04-09-2001

NHTSA LEADERSHIP APPOINTMENT:

Motorcycle Riders Foundation -- RIDERS’ E-MAIL ALERT
PO BOX 1808, Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice) 202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail) http://www.mrf.org (website)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tom Wyld
April 10, 2001 #01-15 Phone: 202-546-0983

01NR15 - NHTSA LEADERSHIP APPOINTMENT:
The President’s Call … and The Most Important Call You’ll Make This Year

April 9, 2001 – Leadership at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – specifically the top slot of NHTSA Administrator – is the President’s call.

It’s the duty of the President to nominate a person to lead the agency.

It’s the duty of the U.S. Senate to confirm the appointment.

And it’s the duty of every American motorcyclist to advise the President of the United States of their special concerns regarding this crucial appointment.

The time for you to advise the President … is now.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation calls upon every freedom-loving motorcyclist and every State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organization (SMRO) to write to President George Bush – as soon as possible this week -- and share your concerns about the pivotal position of NHTSA Administrator.

Here are our concerns.

In the last 5 weeks, motorcyclists representing 8 SMROs visited 80 Members of Congress armed with the joint SMRO-MRF pro-safety, pro-freedom agenda.

Among the top initiatives in our agenda is motorcycle safety – specifically a no-strings resource injection to buttress rider safety training and a first-ever national program to enhance motorist awareness of motorcycles. We heard nothing but support from the vast majority of Members we visited.

Nevertheless, this critical agenda depends on a NHTSA Administrator who is committed to the belief that an accident prevented is an injury thwarted and a life saved – an Administrator who maintains an open door to us and an open mind to our freedom and safety concerns.

Our voice is not the only voice being heard in official Washington: In the last few days, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned that there has been a lobbying effort launched by forces who disfavor motorcycles and favor continuation of the injury-reduction approach at NHTSA. These lobbyists are recommending that NHTSA be led by a person from the medical profession – a profession which customarily (although by no means uniformly) tends to support the injury-reduction emphasis that has dominated NHTSA for years.

Much is at stake.

We believe that NHTSA’s most glaring failure in the minds of the greatest number of Americans has been its mismanagement of the recall system and its failure to see, early on, the first indications of problems that led the SUV/tire fiasco late last year. That is a management problem best fixed by someone from the engineering or management fields -- someone accustomed to correcting system failures. Clearly, it is not a problem that calls for a medical professional.

We also believe, as motorcyclists, that the NHTSA Administrators for the last 8 years – both from the medical profession – led the agency to emphasize injury reduction over accident prevention.

Congress passed a law that should have ended this narrow view. The omnibus, visionary transportation bill called TEA-21, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, contained language which made accident prevention NHTSA’s first order of business, with injury reduction listed secondarily.

Injury reduction might be a task suited for someone from the medical profession, but that is no longer job one for this federal agency. Accident prevention is job one, and NHTSA should be led by someone with expertise in a systems approach to reducing accidents, solving congestion and combating the road rage with which motorcyclists are all too intimately familiar.

You have no time to mail a letter. You must telephone, fax or e-mail the President of the United States. And you must do so today.
1. Call (202-456-1414), fax (202-456-2461 or email the President of the United States (president@whitehouse.gov).
2. With traditional rider respect and courtesy, explain that you want an Administrator of NHTSA who is open to your freedom and safety concerns. Explain that an effective accident prevention agenda for all road users depends on it. Explain that you are aware that others may be urging that the President appoint someone with a medical background or an injury-reduction philosophy, but that approach hasn’t worked for the last 8 years. Emphasize that TEA-21 made accident prevention job one for NHTSA, so NHTSA should be led by someone who believes that an accident prevented is an injury thwarted and a life saved
3. Include your name, address and SMRO affiliation.
4. And SHARE THIS MRF RIDERS’ ALERT WITH AT LEAST 3 OTHER RIDERS.

Appointing the new leader of NHTSA is the President’s call, and we will work with whomever the President appoints and the Senate confirms. Influencing the President’s decision, however, is your call.

And it may be the most important call you make all year.

Yours for the right to ride,
Thomas C. Wyld, Vice President for Government Relations
Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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- MRF: My Ride is Freedom -

The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time legislative advocacy presence in Washington. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom. MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American rider rights movement among its leading members. Motorcyclists worldwide can thumb-start their search for rider rights and safety on the web at www.mrf.org.

All information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is an independent, membership-based national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington D.C. which operates in co-partnership with State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations nationwide. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulation, motorcycling safety education, training, licensing and public awareness. The MRF provides individual and SMRO member-volunteers with guidance, support and information to protect motorcyclists' rights and advance motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. The MRF sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists and publishes a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.

Voice: 202-546-0983, Fax: 202-546-0986, E-Mail: wyld@mrf.org, website: http://www.mrf.org


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