NHTSA and State Governors Get the Message and Declare May "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month" But Unfortunately Some Governors Make Plain that They Are Woefully Unaware of Motorcycle Safety Issues, and Most Unfortunately All Governors Have Failed to Combine their Proclamations With Concrete Practical Action Essential to Inform Auto Drivers of the Motorcycle Accident Avoidance Strategies Which They Must Employ for the Protection of Motorcyclists.
NHTSA urged the state Governors to declare May "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month" and State Governors across the nation have consistently joined in making this empty proclamation, uniformely without taking any meantingful or practical action to actually educate their auto driving
citizenry on motorcycle safety issues or the specific motorcycle accident avoidance strategies which auto drivers must employ for the protection of motorcyclists.
Some of the Governors in their proclamations have demonstrated at least some accurate appreciation of the problem and a general understanding of the solution, but others, in the same text in which they anounce "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month" anounce only their abject "unawareness" of both the problem and solution. Contrast the anouncements of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle with that of Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
In 2006, Wisconsin Governor Doyle's declared May "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month" In the announcement Governor Doyle stated: "Motorcyclists have the right by law to safe enjoyment of their vehicles, including the full and equal use of the roadway without encroachment by other vehicles whether it be on city streets or rural and urban highways."
Joining Governor Doyle, the Director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Transportation, State Patrol Major Dan Lonsdorf stated: "As motorcycle popularity grows, other motorists need to share the road and watch for motorcycles in traffic, especially at intersections and while making turns or lane changes," said State Patrol Major Dan Lonsdorf, director of the Bureau of Transportation Safety.
Governor Doyle and Mr. Lonsdorf hit the nail on the head in focusing on the bikers right to ride safely and specifically the auto driver's responsibility to "watch for motorcycles in traffic" particularly at intersections and while making turns and lane changes. This tracks precisely what Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers has been saying based upon our own review of the motorcycle accident statistics.
By contrast, Florida Jeb Bush's 2004 anouncement that the state would observe May as "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month" was completely empty of anything productive. It states only that motorcycles are increasingly being used on Florida highways, and that they are energy efficient, but in the only sentence on the issue of motorycle safety, Governor Bush states: "as a matter of safety, it is necessary to develop skills and awareness of proper driving habits to handle these vehicles on the highways of our state."
Most importantly, however, none of the Governors to our knowledge have proposed any specific initiative to effectively educate their state's auto drivers on motorcycle safety issues or the motorcycle accident avoidance strategies whcih auto drivers must use for the protection of bikers.
Clearly, mandatory auto driver education is the answer, and Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers would urge that all state Governors need to go the essential practical step further and require mandatory auto driver education on motorcycle safety issues and the specific motorcycle accident avoidance strategies which auto drivers must use so as not to endanger motorcyclists. The best way to accomplish this is to include comprehensive motorcycle safety information in the state auto driver education booklets, include a comprehensive list of motorcycle safety and motorcycle accident avoidance strategy questions on the written tests which auto drivers must take to obtain and renew their drivers licenses, and to deny a drivers license to any driver who fails to answer even one motorcycle safety question correctly.
Motorcyclists-Against-Dumb-Drivers says "Thanks" to Governor Jim Doyle, for at least recognizing the true problem of auto driver inattentiveness at intersections and urging auto drivers to "watch" for bikers in declaring May "Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month." We urge the same for the Governors of every other state. And we would urge to all Governors, if you want to most effectively reduce the incidence of motorcycle accidents in your state, lets make mandatory auto driver education on motorcycle safety issues a priority, make it a part of each state's written tests, and lets get off our roads the auto drivers who are unwilling to learn what it takes to assure the safety of bikers.
Wisconsin Bikers: Please see Letter From Motorcyclists-Against-Dumb-Drivers to Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle congratulating him on declaring May "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month" and then asking him to take the next step, to require mandatory auto driver education on motorcycle safety issues.
We are sending similar letters to all 50 Governors, and would urge every biker to write his Governor to demand that he either put up or shut up on motorcycle safety. To that end we provide also a generic form letter for all bikers to adapt to send to their Governor at Form Letter to Send to Your Governor This is a year round issue, so if you find this page after the month of May, please don't let that deter you. You may consider adapting our General Form Letter to Governors Urging Mandatory Auto Driver Education on Motorcycle Safety Issues