MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4980
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kirk “Hardtail” Willard, President
June 20, 2008
MOTORCYCLISTS RIGHTS ADVOCATES PLAY A KEY ROLE AT INTERNATIONAL MOTORCYCLE SAFETY FORUM
The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) International Transport Forum Workshop on Motorcycling Safety was held in Lillehammer, Norway on June 10th-11th and included over 80 participants by invitation from approximately 30 countries. Among the participants were safety policy advisors, safety experts, safety researchers, motorcycle industry representatives, governmental agency representatives, and motorcycle users. Representing riders from the United States were Kirk Willard, President of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and Ed Moreland, Vice President of Government Relations of the American Motorcyclist Association. Other groups with representation from the United States included the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Motorcycle Industry Council/Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Dynamic Research Inc., and the Harley Davidson Motor Company. Also noteworthy was the fact that there were ten other riders' rights and motorcycle user groups represented from various countries in attendance which set the stage for meaningful involvement from the riders' rights and user groups which is not always the case in these types of international forums.
The main expected outcomes of the workshop was to come up with a set of practical recommendations for the attention of policy advisors and to help identify how motorcycle safety strategies relate to overall road safety policies. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation is pleased to announce that many of the 20 top priorities to come out of the workshop are strategies and initiatives that we as motorcyclists have been heavily involved in, recommending, and promoting for some time.
The number one recommendation in part was a call for training focusing on risk awareness and risk avoidance. Others included recommendations for all drivers to have a component on awareness and acceptance of motorcyclists, partnering with rider groups to develop and deliver campaigns to other riders, that motorcycle safety messages should be specific to motorcyclists, to include motorcyclists when considering transport policy and develop training for roadway designers. Additionally, when discussing policy dialogue it was determined the best practice would be to formalize meetings between motorcycle stakeholders and policy makers/road authorities, and one not to be lost in the list of 20 is a simple statement that we must work together.
One can see that the Motorcycle Riders Foundation using many ideas in circulation amongst the motorcycle rights community today certainly played a role in these discussions and ultimate list of recommendations, in fact many of the recommendations somewhat mirror the good work that the State Motorcyclists Rights Organizations in partnership with the Motorcycle Riders Foundation accomplished in SAFE-TEA LU. The important element in all of this is the critically important audience of non-motorcyclists that have now heard our messages as motorcyclists loud and clear.
"I believe this was an extremely valuable and precedent setting event where motorcyclists were given the opportunity to present their views in an inclusive international safety arena and have motorcycle safety and motorcycle related policy considered from a motorcyclists rights advocates point of view and be taken quite seriously", said Willard of the MRF.
A full report will be presented
in the September issue of the MRF Reports and during the MRF's Annual Meeting
and Conference, the Meeting of the Minds to be held in Denver, Colorado on September
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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.