12-22-2003

03NR44 - Motorcycle Safety Foundation Attacks Motorcycle Safety Initiative

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kirk Willard, MRF Vice President
kirk@mrf.org (e-mail)

December 22, 2003

#03NR44 - MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FOUNDATION ATTACKS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY INITIATIVE

In a U.S. Senate hearing room on Wednesday, December 10, 2003, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) attacked the Murkowski Motorcycle Safety Amendment to the highway spending bill - the Senate measure backed by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) and State Motorcyclists' Rights Organizations (SMROs).

In the meeting called and conducted by a key Senate Committee staff member, the MSF criticized every element of the amendment. MSF President Tim Buche criticized in particular the Amendment's language that helps States deliver rider training programs and provides an incentive to States to fully fund them. Calling the current system of SMRO-backed, State-administered rider training "an economic model that is broken," Buche urged the Senate not to invest in it. (He later said better funding would "lower waiting lists.")

Asked about the effectiveness of training, Mr. Buche devalued training by citing a single study which attested to effectiveness "only for the first six months" following training, after which the crash involvement of trained and untrained riders is made more or less equal, he said, by "experience" and "luck." Pro-Murkowski staffers were stunned at such a statement from an ambassador of motorcycle safety.

Representatives of the MRF, the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) and ten SMROs - all supporters of the Murkowski Amendment - were in attendance, as were many Senate staffers.

ABATE of New York (George Gorman, Patti Will, Ed Andross and Scott Twitchell), ABATE of Ohio (Hairy George), ABATE of Alaska (Boyd McFail), ABATE of Illinois (Cheryl Pearre), United Motorcyclists of Vermont (Jeff Cota), ABATE of Indiana (Jay Jackson, who also coordinates rider education issues for the MRF), Motorcyclists for Nevada (Russell Radke), ABATE of Wisconsin (Kirk Willard, also Vice President of the MRF), ABATE of Virginia (Penny Adams) and the Coalition of Clubs of Southern Nevada (Lemuel Tapoof) responded to the MRF's short-notice call to come to Washington. The MRF extends its congratulations and appreciation to those individuals and SMROs.

The Murkowski Amendment fulfills 31 important recommendations of the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. Entirely incentive-oriented, the measure is built on the principle of crash prevention as offering "the greatest potential safety benefit for motorcyclists." (Source: NHTSA, Motorcycle Safety Program, January, 2003)

CALL TO ACTION: Chances are the manufacturer of the motorcycle you own is a sponsor of the MSF. Write to the Board of Directors of your bike's maker and urge them to right the wrong that has been done to the good reputation of motorcycle safety training. Go to www.mrf.org/positionpapers.php for postcards that you and your SMRO can download and print on card stock, as well as addresses of several businesses that support the MSF.

Safety is not a question of "luck," but the product of training! Send that message! Act today!

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(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists' rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.

The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists' rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.
- 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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