May 1, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Tom Lindsay
Phone: (614) 856-1900 X1357
PICKERINGTON, OHIO -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has learned that Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne has joined the AMA’s call for comprehensive research into the causes of motorcycle crashes.
In an April 21 letter to Dr. Jeffrey W. Runge, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Gov. Kempthorne said that, “Along with many other governors who are motorcycle enthusiasts, I am concerned about the upturn in motorcyclist fatalities over the past several years.
“Merely announcing fatality totals each year is not the way to gain credibility with motorcyclists or promote safer riding. It troubles me that motorcycle safety gets little attention nationally. When addressed at all it is with an almost singular focus on helmet laws, a very divisive issue politically that distracts resources from other safety measures, such as skills training to prevent crashes from occurring in the first place, and strong messages about not using alcohol when riding.”
Gov. Kempthorne, an avid motorcyclist and an AMA member, then echoed the AMA’s call for research: “Over the longer term, a comprehensive motorcycle accident causation study is needed to better understand the nature of crashes and the most effective countermeasures.”
Reacting to the Idaho governor’s letter, Edward Moreland, AMA Vice President for Government Relations, said, “Motorcyclists nationwide benefit from Gov. Kempthorne’s eloquent advocacy, and we’re gratified that he’s added his voice to ours.”
Moreland and his staff in the AMA`s Washington, D.C., office are working to get $3 million for such a study, funding that would be part of congressional reauthorization of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, commonly called “TEA-21.”
The AMA urges motorcyclists to contact their members of Congress and ask them to support funding for a comprehensive study of motorcycle-accident data. More information about this important issue is available on the AMA’s website at www.AMADirectlink.com, where motorcyclists can use the AMA Rapid Response Center to send messages to their congressional representatives.
Issued May 1, 2003
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world`s largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists` interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.