02NR01 – MOTORCYCLISTS SHARPLY CRITICAL OF IIHS’S FATALATIES “STUDY”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tom Wyld
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.
02NR01 – MOTORCYCLISTS SHARPLY CRITICAL OF INSURANCE INSTITUTE FOR HIGHWAY SAFETY’S FATALATIES “STUDY”
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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