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Contact: James Holter
Phone: (614) 856-1900, EXT. 1280
E-mail: jholter@ama-cycle.org


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Ohio motorcycle rider safety training funds saved from transfer

March 01, 2013

PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A provision in an Ohio House bill that could have made it difficult to determine how motorcycle rider safety training funds were being spent was deleted after several motorcycling organizations complained, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

The AMA, ABATE of Ohio, the Ohio Motorized Trails Association and others told state lawmakers that the provision was a bad idea because motorcyclists wanted to ensure that the funds are used for motorcyclist safety training. Lawmakers removed the provision from the bill, and then on Feb. 28 the full House approve the bill, sending it to the Senate for further consideration.

The provision was in House Bill 35 -- the proposed state transportation budget. The language proposed abolishing the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund and transferring its cash to the State Highway Safety Fund. The Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund, coupled with student tuition fees, funds the Motorcycle Ohio rider education program.

Ohio's on-highway motorcyclists support Motorcycle Ohio through $6 from each motorcycle registration fee paid to the registrar of motor vehicles. That money goes into the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund.

Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager, was among those who testified against the provision before the House Transportation Subcommittee of the House Finance and Appropriations Committee on Feb. 15.

"The proposed abolishment of the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund following transfer of its cash balance to the State Highway Safety Fund is troubling for several reasons," Szauter testified.

He said those reasons included:

1. Placing motorcycle registration fee money in the State Highway Safety Fund would make it harder for the motorcycling community to track it.

2. Placing motorcycle registration fee money in the State Highway Safety Fund would make it easier to divert it for purposes other than motorcycle safety and education.

3. Motorcycle Ohio, which provides the training, is strongly supported by the motorcycling community because riders know how the money is being used.

4. The motorcycling community doesn't want money collected from them for a specific program used for purposes other than motorcycle safety and education.

Szauter also noted that in 2006 and in 2009, the state of Ohio attempted to raid the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund. In 2006, the Ohio Controlling Board received, and later rejected, a request to transfer $750,000 from the fund. In 2009, then-Gov. Ted Strickland reversed a decision to transfer $800,000 from the fund. In both cases, the motorcycling community spoke up to protect the money riders paid to support rider education.

Motorcycle Ohio is a nationally recognized respected rider education program that provides four training courses for motorcyclists of all skill levels. The Basic RiderCourse, the Basic RiderCourse for returning riders, the Basic RiderCourse 2, and the Advanced RiderCourse are taught by dedicated, experienced RiderCoaches. 

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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 rights 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 support of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations. For more information, please visit AmericanMotorcyclist.com.