Gallagher Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Help Make Roads Safer for Motorcycles

March 23, 2021
Press Release

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI) today introduced the Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act, a bill that would reauthorize the Motorcyclist Advisory Council (MAC) at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Reauthorizing the council ensures that DOT will continue to receive critical firsthand knowledge on infrastructure and road safety measures impacting motorcyclists.  

Rep. Gallagher introduced the bill alongside Reps. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Don Young (R-AL), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Chris Pappas (D-NH). Click HERE for bill text.

“Motorcycles have become increasingly popular across the country, but this surge has also brought with it more risks,” said Rep. Gallagher. “Motorcycles require specific – and in some cases different – requirements of roads, and we need an open dialogue between the motorcycle community, infrastructure experts, and the federal government to discuss these challenges. Few states know motorcycles better than Wisconsin, and this bill ensures we can find ways to allow more growth in this industry and make Wisconsin roads more safe.

“The Motorcyclist Advisory Council is an important conduit for ensuring that the voices and concerns of the motorcycle community are heard by federal policy makers. I appreciate Congressman Gallagher’s leadership on this legislation to reauthorize it," said Rep. Brownley.

“As a rider, I’ve seen firsthand the tragic consequences of flawed road design decisions that fail to account for motorcyclists,” said Rep. Balderson. “Things like the placement of left turns and guardrails may be afterthoughts for most of the traveling public, but for riders, it can be the difference between life and death. This legislation ensures that the motorcycle community has a seat at the table and their voices are heard.”

The council, which is the only official forum for motorcyclists to discuss motorcycle issues with the federal government, expires in October of this year. Under this bill, it would be reauthorized for six years.

The council would be made up of 12 members, including 5 highway engineering experts from state or local governments, 1 state or local traffic safety engineer who is a motorcyclist, one roadway safety data expert on crash testing and analysis, and 1 representative from each of the following groups: a national association of state transportation officials, a national motorcyclist foundation, a national motorcyclist association, a national motorcycle manufacturing association, and a national safety organization.

The bill is supported by Harley-Davidson, ABATE of Wisconsin, and the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.

“Harley-Davidson thanks Congressman Gallagher for his introduction of this bill to re-authorize and reinstate the Motorcycle Advisory Council, which provides critical stakeholder input from motorcyclists to the Department of Transportation during the policy implementation process. This legislation is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and inclusion of motorcycle riders on our nation’s roadways," said Edward Moreland, Vice President of Government Affairs at Harley-Davidson.

“It’s critical that motorcyclists have a seat at the table when the federal government considers transportation policy. The motorcycle riders of Wisconsin thank Rep. Gallagher for remembering that motorcyclists deserve a voice in Washington D.C.," said Steve Panten, Legislative Director ABATE of Wisconsin.

“The bill introduced by Rep. Gallagher ensures that the nearly 10 million bikers in America are included in the discussion surrounding our nation's transportation network. No conversation about our roads, bridges or infrastructure is complete unless all roadway users have a voice," said Kirk Willard, President of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. 

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