Fact or Fiction?
There is a safety community in Washington D.C. that is trying to destroy motorcycling as we know it with lies and half truths. This group is a quasi mixture of government and private safety driven organizations including The Center for Auto Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute, the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and the Governors Highway Safety Association to name a few. All of these groups work to influence the government to enact stricter and stricter safety standards and laws. They all do this slightly differently from each other but they do have one common core; they hate motorcycles. If they thought it was remotely possible for one minute that they could eliminate all forms of power driven two wheelers from the traffic landscape, they would try. They try to alarm the general public with misinformation or partial information. They claim that motorcyclist fatalities have been on the rise since 2005 and that is true. Some years see a dip but for the most part motorcyclist fatalities have risen. There was an increase of 36 more fatalities between from 2005 to 2011, 4,576 to 4,612 respectively. However, bike sales and registration numbers are up and that tells a very different story. One that they don't want you to hear.
A closer look at the numbers reveals the bulk of the story. They tell us that motorcyclists fatalities are on the rise but they never mention the number of motorcycles on the road, which is also increasing. When we look at the numbers, they show the exact opposite of what the media, the government and the safety-crats are telling us. In fact, motorcycle fatalities are occurring on a much less frequent basis year after year. Since 2005, fatalities have dropped from 73.5 motorcyclists per one hundred thousand registered motorcycles to 54.7. That is an almost 30% drop in fatalities in the exact same time period in which the fear mongers tell you fatalities are a growing problem. All of the numbers used here are directly from the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) website. Separating fact from fiction reveals the truth. Over six years 2.2 million motorcycles were added to the roads and we essentially kept the number of fatalities at a near static number. This is not exactly the end of the world, deathtrap-riding scenario that the powers that be would have you believe. All this considering that the only difference is the Motorcycle Riders Foundation created a federal grant program to send money to the states to assist with rider education and share the road type campaigns. We have also relaxed mandatory helmet laws which goes directly against what they would have you believe.
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During the August congressional recess remind your elected officials that since 2005, we have had states repeal helmet laws and have watched fatalities drop. The only significant change to the motorcycle safety world other than more motorcycles, is the National Highway Traffic Administrations motorcycle safety grant program. The same program that was supported by the Motorcycle Riders Foundation. This fund has dispensed money to every state and is used for motorcycle rider education and share the road campaigns. In order to continue the fund we need Congress to pass another transportation bill. Please take advantage of the upcoming congressional recess by contacting your member of congress, attending events and town hall type meetings. Urge them to get to work on the highway bill.