04NR38 - MSF imposes restrictions on Arizona use of MSF-branded tape

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

Contact: JD DePaolantonio
jd@mrf.org (e-mail)

This release is being sent on behalf of ABATE of Arizona

September 14, 2004

#04NR38 - MSF imposes restrictions on Arizona's use of MSF-branded tape

ABATE of Arizona
P.O. Box 30427
Phoenix, AZ 85046-0427
http://www.abateofaz.org (website)

Contact Bobbi Hartmann
ABATE State Safety Officer

September 14th, 2004

Subject: MSF imposes restrictions on Arizona's use of MSF-branded tape

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) recently contacted ABATE of Arizona Inc. in regards to ABATE's Motorcycle Awareness Program (MAP). Motorcyclists in Arizona have been presenting motorcycle awareness and the message of how to share the road with motorcycles for over 3 years, and to more than 5,000 Driver Ed Students and Adults alike. The program has become extremely popular and is now touching more than 3,000 students/adults each year.

The MAP is coordinated by ABATE of AZ, approved by the State Motorcycle Safety Advisory Council (SMSAC) and Sponsored by Arizona's Motorcycle Safety Fund and Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS). During the 53-minute presentation of the MAP, an 8 minute MSF - 'Common Road' tape is shown. Although the MSF does not consider the MAP to be an MSF-branded program, the tape is.

Because of this, the MSF stated that they expect that anyone presenting the Common Road tape or any other MSF video to the school system, even as part of a larger program such as MAP, will follow MSF's basic safety recommendations of gear to be worn to and from the school. The Gear includes eye protection, long pants, DOT-compliant helmet, jacket, gloves and over-the ankle boots. The MSF also alluded to the fact that not to wear this recommended gear, would "undercut the message of the program."

ABATE of Arizona states that the message of the MAP is "How motorists can safely share the road with motorcycles", not "What to wear or not wear when riding a motorcycle." They do not discuss the pros and cons of a helmet or any other gear, nor do they discuss their own personal choices. Teachers often say they appreciate how the matter is handled. At the end of each presentation, the Riders Ed Course is strongly recommended to any student who plans to obtain an MC endorsement. The benefits of such a program are discussed and the teacher is provided with a list of available schools in the state of Arizona.

Although ABATE of Arizona owns approximately 14 copies of the Common Road Tape, they were not aware of any restrictions/requirements to wear the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommended safety gear when using these tapes.

Bobbi Hartmann, ABATE's Designated Lobbyist, State Safety Officer and coordinator of the MAP, stated, "This is just one more example of the MSF's recent push, in such states as Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii and Illinois, to gain uniform authority over all motorcycle rider education, curriculum, and program delivery. They've gone too far. The MSF has crossed the line."

ABATE of Arizona Inc. regrets the fact that due to the MSF demands, they will be eliminating the use of the Common Road tape from the MAP presentations. Their message will be the same, "How to Share the Road with Motorcycles" - Crash Prevention - not Safer Crashes.


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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.

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