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14NR06 - MRF News Release - CDC Responds to Congressional Letter

07 Feb. 2014

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

CDC Responds to Congressional Letter

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have responded to the Congressional letter sent by long time motorcycle advocate and Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) champion Tomas Petri (R-WI). The letter asked the CDC to focus on areas relative to their expertise and not involve themselves in any way with motorcycle safety. Petri was joined by fellow Congressmen Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Davis (R-IL), Runyan (R-NJ), Harris (R-MD), Ribble (R-WI), Griffin (R-AR), Walberg (R-MI), Kline (R-MN), Paulsen (R-MN), and Peterson (R-MN).

The letter also asked the CDC to leave motorcycle safety to the relevant federal agencies such as National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Department of Transportation.

The CDC response is predictable government product. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the first 30 years of human life and “how the CDC is uniquely positioned as the nation’s public health protection agency to ensure the most current science is available to keep people safe”.

According to the CDC 41% of all motorcycle operators who died in 2010 were not wearing a helmet. That means the majority of those who died in 2010 were wearing a helmet. 59% or most of the people who died in 2010 were helmeted, not exactly a ringing endorsement for the life saving ability of helmets.

The CDC goes on to claim “they are addressing motorcycle safety in the same manner as other public health issues, such as heart disease, asthma, and cancer. We define the problem, identify the risk factors, and assess prevention strategies.”

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation feels prevention strategies are the best way to save lives as well, by preventing the crash from ever happening. In multiple conversations between the MRF and the CDC it has been clear that the CDC has no interest in rider education and repeatedly made it clear that rider education programs and motorist motorcycle awareness campaigns play no part in the prevention of crashes. So prevention strategies for the CDC are simply to pass mandatory helmet laws in each state. While ignoring every other proven life saving strategies.

The letter also attempts to insert itself with the other government agencies and how they all need to work together to keep everybody safer.

It is unlikely that we will sway the views of the CDC to a more comprehensive approach to motorcycle safety. Its reasons like this that we as a motorcycle community need to stay involved and united. The MRF thanks ABATE of Wisconsin for their relationship with Congressman Petri through out the years.

You can read the full letter here –


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