The following is background information regarding the Motorcycle Safety Fund bill we are presenting in the current Texas Legislative session.
1. It was determined by the members of the US Defenders Legislative Strike Force that the existing motorcycle safety fund did not go far enough in providing safety measure funding within the state as the funds can presently be used only by the DPS Motorcycle Safety and training unit for their motorcycle licensing program. This issue was also noted by the comprehensive State of Texas Motorcycle Safety Program Technical Assessment team. The assessment of Texas's Motorcycle Safety Program was conducted in February, 2014. This bill makes fundamental changes to the fund to allow for expenditures from the fund for other motorcycle safety initiatives within the state.
2. It was also determined that the DPS requested no appropriations from the fund so the money was just languishing in an unused account. We determined that the DPS concentrates on enforcement and not prevention and has been inept in budgeting funds for the Motorcycle and ATV safety training unit. This bill particularly takes the request for and distribution of the funds out of the DPS hands and places the fund administration with TEXDOT which is more focused on crash causation, minimization, and fatality and injury reduction. Tex Dot would fund the DPS Motorcycle and ATV Safety Training unit in the form of a grant issued to the unit that has specific requirements and would prevent the funds from being used for other purposes due to the states existing grant guidelines. Tex Dot would also be able to issue grants for other crash reduction and safety awareness initiatives within the state.
3. It was determined that the present funding levels would be inadequate to support any significant funding beyond the Motorcycle Safety and Training unit. The different groups comprising the US Defenders Legislative Strike Force polled their membership and an overwhelming majority of the membership agreed that additional fees were needed to support the necessary activities and initiatives required to make any significant impact on motorcycle safety within the state. It was determined by the Legislative Strike Force membership that in order for the fund to remain revenue neutral that fee increases from motorcycle licensing and registration were required so that the motorcycle riding community itself was funding the safety program.
4. The bill also establishes a committee comprised of all the Motorcycle Safety stake holders within the state to meet periodically and assist Tex Dot in prioritizing safety issues and expenditures from the fund. Tex Dot will request funding from the fund to be approved each legislative session for the appropriation of all monies to be issued from the fund.
See Motorcycle Safety Funding Assessment In Files Or Click