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I am a member of the AMA(American Motorcyclist Association). I was a member back in the “Good Ol’ Racin’ Days”, and dropped out for a few years while on hiatus from two wheels. I am a member for two reasons: 1.With automatic renewal I receive their excellent roadside assistance at no extra cost. 2. They are one of the most effective(in my opinion) guardians of my rights as a motorcyclist. If you can relate to those benefits, you might want to consider a membership yourself. Opinions vary on the AMA, and they have gotten better AND worse over the years, depending upon whom you ask about such things, but I am glad they are there. Not perfect, but the last time I checked, Human/Perfect does not exist. I just finished reading an article in the April 2014 issue of the AMA magazine written by Wayne Allard, V.P. of governmental relations and a former U.S. Senator and Representative. In a nutshell, Wayne’s article was centered on the new V2V(aka: Black Box) technology and the AMA’s efforts to see that motorcyclists are not steam-rolled as an afterthought in a piece of automotive legislation. Two of the key points of the essay were that the black boxes should have an On/Off switch so that the rider could decide when and where they would use the technology, or if they used it at all. The other point was that the rider/owner of the motorcycle have complete control over any and all data generated by “The Box” to insure privacy. The article went on to talk about the pros and cons of the new technology, which has been primarily driven by the automotive industry and the NHTSA(National Highway traffic Safety Admin.). It is well worth reading if you can touch a copy of the magazine. For someone who saw sunlight for the first time in the late 1940’s and grew up in the 50’s and 60’s which was, arguably, the best of days to live on this earth, the intrusiveness and regulatory nature of our esteemed leaders is indescribable. Early in the 1950’s the whole country was recovering from World War 11 and everybody just seemed to be happy to be free and alive. The Pontiac GTO was born in my Junior year in High School. I was lucky enough to own a 1969 Honda CB750K0, which is considered by the motorcycle industry to be the first superbike. Personally, I thought it was a pretty cool time to be around. Our government was as imperfect in those days as it is now, but it wasn’t messing with us all that much and while we were busy building a future and enjoying our carefree lifestyle(Cold War years excepted) the bureaucracy in Washington DC, largely unnoticed, grew at an unprecedented rate into the out-of-control behemoth that it is today. I can only speak for myself, but I would wager that the line in Vegas would be that an awful lot of “Baby Boomers” wish they had been paying more attention to what was actually going on. I’ve already formulated my letter to my elected representative and as far as I am concerned, I wish they would take the time to read my blog, but I’m sure they won’t. I have never been one to tell others what they should do. To do so is a monumental waste of time. I don’t know the author of this proverb, but “A man convinced against his will, remains of his opinion still”. A truism if ever there was one. For what it is worth to you, I’ll express my opinion and tell you what I have done or am planning to do. It is up to you to decide if it is something you can get your arms around and what action, if any, you wish to take. I’m a practical person, and I’m only addressing the adults out there anyway. Those of you who can and will take the bull by the horns and who understand the value of action. If you love your motorcycles and love to ride, as I do, I would hope that you will decide to write the letter, make the call, or send an e-mail to your elected representatives and express your views on the encroachment of the “Black Box” into your life. Even though there are a few in congress who ride and care about your rights, there are far more who could give a rip less whether we ever get to ride again. We live in a time that separates the Men from the boys. ‘Nuff said. Mel Raymond

2 thoughts on “What color do you want YOUR Black Box to be?

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