA need to have a three-day meeting to address this issue? What is the real problem
with collecting accurate VMT numbers for motorcycles? Apparently everything. Let's start with the
technological issues. The actual technology used to collect data was designed for cars and trucks,
not motorcycles. The small signature of motorcycles is difficult to capture using the tube or hose capture methods.
Often times the tubes are only stretched across half a lane giving ample room for the motorcycle
to simply go around the foreign object in the road. Some of the newer laser technology may be promising,
but it's expensive and easily thrown off calibration by weeds, snow or curious animals. Some of the
video collection technology shows some promise, but it too is expensive and difficult to maintain.
With dwindling money at state DOTs, new purchases of pricey video cameras and lasers just is not a widespread option.
Then there's the human factor. It is common knowledge that a large number of motorcyclists spend more
time on the road from Friday to Sunday. This intuition is backed up by the National Household
Transportation Survey, a phone study conducted by the feds that surveys 20,000 plus households on their
respective travel habits. Questions include what type of vehicles you own, when and where are you using
those vehicles, how many licensed drivers are under your roof, and so on. This study reported that
almost 40 percent of all motorcycle travel occurs on the weekends. That becomes a problem because most
of the state employees hired to physically collect the data only work Monday through Thursday,
so any weekend travel goes unmonitored. Seasons also skew the data, for most northern states see very
few motorcycles during winter months and the state DOTs don't adjust for that.
Another major problem is where the VMT data is collected. Most of the states collect data on roads
that see the most use by cars and trucks. Think of major interstates,multilane highways and other
heavily traveled roads, bridges and tunnels. Now think of where most motorcycle rides occur, on back
roads, scenic byways and other out-of-the-way streets. Most motorcyclists purposefully avoid the heavy
congestion of an urban environment in favor of lesser-traveled roads with less heavy truck
traffic. The statistic commonly used by the states is that they survey just 23% of the roads and leave
the other 77% that are generally the responsibility of smaller entities such as townships and villages
alone. That's a major discrepancy and a fatal flaw of the VMT data for motorcycles.
It's refreshing, to say the least, that the federal government is finally taking a good hard look
at the validity of the motorcycle VMT data. Now the hard part, committing precious resources toward
improving the data collection. Simply mandating that the data be reported next year will not
automatically ensure accurate numbers,and some argue just the opposite. Now that the states have
to do more with the same amount of resources, it may have the effect of fictitious numbers reported just
to comply with another federal directive. A lot of serious research is occurring, but until that research
is easily translatable to real world situations it's doubtful that the VMT numbers for motorcycles will
be believable. Much work remains, but this is with out question a tremendous step
forward, and the MRF will continue toAdd to Technorati Favorites
Response to Doc: If you choose the "old way" (do you know what that is DOC?) please see if you can't muster up the "Balls" to do your own dirty work as opposed to "sending someone" else.
If you choose the lawyer way, way cool. If you wish to spend a heap of bucks to find out I ain't got any, go for that too.
The THANKS: Go out to the other ABATE of Florida members (outside of the local area) who did communicate to me asap their concerns and thoughts. There are dedicated and committed ABATE of Florida members. We always have and always will acknowledge that. It is just sad that the Board of Directors got away with locking them into a lobbyist contract that has a clause that stipulates that no matter what happens, if you want to get rid of the lobbyist/president you got to pay him all money (or words to that effect).
My thanks also to the little "minion" that will insure that Doc see's this.
My APOLOGIES: To the readers of this little playground who are not ABATE member and could care less. Who care more about how our rights and freedoms are continually being chipped away at. I will try to make it up to you. But then thats gonna take a lot of posting and a lot of reading and more posting and more reading. Guess the only way to stop that is send in more pics of biker ladies. SAWMILL!!!! Where are ya when we need ya.............ok, back to work. rcAdd to Technorati Favorites