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08LR15 – MRF Leaders Report- June

June 26, 2008 by  


The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports that a new web-based survey for motorcyclists has been launched by the Federal Highway Administration’s Motorcycle Advisory Council (FHWA-MAC). The members of the FHWA MAC recently created the 2008 Motorcyclist Road Conditions Survey. The purpose of the survey is to help state and federal highway administrators better understand and plan for the needs of motorcycle riders. All riders are encouraged to take the survey before the deadline of August 1st 2008. The idea is to launch the survey during riding season
when riders are most aware of current conditions and can more accurately respond to the survey.

To take the ten minute survey before August 1st visit: www.surveymonkey.com/MACmembersHighwaySurvey

Governors Highway Safety Association

Last week the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) released a report on motorcycle safety. The report was in response to the GHSA survey of state motorcycle safety programs. The survey covered a wide range of safety contributors including but not limited to, funding programs, helmet laws, availability of rider education, anti impairment campaigns, road construction and data collection issues.

According to the report, “Motorcycles have become part of the popular culture in the United States. Commercials and movies featuring positive images of motorcycles and motorcyclists are commonplace.” The report also goes on to point out that “Not surprisingly, the motorcycle sales increase is one factor that has led to increased rider injuries and fatalities.” The report also points out the fact that motorcycle sales have quadrupled over the same time frame that fatalities have doubled.

Funding continues to be an issue. In discussing a survey of state programs and monies issued during the first two fiscal years (FY) of the federal 2010 funds, the GHSA report states, “In 2006, $5,940,000 in federal 2010 Motorcyclist Safety Grants was distributed to 44 states and Puerto Rico. In FY 2007, $6,000,000 in federal 2010 Motorcyclist Safety Grants was distributed to 47 states and Puerto Rico. The average grant was $122,000 in 2006 and $125,000 in 2007. However, the 2006 funds were awarded very late in the fiscal year (FY) and were rolled over to FY 2007. As a result, most State Highway Safety Offices did not begin actively working to address motorcycle safety issues until FY 2007. Many states also use federal 402 and 410 grants to supplement motorcycle safety activities.” During the last two years, almost every state has received a 2010 Motorcyclist Safety Grant from the federal government. Yet, states continue to face serious budget and programmatic shortfalls in this area.

“While the report does put some emphasis on helmet laws, it also carefully points out some of the other issues that groups like GHSA have been reluctant to address in the past. Issues that the MRF has been working to advance to the forefront of motorcycle safety for decades, such as funding rider ed, clear marking of construction zones, and increased new motorcycle sales are several examples” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations for the MRF.

You can find the report in its entirety at:
http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/survey/motorcycle/summary.pdf

This Just In.

A Pennsylvania joint House and Senate committee on legislative budget and finance issued a report on June 25th, 2008 on the fatality trends since PA’s modernization of its helmet law in 2003. The report found that “Due to the substantial increase in motorcycle registration, the rate of crashes per 10,000 motorcycle registrations actually declined from 132.4 in CY (Calendar Year) 2000 to 113.2 crashes per 10,000 motorcycle registrations in CY 2007”. The report also showed that helmeted riders involved in a collision dropped from 67% in 2000 to 57% in 2007.

The report also attempted to make a connection with the new helmet law and a rise in traumatic head injury but had to admit that “We found that the linkages between existing data sources that are necessary to specifically determine the relationship between helmet usage and head trauma-related injuries and fatalities are currently not in place.” The study does quote some secondary studies that claim to actually be able to make a case for a rise in head injuries.

To read the full 62 page committee report visit:
http://lbfc.legis.state.pa.us/

Click on “reports released” and then scroll down to the Transportation heading and you will find “Motorcycle Injuries and Fatalities Since the 2003 Repeal of the Mandatory Helmet Law”.

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Ride With The LeadersTM by joining the MRF at http://www.mrf.org/join.php or call 1-202-546-0983

Registration is easy and secure for MRF Regional and Meeting of the Minds conferences. Visit our website at http://www.mrf.org/events.php for further details and registration information.

Send in your nominations and donations for the MRF’s Young Activist Scholarship fund today. For complete details, visit http://www.mrf.org/yascholarship.php.

Sign up today for the MRF’s new roadside assistance program by visiting http://www.mrf.org/mrfroadside.php The program is available to MRF members and non-MRF members.

(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.

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