Also: MRF-SMRO Activism Triggers Response from Rider Rights’ Rival

Washington, D.C. … Calling it “inadequate” and “untimely,” the Motorcycle Riders Foundation filed its public comment on NHTSA’s draft Motorcycle Safety Improvement Plan (McSIP) and called on the agency to pull the draft and start over.

“Briefly, we believe NHTSA’s McSIP fails to prescribe sufficient action (and, in some cases, no action at all) on strategies that will save more lives quickly,” MRF wrote. “Those actions which MRF and the SMROs might be inclined to support are inadequately shaped, untimely or both.” MRF’s comment can be found at www.mrf.org. Click on “

MRF is sharply critical of the agency’s failure to address adequately the mainstays of the joint MRF-SMRO plan to advance safety on the road: a no-strings resource-injection for state-run rider training and a first-ever national program of Motorist Awareness of Motorcycles. When it comes to studies and research, though, McSIP is a Big Gulp. When it comes to safer rides, McSIP is a Big Disappointment.

All public comments on the NHTSA plan can be found at http://dms.dot.gov by clicking on search and typing in “9595,” the docket number of McSIP. To all who have sent comments, from individuals to SMROs like ABATE of Illinois and ABATE of Colorado, we thank you for weighing in.

If you haven’t written in, do so. Your voice matters! After all, your activism brought the attention of Congress to “Wrong Turn,” the expose on NHTSA by “New Yorker Magazine” (now available on line at www.gladwell.com). And when your rivals get defensive, you know you’re making a difference: the July 28, 2001 issue of “Status Report” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety defends NHTSA’s “passive approach” to safety as a “balanced approach,” blames “the failure of political leadership. A “balanced approach” to traffic safety is the precise phrase we used to describe what NHTSA should be doing – instead of “passive safety,” an emphasis of vehicle and device over operators. Read the Institute’s attack on “Wrong Turn” at www.highwaysafety.org.

Even though the deadline for comment on McSIP was August 9, 2001, NHTSA states that “even after the comment closing date, we will continue to file relevant information in the Docket as it becomes available ... some people may submit late comments.”

So individual riders -- and ALL SMROs – should file comment in support of MRF's position as quickly as possible. An SMRO might take issue with one or more aspects of NHTSA's plan, or focus on a particular issue, such as a resource injection for rider training or motorist awareness. In fact, comments may be as brief as, “We support the position of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.”

After all, this is the U.S. Government's draft plan for your safety. We think it's another “Wrong Turn” -- in both approach and urgency on many critical fronts. Speak out now!

Comments can be submitted to the docket electronically by logging on the Docket Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov. Click on “Help and Information” to obtain instructions for filing your comment electronically. (NOTE for AOL users: pay attention to special instructions on the submission page.) In every case, your comment must refer to the docket number for McSIP, which is NHTSA-2001-9595.

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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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