by Gus Breiland
NY Acknowledges Motorcycles Exist In PSA
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has completed a new 30-second TV public service announcement on motorcycle awareness.

Newly appointed New York DMV Commissioner, Nancy Naples, appears on the sidewalk after a graphic car/motorcycle right of way violation telling viewers “Motorcycle accidents aren’t accidents at all. Too many crashes are caused by inattentive drivers who just pull into oncoming traffic with little more than a glance. I’m DMV Commissioner Nancy Naples, asking you to please watch for motorcycles.”

Assistant Commissioner for Transportation Safety, Rob Dingman, spearheaded the video. Dingman’s name may be familiar to many readers of AMA Rights News & Notes because he is the former AMA Washington Representative.

The 15-second ad is found at http://nysdmv.com/media/gtsc_6_8_15s_720.MPG and the 30-second version is at http://nysdmv.com/media/GTSC_6_5_4_PM.MPG. The ads will be distributed statewide through the New York State Broadcasters Association and are scheduled to run throughout the summer months.

In addition, Governor Pataki is now considering A4914 which passed both houses of the legislature and is awaiting his signature. This legislation is consistent with the AMA Justice for All Campaign, which is focused on inadequate sentencing of drivers who seriously injure or kill others on the road.

Influence can be a good thing. This month’s All The News has a common thread to it. Don’t just sit on your bike and ride. Remind the people who make the rules you are forced to live by that you exist. Send them a letter reminding them you are a taxpayer, a constituent, and a voter. We, as riders, are a special interest group that uses the highways and byways not only for recreation but also for employment. We are a necessary piece of the taxpaying populous.

NTSB To Hold A 2-day Public Forum On Motorcycle Safety
The National Transportation Safety Board will hold a two-day public forum on motorcycle safety beginning on Tuesday, September 12, 2006 in Washington, DC. AMA Board Member, Debbie Hersman, will preside as Chair of the forum.

Last year, 4,315 motorcyclists died in crashes and the rate of motorcycle fatalities has increased more than 25 percent since 1997. “At a time when highway fatalities have been decreasing, motorcycle fatalities have continued to increase, both in overall number and in fatality rate,” said Hersman.

The goal of the public forum is to gather information about ongoing motorcycle safety research and initiatives, as well as safety countermeasures that may reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents and fatalities.”

During the forum, the NTSB will examine issues raised by a number of recent motorcycle accidents, including the June 12 motorcycle crash involving Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, and the June 11 crash involving a motorcycle and a minivan in Williamsport, PA that killed five persons.

NTSB staff will lead technical panel discussions that will examine each major aspect of motorcycle safety including rider training and licensing, rider protective equipment, vehicle design, and public education of motorists and motorcyclists. Representatives from the motorcycle industry, government, and motorcycling organizations will be invited to give presentations highlighting their perspectives.

The forum will be held in Washington at the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center, 429 L’Enfant Plaza, SW. An agenda for the forum will be posted on the NTSB’s website when available. The general public will be able to observe the forum, either in person or by webcast at www.ntsb.gov.

Get out there, get active and get the word out that motorcycles and their riders are positive influences on our transportation system. If you cannot attend this forum, MMM suggests a little homework for our readers. Write your representatives and make them aware you exist. We are more fuel-efficient than most automobiles. We take up less space in the infrastructure and we cause less wear and tear on said infrastructure. Oh, and if we, as a demographic, would take greater precaution: such as simply wearing a helmet, we may have a better chance of surviving the crashes mentioned above instead of adding to a body count.

Silly Canadians Want To BanSportbikes Over 400cc
Canadian insurance officials in Quebec would like to see a ban on sportbikes larger than 400cc. John Harbour, director of the Quebec Automobile Insurance Company, says sportbikes should be banned because they result in large insurance losses.

Harbour’s comments are reminiscent of a proposal promoted by the US Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in the late 1980s that could have resulted in a ban on sportbikes in this country. At the time, the AMA was able to defeat that proposal, eventually succeeding in getting a US senator to abandon support for the ban he had introduced in Congress.

Notice that the proposal was not based on your well being, but on an industries profit margin. Because the insurance industry cannot ban Earth Wind and Fire (no, not the band…for now) they want to ban an activity that is not in the majority. A voting population not large enough to cause great ripples in the collective pool. Remember, your insurance doesn’t look at you as a human being; you are a statistic on a piece of paper that gets a line drawn through it every time someone asks “What can we trim from our books?” Call your insurance agent and ask for a discount or price reduction. Remind the Insurance companies you are still here. If enough people call, agents around the country will report back to the parent office that something happened; all their motorcycle customers call to say hello.

2006 NATOW Poker Run Across Wisconsin Announced
NATOW (Native American Tourism of Wisconsin) is promoting a two-month long poker run across Wisconsin in summer, 2006 to motorcyclists in a five state radius.

The NATOW Poker Run Across Wisconsin will feature stops at participating Indian Gaming Casinos and other Native American destinations throughout Wisconsin. Participants are encouraged to visit Poker Run stops from July 15th through September 5th, 2006. Grand prize is a trip for two aboard “Hogs on the High Seas” Western Caribbean Cruise. First place prize is a trip for two to Daytona Bike Week in 2007 and Second place prize is His & Her head-to-toe leathers from Renegade Classics Biker Outlet Store in Milwaukee.

Winners will be drawn at the Indian Summer Festival on the Harley-Davidson stage at approximately 5pm on Saturday, September 9th, 2006 at Henry Meier Festival Park in downtown Milwaukee. Poker Run participants can bring their poker run cards (stamped by at least three participating locations) to the festival mid-gate from noon to 2pm on Saturday for free admission to the festival. Winners need not be present to win.

The Poker Run card and the “Native Rides” scenic routes are featured on the Poker Run Across Wisconsin Map, which can be found at over 300 motorcycle-friendly locations in WI, IL, IA, MN and MI. The map details 10 scenic rides and includes useful riding tips and factoids on the Indian culture in Wisconsin.

Entry forms for the Poker Run are printed on the map or can be accessed online along with Official Rules and map pickup locations at www.Nativerides.com. Participants must be 21 years of age.

The Poker Run Across Wisconsin is hosted by NATOW (Native American Tourism of Wisconsin) and its member tribes.

There are quite a few locations in Minnesota where information can be picked up. Go to the website and click on Map Locations. If you don’t ride the event, take a look at the Scenic Routes for future rides with your friends. MMM will see you on the road.

Street Motorcycle Explorer Post Starting at Leo’s South in Lakeville
A new explorer post focused on street motorcycles is being formed at Leo’s South. This is open to youth ages 15 to 21, and will deal with a wide variety of subjects related to motorcycles. Some possible activities are learning about motorcycle maintenance, career opportunities, safety, attending shows, helping with community motorcycle events, and to show motorcycling in a positive light. An information table will be set up at the Leo’s South Open House, July 29th from 10AM until 3PM. The first meeting will take place on August 7th at 6:30PM at Leo’s South. Leo’s South is located at 16375 Kenrick Ave., in Lakeville. If you have any questions, or cannot make it to the open house, contact either Ian Ellis at (952)322-1658, or Don Tredinnick at (952)440-4741.

Sheer Lunacy ’06
Join a bunch of slightly demented Twin Cities motorcycle nuts as they buy and fix inexpensive small bikes. Sheer Lunacy ‘06 limits the time and money one can invest and has a bizarre point system to ensure plenty of fun. The ride will be on September 9th and all the bikes that finish will be up for sale. If you love to find neglected bikes, get old motors running, ride small motorcycles and sell bikes, this event is for you! See all the details at www.freewebs.com/sheerlunacymn/

M.M.M.

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