Bikers Rights to Motorcyclist Safety SITEMAP
Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers Issues Open Letter Calling For New Biker Rights and Motorcyclist Safety Directions From the Newly Appointed President of the American Motorcyclist Association.20 February 2007
American Motorcyclist Association
13515 Yarmouth Drive
Pickerington, OH 43147
I would like to add my congratulations on your selection as President of the American Motorcyclist Association.
At the same time I feel compelled to add my voice to that of Bruce Arnold, expressed in his Open Letter calling on you to correct what has been, in some respects, the past misdirected course of AMA, and to call on you to please redouble AMA's commitment, particularly when it comes to supporting biker rights. Biker rights means nothing more than ordinary, common dignity, the rights of bikers to make our own adult safety equipment choices free of the paternalistic dictates of government.
It is extremely important that AMA has made plain that it supports the rider's right to chose whether or not to wear a helmet. It is AMA's outstretched hand to those of us who value our dignity and right to chose, and we want you to know that we appreciate that AMA stands for biker freedom. For many of us, "rights" may be our only common connection with AMA, just as for others it might be racing.
There is much more that AMA can do to fulfill its commitment to preserving our "rights" which we have not seen in the past. One of the main obstacles to restoring biker dignity and freedom in half the states, and in resisting efforts to deprive us of our dignity and freedom in the other half of the states, is that the powerful insurance and medical lobbies fund scientific presentations at every hearing and at every other opportunity they can create to influence our state legislators. The presentations are skewed to the political ends of the helmet law proponents, most commonly presented without rebuttal, and all too often the skewed "scientific evidence" is accepted as accurate. The result is that our state legislators succumb to the misinformation that helmet laws are essential to avert a fabricated public health or "state fiscal" crisis purported to result from motorcyclist head injuries which they allege might be avoided by universal helmet use.
The scientific facts are that head injuries are only a small fraction of the broader public health and state fiscal consequences of what is surely an obscene incidence of motorcycle accidents. In these motorcycle accidents we suffer quadriplegia, paraplegia, other spinal cord injuries, debilitating internal injuries, catastrophic orthopedic injuries and leg amputations, the incidence or severity of which could not possibly be reduced by the use of helmets. Even as these helmet law proponents cite the small percentage of head injuries which might be averted by helmets, they fail to cite the partially or wholly offsetting numbers of spinal cord injuries which occur as the result of use of helmets or the state fiscal consequence of the medical cost associated with caring for those who suffer spinal injuries.
The helmet law proponents also engage in public relations campaigns which defame motorcyclists, complaining that this misrepresented state fiscal crisis results from the failures of motorcyclists to obtain insurance. The fact is that 2/3 of these accidents result solely from the inattention and negligence of auto drivers. It is the auto drivers who are responsible under the law and morally to pay for the injuries, medical expenses and damages sustained by the motorcyclists they injure (those who sustain head injuries or any of the other panoply of injuries we sustain at their hands), and it is the auto drivers who fail to meet their legal and moral obligations to pay our medical expenses.
The factual propositions and rhetoric urged by helmet law proponents is all scientifically false. We can point that out. We can show how the data is manufactured by contrived methodology to yield results which are skewed and misleading. But what our resistance to helmet laws lacks is a good scientific offense, including appropriately qualified experts prepared and fairly compensated to appear and testify at key hearings; and we need good written scientific position papers over the signatures of highly qualified epidemiologists regularly updated as new scientific studies are published which we can present at all other hearings and opportunities to educate and persuade our legislators and policy makers.
We watched in horror, for example, as the NTSB lined up only the helmet law proponent experts to testify at the science segment at the outset of the September 2006 NTSB "Motorcycle Safety" Forum. It was like a trial in which only one side was permitted to put on evidence. The NTSB hearing was a farce, indeed predestined to be a farce, as was obvious even before the commencement of the hearing by the contents of its agenda. But perhaps most importantly the NTSB hearings were farcical by reason of the preselection of the only scientific evidence which would be permitted to be introduced. It was indeed that skewed scientific presentation at the outset of the hearings which defined the "facts" which determined the outcome of every subsequent relevant segment of the hearings.
In the future, we would urge that AMA use its influence in federal agency hearings to assure that we are never again so outmaneuvered by the insurance industry, medical and manufacturer lobbies. And we would urge, again, that if the helmet law proponents will have the opportunity to present their skewed analyses, that AMA demand the opportunity to present scientific rebuttal, in the form of an equal number of highly qualified experts, including highly credentialed epidemiologists to undermine the helmet law proponents self serving interpretations and if necessary, the underlying study methodologies.
We would urge that AMA also weigh in as federal agencies develop on any future agenda for "safety" hearings. The agenda for the NTSB hearing was simply absurd, the only segment appearing on the agenda having any prospect of reducing the incidence of motorcycle accidents, and hence the full landscape of the injuries we suffer, was the "motorcycle awareness" segment. The largest segment of the NTSB hearing, twice the length of any other segment, was devoted to competitive motorcycle manufacturer advertisements, Honda being the winner with its novel motorcycle air bag which Honda took argued with its greatest effort to make plain would only fit on its big 6 cylinder bike, and bikes of no other manufacturer.
Even the "motorcycle awareness" segment fell flat as none of the participants appeared in the least bit enthusiastic about the prospect that auto driver inattention to motorcyclists was even capable of being effectively altered by motorcycle awareness campaigns. This was the only segment of the NTSB Forum that legitimately pertained to biker safety and the AMA representative remained conspicuously silent, literally without a positive suggestion on how such a strategy might be implemented effectively to reach a significant percentage of auto drivers. In fairness to AMA, the MSF representative at this motorcycle awareness segment of the Forum also expressed no enthusiasm for the potential efficacy of motorcycle awareness campaigns. He indicated that MSF had prepared some motorcycle awareness informational commercials, but stated outright that the costs of airing them were prohibitive. He indicated that any other organization was welcome to use the commercials, but it was apparent that MSF wasn't about to pick up the tab. Indeed, the MSF representative indicated that a single prime time national commercial would cost several thousand dollars, and to reach even a small community it would cost several tens of thousands of dollars.
Adding biker safety insult to injury the MSF representative out of the blue recommended instead "handheld" cell phone bans, which, as I will demonstrate below, are worse than no ban at all! This kind of sloppy, extemporaneous, ad hoc argument rather obviously thrown out just to shift attention from the fact that the MSF representative had nothing positive to say about the "motorcycle awareness" subject of the segment, is no way to conduct effective policy advocacy.
The only other biker representative at the segment was an ABATE Iowa official who described his organization's grassroots efforts to get out into the community to talk to auto drivers to explain to them why we wear leather, and he described their use of car bumper stickers reading "My Mom Rides a Motorcycle." As I understood this effort it was intended to establish good relations with the public and thus, hopefully, to get auto drivers to show us greater respect on the roadways. The only other representative on the panel was an insurance industry representative who completely ignored that the subject of the segment was motorcycle awareness, rolling his eyes when asked for his position on the potential efficacy of motorcycle awareness programs, and without objection from the motorcyclist representatives, went off on what was obviously a pre-planned, completely irrelevant tirade, again, on how "everyone knows" that helmet laws are the panacea for the dangers motorcyclists face out on the road, throwing in his canned argument for insurance industry deregulation.
We must never permit ourselves to be so outmaneuvered at an NTSB or NHTSA or other important biker safety hearing again, particularly at hearings which may result in findings harmful to our biker safety and biker rights interests. AMA is our "largest motorcyclist organization" in the United States, as you take pride in advertising, and the fact is that AMA has the power, if it will assert it, to influence the agendas for these hearings and demand fairness in the constitution of the panels. Where farcical "motorcycle safety" forum agendas are developed by our federal agencies, or where it appears that our federal agencies have succumbed to insurance industry influence in the selection of the experts and panelists who will be permitted to appear at the hearings, it is AMA's responsibility as our largest motorcyclist organization to object and object vehemently. Indeed, if the agency will not agree to an appropriate agenda, or if it refuses to permit us to field our own motorcyclist safety experts, then rather than succumb to such a political farce as we witnessed at the September NTSB hearing again, AMA should refuse to participate and call on all other motorcyclist organizations to boycott the hearings. If our largest motorcycle rider organizations refuse to participate in sandbagged hearings, it will undercut the pretense of legitimacy the hearings gain from biker organization participation. Indeed, if AMA again participates in such farcical anti-biker, governmental hearings as we witnessed in the NTSB hearings, please be forewarned that we will have no choice than to urge and demonstrate and publicize that you sold out our dignity and interest in safety.
We are also being outmaneuvered in our state legislatures, in much the same way. State legislative committees set hearings, the insurance industry and medical lobbies present their skewed "scientific" evidence that the state is facing a public health and/or state fiscal crisis associated with the incidence of motorcyclist head injuries, blame the motorcyclists for being underinsured, and urge that the solution to enact BandAide helmet legislation. Each of the propositions is easily rebutted, as we have above, but what we lack, again, is the offensive scientific presentation by qualified expert witnesses. It would be best if we could obtain the oral testimony of qualified scientific experts, but at the very least we should have up to date written scientific presentations which we can present rebutting the presentations of the helmet law proponents, providing the accurate information with regard to the true dimensions of the public health and fiscal consequences of the full landscape of motorcyclist injury resulting from motorcycle accidents; and then, good proposals for reducing the incidence of motorcycle accidents, and thereby to reduce the incidence of the full panoply of motorcyclist injury.
In the last respect, I want to take this opportunity to suggest to you what we at Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers would propose as much better biker safety approaches than helmet legislation to significantly reduce the public health and fiscal consequences resulting from what we would agree is an obscene incidence of motorcycle accidents on our streets and highways.
First, and most important, because it seeks to curtail what is the currently the biggest single contributor to the full landscape of motorcyclist injury, we urge comprehensive cell phone bans with penalties sufficient to effectively deter motorists from engaging in all cell conversation while driving.
(1) The use of cell phones while driving is now indisputably epidemic. One out of every ten auto drivers we encounter on our American roads and highways at any given daylight moment in time is actively engaged in cell conversation. (NOPUS, December 2005)
(2) Driving under the influence of cell conversation results in DUI level driving impairment, and while engaged in cell conversation, the motorists are 4 times more likely to cause an accident. Redelmeier and Tibshirani (1997) “Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions.” New England Journal of Medicine, 336, 453; McEvoy, Stevenson, McCartt, Woodward, Haworth, Palamara and Cercarelli, "Role of Mobile Phones in Motorvehicle Crashes Resulting in Hospital Attendance; A Case-Crossover Study,” British Medical Journal (July 12, 2005). "The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, Phase II," DOT HS 810 593 April, 2006. Strayer, Drews and Crouch, “A Comparison of the Cell Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver,” Human Factors, Summer 2006; Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal Distraction? A Comparison of the Cell-Phone Driver and the Drunk Driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30); Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular phone. Psychological Science,” 12, 462-466. McCarley, J. S., Vais, M., Pringle, H., Kramer, A. F., Irwin, D. E., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). “Conversation disrupts visual scanning of traffic scenes.” Paper presented at Vision in Vehicles, Australia. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., Albert, R. W., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Cell phone induced perceptual impairments during simulated driving.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2001: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why do cell phone conversations interfere with driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell phone induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-23. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are we being driven to distraction? Public Policy Perspectives,” Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah) Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. (2003). “Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” In the Proceedings of the 47nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp.. 1860-1864). Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal distraction? A comparison of the cell-phone driver and the drunk driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30). Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “What do drivers fail to see when conversing on a cell phone?” In the Proceedings of the 48nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp 2213-2217). McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kamer, A.F., Irwin, D.E., & Strayer, D.L. (2004) “Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes.” Human Factors, 46, 424-436. Strayer, D.L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “Profiles in driver distraction: Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” Human Factors, 46, 640-649. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. Crouch, D. J., & Johnston, W. A. (2005). “Why do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere with Driving?” In W. R. Walker and D. Herrmann (Eds.) Cognitive Technology: Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society (pp. 51-6 , McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC.)
(3) It is NOT holding the phone or otherwise manipulating it which results in the DUI level driving impairment or four fold increased likelihood that the motorist will cause an accident; it is the cell conversation. It is an "inattentional blindness" resulting from the diversion of limited conscious attention to the internal-cognitive tasks associated with the give and take of the cell conversation away from the external-visual tasks essential for safe driving. When drivers are engaged in cell conversation, whether by handheld or hands-free cell device, they fail to "see" signal changes, they fail to "see" cars stopping in front of them, they fail to "see" changes in the driving environment which would normally be expected to automatically draw the motorists' attention, and they fail even to "see" what their eyes are fixed upon. Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to distraction: Dual-task studies of simulated driving and conversing on a cellular phone. Psychological Science,” 12, 462-466. McCarley, J. S., Vais, M., Pringle, H., Kramer, A. F., Irwin, D. E., & Strayer, D. L. (2001). “Conversation disrupts visual scanning of traffic scenes.” Paper presented at Vision in Vehicles, Australia. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., Albert, R. W., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Cell phone induced perceptual impairments during simulated driving.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2001: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why do cell phone conversations interfere with driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Cell phone induced failures of visual attention during simulated driving.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 9, 23-23. Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are we being driven to distraction? Public Policy Perspectives,” Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah) Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. (2003). “Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” In the Proceedings of the 47nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp.. 1860-1864). Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. & Crouch, D. J. (2003). “Fatal distraction? A comparison of the cell-phone driver and the drunk driver.” In D. V. McGehee, J. D. Lee, & M. Rizzo (Eds.) Driving Assessment 2003: International Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design. Published by the Public Policy Center, University of Iowa (pp. 25-30). Strayer, D. L., Cooper, J. M., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “What do drivers fail to see when conversing on a cell phone?” In the Proceedings of the 48nd Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (pp 2213-2217). McCarley, J.S., Vais, M.J., Pringle, H., Kamer, A.F., Irwin, D.E., & Strayer, D.L. (2004) “Conversation disrupts change detection in complex traffic scenes.” Human Factors, 46, 424-436. Strayer, D.L., & Drews, F. A. (2004). “Profiles in driver distraction: Effects of cell phone conversations on younger and older drivers.” Human Factors, 46, 640-649. Strayer, D. L. & Drews, F. A. Crouch, D. J., & Johnston, W. A. (2005). “Why do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere with Driving?” In W. R. Walker and D. Herrmann (Eds.) Cognitive Technology: Essays on the Transformation of Thought and Society (pp. 51-6 , McFarland & Company, Inc., Jefferson, NC.)
Since cell conversation by handheld and handsfree device results in the identical DUI level driving impairment and identical 4 fold increased likelihood that the motorist will cause an accident, please see clearly that handheld cell phone bans, such as was urged by our MSF representative at the NTSB Forum can have no possible positive safety effect, because motorists will simply purchase hands-free devices for use in their vehicles. Indeed, that handheld cell phone bans are likely to have little if any impact on the epidemic of injury associated with the current epidemic of driving under the influence of cell conversation is an observation made by the most respected scientists in the field.
“These data call into question driving regulations that prohibit handheld cell phones and permit hands-free cell phones because no significant differences were found in the impairments to driving caused by these two modes of cellular communication." Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A., & Johnston, W. A. (2003). “Are We Being Driven to Distraction?” Public Policy Perspectives, Vol. 16, 1-2. (Published by the Center for Public Policy and Administration, University of Utah). Strayer has indeed made this clear at least since 2001:
“Our data imply that legislative initiatives that restrict handheld devices but permit hands-free devices are not likely to reduce interference from the phone conversation, because the interference is, in this case, due to central attentional processes.” Strayer, D. L., & Johnston, W. A. (2001). “Driven to Distraction: Dual-task Studies of Simulated Driving and Conversing on a Cellular Phone.” Psychological Science, 12, 462-466. See also, Strayer, D. L., Drews, F. A. & Johnston, W. A. (2002). “Why Do Cell Phone Conversations Interfere With Driving?” Proceedings of the 81st Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.
This sentiment was echoed by Johns Hopkins Professor Yantis, based on his above described neurological studies, “Our research helps explain why talking on a cell phone can impair driving performance, even when the driver is using a hands-free device.” Stromstein & Yantis, supra.
We would urge that handheld cell phone legislation is even worse than no ban at all because the legislation misinforms the public that driving under the influence of hands-free cell conversation is somehow "safe."
Secondly, if AMA shall come to the conclusion that the currently conceived "motorcycle awareness" advertising campaigns are not a feasible means both to increase auto drivers "awareness" of bikers and to change their driving behaviors which put us at risk, then we would urge that AMA engage in the appropriate research to determine what can be done to force motorists to "see" us.
First, let's accurately define the problem. The AMA has succumbed for too long to the unfortunate misinformation that motorcycle accidents, and particular intersection accidents, are the result of the "lack of conspicuity" of the motorcycle. It is by this fiction indeed that NHTSA long ago abrogated its responsibility to provide the solutions for what amounts to 50 percent of all multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents occurring as the result of auto driver inattention at intersections. Auto drivers enter intersections and turn left at intersections into our rights of way, commonly exclaiming after killing or maiming us, "I didn't see the motorcycle." NHTSA is composed of a bunch of bi-speckled bean counters, but as we understand it, our AMA representatives are motorcyclists, right? You know, as motorcyclists, that our breaking ability is quicker and that our bikes are capable of extraordinary maneuverability, permitting us to avoid just about every hazard that an auto driver can create - unless the driver pulls right out in front of us. Indeed, the auto drivers must pull out into our right of way, directly in front of us, to create a hazard we can't avoid. So these accidents clearly do not result from our "lack of conspicuity"; we are right in front of them.
Do the research. Begin with Mack & Rock, "Inattentional Blindness" 1998. These fifty percent of multi-vehicle motorcycle accidents result from auto driver visual-visual "inattentional blindness," not "lack of conspicuity." We know much more about the mechanism of conscious attention than we did in the early 1980s when the term "lack of conspicuity" was first used in this context by Harry Hurt. We think we "see" much like a video recorder, but this couldn't be further from the truth. True enough, our eyes will take in the full landscape of visual information, which will in turn be transmitted to our brains received by our subconscious. But at the subconscious level this visual information is processed, indeed extensively processed, and then, only in late processing, just a very small portion of this visual information is permitted through what amounts to a bottleneck into conscious attention. And it is only what is received into our conscious attention which we consciously "see." Hence the conscious experience of the auto driver who reports "I didn't see him," notwithstanding that the motorcyclist was right in front of him.
The literature also describes the factors which result in visual-visual inattentional blindness, including those which we have concluded are most important in this context, to wit, "expectation" and "relevance." In addition, making observation of an object task-relevant is effective in modifying what the target subject population will "see." In processing, visual information which is "expected" is preferentially passed through to conscious attention; and visual information which is considered more "relevant" is also more likely reach conscious attention. Auto drivers do not "expect" to see motorcycles, and they don't consider us as "relevant" as they might an oncoming car, truck or bus, so our appearance in their visual field is less likely to reach their conscious attention - and we are less likely to be "seen" by the auto driver.
The importance of understanding specifically why auto drivers don't "see" us is that we might spend an enormous amount of energy and money on "motorcycle awareness" television campaigns, based on the assumption that just telling them to look for us should be effective, for example, and in the end have no impact at all upon auto driver behavior or the numbers of motorcyclists injured at intersections.
I don't know whether the types of television commercials which MSF has created, as an example, would have any prospect at all of influencing auto driver behavior, because I don't believe that the assumptions upon which the content of the commercials was determined was scientifically based. What AMA should take on as its responsibility is first to commission the research to arrive at a good understanding of the factors which lead auto drivers not to see us, and studies then to provide the information essential to fashion appropriate remedies for auto driver inattentional blindness.
We have suggested a number of strategies to modify auto driver values of expectation and relevance based upon our own research. We have also recommended an alternative to expensive and probably impractical television advertising, and that is to avail the state auto driver education programs, including by urging that the driver education booklets which auto drivers study to obtain or renew their drivers licenses by modified to provide comprehensive information on the strategies which auto drivers must employ for the protection of motorcyclists. As a part of those recommendations we seek to alter auto driver "expectation" for motorcycles, inter alia, by providing auto drivers a "task" to perform as they enter and turn left at intersection, in this case to take the time to carefully gauge the motorcycle's speed. The purpose isn't to get the auto drivers to determine the motorcycle's speed, although, that can be a side benefit. The purpose is to force the auto driver to "attend" to the motorcycle, to "see" it, as an essential prerequisite to gaguing its speed. We urge that the written tests that auto drivers must take to obtain or renew their drivers licenses also be modified to contain a comprehensive list of motorcyclist safety questions, and that those drivers who fail to answer all motorcyclist safety questions be require to retake the test.
Indeed, we urge that the curricula of all driver education courses, including high school courses and court ordered courses be modified to include the same information on the strategies which auto drivers must employ for the protection of motorcyclists.
In terms of increasing the "relevance" auto drivers attach to the appearance of an oncoming motorcyclists we consider that it is essential to invoke the auto driver's self interest. For example, we urge "motorcyclist specific" ROW legislation, or ROW legislation with motorcyclist specific penalty provisions. We urge that severe penalties, such as automatic, lengthy, drivers license suspensions, for ROW violations which result in motorcyclist death or injury are essential to impress upon the auto driver the specific self-interest relevance of the oncoming motorcyclist.
In sum, we consider that it is AMA responsibility as our largest motorcyclist organization in the United States to do what is required to put the helmet law proponents out of business as we chose to redirect our national and state concerns about what we agree are very serious public health and state fiscal concerns more accurately defined by the full panoply of injury suffered my motorcyclists in accidents. Our AMA approach must be both to defend our dignity and to fight for our safety, on the one hand demonstrating that helmet laws are ill-designed to significantly reduce the incidence of motorcyclist injury and at the same time put forth good alternative solutions better calculated to reduce the incidence of the full landscape motorcyclist injury across the board.
We look forward to your accomplishing an end to this wasteful, never ending, helmet law tug-of-war during your tenure as President of AMA, and a return to sane safety policy, for which you will be remembered as our leader who restored our dignity and provided us significantly greater safety as we enjoy our chosen lives as eagles in flight, rather than caged in parakeets.
"M-a-d-d Ray" Henke
Motorcyclists Against Dumb Drivers
Co-moderator, Bruce & Ray's Biker Forum, LDR Long Distance Rider