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11NR14 - MRF News Release - Motorcycle Riders Foundation Meets with US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
14 April 2011

Contact: Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs

Motorcycle Riders Foundation meets with US DOT Secretary Ray LaHood

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, along with a few members of ABATE of IL, recently met with the nation's highest ranking transportation official, United States Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. LaHood also had his top safety staffer, National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator David Strickland in on the meeting.

The MRF urged Strickland and LaHood to back off on the controversial motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints recently funded by the Agency. Administrator Strickland did his best to defend the checkpoints. Other topics of discussion included asking Strickland to change his 2012 budget request, specifically the modification to what is now known as the 2011 motorcycle safety grant program. In Strickland's budget request, he asked that the program be opened up to not only fund rider education and share the road campaigns but also be used for helmet use promotion and helmet use promotion laws.

The MRF told Strickland that if he wants to fund helmet campaigns to please find another pot of money to raid, as this program was created by motorcyclists for motorcyclists. Out of his $850 million dollar budget request to attack this $7 million dollar program is just wrong. Certainly, he could find another source of cash for his helmet hunt. The MRF does have some praise for Strickland, He recently successfully completed the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Basic Rider Course. He had good things to say about the experience and now has a deeper sense of value for proper and affordable rider training.

The group then encouraged LaHood to reinstate the Motorcycle Advisory Council, whose charter ended last fall. LaHood seemed willing to do so. The Council had met twice a year for four years and advised the Secretary on infrastructure issues as they relate to motorcycling.

The MRF looks forward to continuing to work with Secretary LaHood and his staff in the future.

 
Rick Olson, US DOT Sec. Ray LaHood, "Hunter" John Harris, Ray Heck, Jeff Hennie Lahood and strickland: Rick Olson, US DOT Sec. Ray LaHood, "Hunter" John Harris, Ray Heck, Jeff Hennie, NHTSA Administrator David Strickland
 
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