Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Motorcycle Riders Foundation Issues Call To action

MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Suite 510
Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax)
http://www.mrf.org (website)


Kirk "Hardtail" Willard-President 715-204-0799 , kirk@mrf.org
Michael "Boz" Kerr-Vice President 773-583-2764, boz@mrf.org
Jeff Hennie-Vice President of Government Relations, 202-546-0983,


For the past several weeks the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been
actively working on a multi-tiered strategic initiative to counter the
National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) program to pressure states
into enacting mandatory helmet laws. We are prepared today to launch the
program beginning with a Call to Action to our State Motorcycle Rights
Organizations (SMROs).

The MRF's Call to Action is to encourage our SMRO partners to send their
top lobbying teams to Washington D.C. in late October and early November
to visit with their members of Congress to voice opposition to the NTSB's
lobbying efforts. It is our position that the NTSB is proposing to
directly lobby the states with federal tax money based on poorly-drawn
conclusions, using a very narrow scope, and not employing the rigors of
research to which they normally hold themselves. This is simply not
acceptable to the MRF and our SMRO partners. A clear message was sent by
the Senate in the 109th Congress when they voted 69-28 to defeat the
Lautenberg Federal Helmet amendment, which would have pressured states
into passing mandatory helmet laws, based on the fact that this issue is
clearly a State's rights issue. Accordingly, we will be asking members of
Congress to write a letter to the NTSB reminding them of this fact.

During these SMRO visits we will also be presenting a bullet point
statistical fact sheet developed in conjunction with the MRF Legislative,
Motorcycle Safety, and Statistics Committees that clearly shows that the
answer to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities is, in fact, an
aggressive approach toward CRASH AVOIDANCE and NOT safer crashing. In
addition, we will be educating members of Congress on the many points
contained in our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan, pointing out to them that
states with the highest reductions in motorcycle fatalities and states
with low fatality rates per registered motorcycle are not those with
mandatory helmet laws, but rather states that utilize the many tools in
the motorcycle safety action plan. Additionally, we will thank many of
them for their belief in motorcycle safety shown by the creation of the
2010 motorcycle safety grants and the creation of the Motorcycle Advisory
Council in TEA-LU. We will take advantage of this time to inform them as
to how these programs are being used effectively.

The second phase of the MRF's strategic initiative involves the MRF
holding a press conference in the first week of November in one of the
office buildings of the United States House of Representatives in
Washington, DC. The press conference will feature a prominent member of
Congress. Expect another Call to Action encouraging our members, our SMRO
partners, motorcyclists in general and other concerned citizens to attend.
At that time we will be issuing a formal letter to the Chairman of the
NTSB asking him to reconsider their proposed lobbying of the states and
asking that he consider the statistical facts related to our Motorcycle
Safety Action Plan and its effectiveness with regard to Crash Avoidance
and NOT Safer Crashing as the goal.

For strategic reasons, third phase of our initiative will be announced
once we complete the necessary research and sufficient discussions have
taken place. We will go on record, however, as stating that we will not
rule out asking Congress to take action against the NTSB, as we have done
with NHTSA in the past, should they continue to ignore the spirit of
previous congressional mandates against federal agencies lobbying states
on mandatory helmet laws.

Please contact Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations of the
Motorcycle Riders Foundation, at 202-546-0983 in our Washington D.C.
Office to schedule your appointments.


No comments: