State Motorcycle Safety Administrators Meet

The Motorcycle Safety Program of the Indiana Department of Education hosted the annual conference of the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) August 18-20 at the Lebanon Holiday Inn near Indianapolis, Indiana.

"We are pleased to be the host for the SMSA's conference," said Dr. Suellen Reed, superintendent of public instruction. "Motorcycle safety education and training have been a part of the Department of Education since 1987, and have played a major role in reducing Indiana's motorcycle accidents and injuries by 50 percent and motorcycle fatalities by 60 percent during the past 13 years."

Nationally, she said, motorcycle fatalities are at a 20 year low, thanks to the efforts of the SMSA members and state motorcycle safety programs such as the one in Indiana. The SMSA represents 45 of the 48 states with legislated motorcycle safety programs. It is a national not-for-profit association, and accounts for more than 90 percent of civilian motorcycle safety training conducted in the country through its members.

More than 300 motorcycle safety professionals attended this 16th annual national conference, participating in workshops addressing insurance legal and liability issues, designing mobile classrooms, the impaired rider and motorcycle in traffic testing. Additionally, "hands-on" activities such as the NO ZONE from the US Department of Transportation, BattleTrax sponsored by Harley-Davidson and Rider's Edge and sidecar training conducted by the Virginia Rider Education Program were available. Those present were also treated to a motivational keynote address by Dave Barr, a double amputee who rode his 1972 H-D around the world. The world famous Indianapolis Police Department Motorcycle Drill Team delighted the crowd with a breath taking performance.

Taylor Law Offices and John Ball Insurance (USIS) welcomed SMSA members with a reception on Friday evening and The Harley-Davidson Motor Company sponsored festivities Saturday night at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.

Prior to the conference, NHTSA funded a workshop focused on Public Information Activities and Events. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation followed the conference with a Professional Development Workshop August 20-22. Topics in the PDW included: new range exercises, innovative training techniques and their new Dirtbike School. The MSF also announced the 1999 award winners. The Award of Excellence went to the Technical Working Group of the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety.

ABATE of Indiana members and personnel from ABATE of Indiana's Motorcycle Safety Division volunteered for duty in registration and operated shuttles as well as serving as local ambassadors and tour guides. The 2001 SMSA Conference is scheduled to be held next August in Reno, Nevada.

For more information contact Jay Jackson at 317-422-8474 or email at <>.

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