January 10, 2002 #02-01 Phone: 202-546-0983

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation recently subscribed with US Newswire. Last night, this breaking story was sent out by the MRF and ABATE of California to all media outlets in the state of California regarding this breaking story. We will provide more details as this situation develops.


Washington, DC - With adult choice in motorcycle helmet use nearing a vote in California, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation’s Tom Wyld spoke at the January 7 ABATE of California/MMA of California motorcycle rally in Sacramento. “Highway safety depends on controlling how motorists drive, not what motorcyclists wear.”

On the eve of a purported “study” of motorcyclist fatalities by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), MRF urged the press to “contrast our position with that of the IIHS, which condemns rider/driver education as “risky” (www.highwaysafety.org/srpdfs/sr3605.pdf). While motorcyclists lobby Congress and state legislatures to promote education and safer riding, the IIHS condemns education and preaches safer crashing. It’s time for the IIHS to yield to safer, more sensible ways to achieve highway safety.”

As Wyld pointed out in the MRF’s comments regarding the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Proposed Motorcycle Safety Improvement Plan (www.mrf.org/pp_arc8-8-01.php), according to NHTSA’s own studies, motorcyclist fatality rates decreased in both Arkansas and Texas after those states liberalized their helmet laws. In Arkansas, fatalities per 10,000 motorcycle registrations were 17.7 before the repeal, and 11.3 after liberalizing helmet laws. In Texas, fatalities dropped from 5.12 to 4.18 per 10,000 motorcycle registrations after helmet law liberalization.

However, although “embargoed” at this writing, an IIHS “study” falsely links an increase in motorcyclist fatalities to liberalization of laws in states that have honored adult choice in helmet use. ABATE of California’s Jean Hughes states that, “Without exception, ‘studies’ like this, and others, released by the IIHS are self-serving and reflect only our opponents’ opinions, not the facts. That explains why opponents of freedom and common-sense public policy generate these types of ‘studies’ at the eleventh hour.”

“The answer is to honor freedom; train riders; educate motorists to look for motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians; and stop coddling drivers who kill,” Wyld said.

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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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