03-06-2002

02NR11 - URGENT: ACT NOW TO STOP NHTSA!

MRF E-MAIL NEWS
Motorcycle Riders Foundation
P.O. Box 1808
Washington, DC 20013-1808
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
wyld@mrf.org (e-mail)
http://www.mrf.org (website)

ALTHOUGH THE MRF TYPICALLY DOES NOT SEND TWO E-MAIL ALERTS IN THE SAME DAY, WE ARE MAKING A RARE EXCEPTION TODAY. THESE TWO ALERTS ADDRESS TWO SEPARATE ISSUES, SO PLEASE READ BOTH THIS ONE AND 01NR12!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Wyld
Phone: 202-546-0983
March 6, 2002
#02-NR-11 - URGENT: ACT NOW TO STOP NHTSA!

MRF RIDERS' ALERT: ACTION NEEDED NOW TO STOP NHTSA FROM SPENDING MORE TAXPAYER DOLLARS FOR LOBBYING AND "SAFER CRASHING"

NOTE: Special Action Recommended for SMROs of Kentucky, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, New York, Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, Massachusetts, Minnesota and South Carolina.

Washington, D.C. - At a hearing TOMORROW (THURSDAY, MARCH 7, 2002, at 10 a.m.), Dr. Jeffrey Runge, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, will testify in support of NHTSA's Fiscal Year 2003 budget. At this hearing of the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, the MRF expects the agency to seek funding for many initiatives to promote "safer crashing." If you advocate safer riding, you must call or e-mail your Congressman NOW.

According to MRF's sources, the money NHTSA seeks will be spent on schemes like the following:

-$2 million to "upgrade the motorcycle standard to improve motorcycle braking performance" (and other non-motorcycle-related initiatives) despite the fact that virtually all motorcycles can already out-brake all passenger cars. We believe this is a move that will lead toward mandating ABS or linked-brake systems that should remain the rider's choice, not the government's mandate.

-$645,000 to, among other things, "support State efforts to enact motorcycle helmet laws [and] to respond to repeal efforts by distributing technical assistance materials upon request" - a clear violation of the TEA-21 prohibition against NHTSA lobbying with your tax dollars.

-No money to rectify the severe infrastructure problems in rider safety education throughout the United States. When new motorcycle sales hovered around 400,000 units a year throughout much of the 1990s, riders faced upwards of a one-year waiting period for safety training. The problem is getting worse: In 2000, new motorcycle sales soared to 710,000 units - more than double the 303,000 units sold in 1990. The pressure on state and federal transportation budgets is enormous, and some state rider safety funds have been killed, slashed or raided. Money for "safer crashing" should be diverted to programs for safer riding.

THE CHALLENGE FOR YOU:

Call your Congressman and urge him or her to oppose NHTSA's bid for money that will be squandered on lobbying and "safer crashing" programs. Instead, urge support for a federal resource injection to shore-up state-run rider safety training programs. (Call 202-224-3121 or go to www.house.gov for the e-mail address of your U.S. Representative.)

If your Congressman sits on the House Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, we recommend the SMRO telephone the Member of Congress! Those members are:

Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) - 202-225-4601
Frank Wolf (R-VA) - 202-225-5136
Tom DeLay (R-TX) - 202-225-5951
Sonny Callahan (R-AL) - 202-225-4931
Todd Tiahrt (R-KS) - 202-225-6216
Robert Aderholt (R-AL) - 202-225-4876
Kay Granger (R-TX) - 202-225-5071
Jo Ann Emerson (R-MO) - 202-225-4404
John Sweeney (R-NY) - 202-225-5614
Ranking Member Martin Sabo (D-MN) - 202-225-4755
John Olver (D-MA) - 202-225-5335
Ed Pastor (D-AZ) - 202-225-4065
Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-MI) - 202-225-2261
Jose Serrano (D-NY) - 202-225-4361
James Clyburn (D-SC) - 202-225-3315

For a critique of NHTSA's approach to motorcycle safety, review the MRF Public Comments on NHTSA's Draft Motorcycle Safety Improvement Plan (McSIP) at http://www.mrf.org/pp_arc8-8-01.php

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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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