MEETING NOTES: December 12, 2020, American Legion Wallace Post 76, Mobile, AL
Kat “MommaKat” Zimmer
Fred & Gia Johnson
Katie Holm hosted the Zoom meeting
For the very first time, our meeting was offered on Zoom, and was recorded. The link will be available on our Facebook page within a week or two after the meeting.
Kris passed out notes from the last meeting and a treasurer’s report. No exceptions were noted. The above documents are now on record. Brian moved to approve, Matt seconded, motion approved.
We have billboards up over Huntsville, Birmingham, and Montgomery, and we have one up over Mobile in collaboration with R4R.
This meeting was recorded on a Zoom call for later access by link.
We introduced Fred Johnson, incoming Education Director/Security Director. We discussed getting our Share the Road module into driver’s ed classrooms in 2021. We discussed ways to bring it more up to date. Fred is going to try to present it in high schools in Smith’s Station, Auburn, Opelika, and Phenix City. Momma Kat wants to teach it in Baker School. We discussed who the first point of contact should be, when we are asking to be invited to teach. The Driver’s Ed teacher? Principal? County Board of Education? Our goal is to come in from the top, from whoever is over education in the state.
We introduced Chris Litteral, the incoming Legislative Director. He looks forward to getting to work in 2021. He has contacts who are constitutional attorneys, who have contacts in Montgomery. We are hoping the legislative session will be open in 2021. COVID shut it down in 2020.
Matt gave the MRF report, mentioning the issue they are watching in Europe regarding antique motorcycles & cars, and “end of life.” The report is reproduced here:
November 20, 2020
For Immediate Release
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has long partnered with the Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) in the European Union. This week
FEMA alerted the MRF to potential changes regarding end-of-life vehicle directives that could have a dramatic impact on European motorcyclists.
MRF President Kirk “Hardtail” Willard stated, “Policy ideas that first appear in Europe have a history of popping up in the United States. The ability to own, collect, work on, and refurbish older motorcycles is a fundamental part of who we are as motorcyclists. We stand side by side with FEMA in their battle to protect motorcycle owners from changes to the end-of-life vehicle rules in Europe.”
Wim Taal, FEMA’s communications officer said, “Inclusion of motorcycles in the scope of the directive could also mean a serious threat to historical motorcycles. These bikes are especially dependent upon available and affordable original spare parts to keep them in working order. And who wants to see old-timers disappear into state approved demolishing facilities?”
Below is the full statement from FEMA and their response to the European Union on potential changes to European law.
Europe has rules in place for the collection and destruction of cars that have come to the end of their life. Motorcycles are exempt from these rules. That may change, if it’s up to the European Commission.
These rules are part of the End-of-life Vehicles Directive, aimed at the prevention of waste from vehicles that have come to the end of their life. The directive also tells Member States to set up systems for the collection and de-registration of all end-of life vehicles. The directive also pushes producers to manufacture new vehicles without hazardous substances (in particular lead, mercury, cadmium and hexavalent chromium), thus promoting the reuse, recyclability and recovery of waste vehicles. The directive tells Member States to have all vehicles that have reached the end of their life ‘transferred to authorized treatment facilities’ to be demolished in an environmentally friendly way.
If motorcycles were to be included in the scope of the directive, that could mean the end of so-called home recycling. Recycling of motorcycles and motorcycle parts is an inherent part of motorcycle use. Home recycling, where you end the bike’s registration and take it apart for reuse of its parts, is a significant part of the motorcycle culture. Home recycling helps to keep bikes on the road with used spare parts, instead of using new parts that have to be produced from raw materials. As we did in the 1990s, FEMA still believes that the private reuse of motorcycle parts is one of the best ways to prevent waste and to prevent the unnecessary use of raw materials. This way, motorcyclists play their part in the circular economy as well as being environmentally friendly.
Luckily motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers are not included in the scope of the current directive, a position that was lobbied for by FEMA when the directive was written and adopted in the late 1990s.
The European Commission now plans to revise the End-of-life Vehicles Directive and asked for feedback (there will be a public consultation in the second quarter of 2021 and the Commission’s adoption of a revised directive is planned for the second quarter
of 2022). As part of the revision of the directive, the European Commission wants to explore the need to have powered two-wheelers include in the scope.
FEMA responded to the European Commission’s request for feedback with the following statement and explains why in their view motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers should not be included in a new directive.
The Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations (FEMA) thanks the European Commission for the opportunity to give its vision on the revision of the End-of-life Vehicles Directive (2000/53/EC).
In FEMA’s view, the current Directive succeeded in preventing waste from vehicles, the reuse of parts from vehicles and improvement of the environmental performance of all economic operators involved in the life cycle of vehicles. We can also understand the need to extend the scope of the directive to other kinds of vehicles than cars.
However, extension of the working of the Directive to powered two-wheelers (PTWs) is less obvious because of the different nature of both use and build of PTWs. PTWs do not have a body like cars; they can have body parts attached to the frame, but this cannot be compared with the body of cars. Most PTWs spend the largest part of their live indoors and as a rule are used for far less kilometers than cars. Because of this, and because parts can easily be removed, PTWs seldomly reach the end of their life like other vehicles do.
Virtually all PTW parts can be reused, through a large network of specialized second-hand part suppliers throughout the European Union, or by users themselves who swap and change parts with other owners. Parts that are not reused are recycled through local recycling schemes or sent on by second-hand part shops. There is no evidence of PTWs being dumped beside the road or otherwise disposed of in an inappropriate manner. Inclusion of PTWs could even be contrary to the aim the directive, by causing a problem where none exists now. In particular, the certificate of destruction may prohibit users from dismantling their vehicles for the purpose of reusing components. Furthermore, the administrative requirement on specialized second-hand parts businesses, which are generally small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could mean job losses.
An exception could be made for electric powered vehicles (EVs). The demolition of EVs is specialistic work that should not be done by unqualified people. To ensure that the demolition of PTWs with a combustion engine can still be done in-house by the owners themselves or by SMEs, and to ensure that demolition of electric PTWs is done by qualified specialists, FEMA suggests not to include PTWs in the End-of-life Vehicles Directive but to draw a separate Directive for powered two-wheelers and perhaps other L-category vehicles.
If the European Commission does propose to include motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers in an End-of-life Vehicles Directive, FEMA would ask the Commission to
ensure that the possibility of controlled in-house demolition remains possible (as part of a circular economy), either by including it in the Directive, or by allowing Member States to make their own rules and regulations for in-house demolition.
If the European Commission does propose to include motorcycles and other powered two-wheelers in an End-of-life Vehicles Directive, FEMA would ask the Commission to ensure that historic PTWs or PTWs of value to collectors or intended for museums, kept in a proper and environmentally sound manner, either ready for use or stripped into parts, do not fall within the scope of this Directive.
We noted that often, what happens in Europe works its way to us within a few years.
We discussed our main goal for 2021, which is for Alabama to require either a riding skills test or proof that a BRC has been successfully completed, in addition to the written test, to get an M endorsement on a rider’s driver’s license. We discussed details of what implementation could look like. Will there be enough qualified testers? Will there be enough places to hold the test? How much will implementation cost? What will the fee need to be? Who will argue against it? This would be for new riders only, not for riders who are already licensed. Alabama is the only state that does not require proof that a rider can ride a motorcycle in order to get the endorsement. Would this have a negative impact on motorcycle dealers – would they have to have proof of endorsement before selling someone a motorcycle?
The biggest thing we all need to do is become acquainted with our own legislators. Do you know who your legislators are? https://www.sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/elected-official-map
We need to be armed with the statistics. In 2018, 74% of fatal motorcycle accidents were the fault of the rider.
Our insurance premiums might go down if we are successful.
If passing a MSF course will be the equivalent of taking a riding test, that will steer more riders toward the course, which will help new riders gain experience.
Momma Kat remarked that the state of Alabama has a pamphlet that is available at rest stops that focuses on cars and motorcycles sharing the road. We also reminded everyone that we have the Freddy Wheeler rider training scholarship for members who take the BRC. We will pick up the cost upon the new rider’s year 2 renewal.
We are on the hook to help ABATE of Georgia put on the MRF’s Meeting of the Minds, September 23-26, 2001. It will be held at a conference center near the airport, south of Atlanta. It will take us all pitching in to make it a success. This is going to be a great experience for us.
We decided to meet on the third Saturday of every other month in 2021. Meeting dates are:
February 20 – Fairhope. Details below.
April 20 – middle of the state somewhere. Perhaps around Clanton
June 20 – Hanceville area
August 20 – Natchez Trace H-D or in that area
October 20 – Annual Retreat: The Secret, Leesburg, or up in the northeast part of the state somewhere
December 18, Mobile
Look for updates on the website and on our Facebook page. Questions? Text or call Kris Cook at 205-617-9944, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our 2 PM February 20 meeting in Fairhope will be held at the Gaston-Lee VFW Post 5660, 950 Nichols Ave., Fairhope, AL 36532