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President's Reports

February 2017

Greetings Fellow supporters of Motorcycle Rights!!

Well this year has started off fast and furious. The new legislature opened their session on January 9th. We had many motorcyclists down at the Capital showing that we are involved with the process. It would have been better to see a larger turn out. I encourage everyone to please do whatever you can to be at the State Capital on February 15th for Motorcycle Day at The Dome!!! Contact your legislators even if you cannot make it. Invite them to come out and meet with us and let them know that you are involved and watching what is happening at the Capital!

On January 7th we held the annual Officers Training for all Chapter Officers. The turnout was pretty good but it can always been better. I wish to thank all officers who took the time to attend. I especially want to thank Motorcycle Safari for the donation of the door prize which was raffled off to those officers attending. If you missed the training you missed out on a chance to go home a little richer!

Those in attendance were also treated to an excellent presentation by Mick Degn who is the Chairman and Founding Board Member of the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation or AMSAF. He gave a history of AMSAF as well as information on the scholarship program that they have for riders to take motorcycle training classes. He also had information on upcoming programs that AMSAF is working on and showed a couple of PSA’s that will soon be seen on various television stations around the state. AMSAF is presenting a family oriented educational event “RIDING FOR THE LONG HAUL” March 17th at the Shrine Auditorium at 552 N 40th St., Phoenix, AZ. For more information about AMSAF and all they do for the motorcycling community go to AMSAF.org.

There was also a presentations by Teresa “Trauma Mama” McClelland on the various safety issues especially a new campaign she is working on, “Ride Safe, Ride Smart, Ride Responsible, Ride Endorsed!”. The TBFS committee gave a presentation by JR Rosen on the preparations and progress on “Too Broke for Sturgis!” along with schedules, layouts, chapter assignments and what is expected of each Chapter. The amount of man hours that is needed to put on this event is staggering. The bands have been signed and things are moving along well but we need everyone possible to help make this a success. It is our only real fund raiser for the state. Please plan on attending and helping to support ABATE of Arizona. On the legislative issues that we face, first is the Federal Highway Administration’s intention to move forward with selecting participants for the newly reestablished Motorcyclist Advisory Council or “MAC”. The MAC is design to allow motorcyclists the opportunity to have input on how they are affected by road design, barriers, construction, and the new systems like driverless cars. The FHWA is only requiring that ONE member of the Council be from a motorcycle organization! How is the Council is supposed to advise federal authorities on motorcycling issues when only 1 in 10 members ride? We need to stay vigilant on issues like these.

Here in Arizona we are once again facing legislation introduced to require a helmet unless you pay an additional fee, or you may face a $500 fine. Hopefully by the time you see this, this bill has been killed. This again is an illustration of why we must stay vigilant and united in our cause! Whenever a call to action is put out it is important that everyone makes those telephone calls, writes those letters and sends emails. When the Lawmakers inboxes are jammed full of our letters, they know we are serious and we are committed.

It looks like the Motorcycle Safety Fund bill is once again in play. Hopefully it gets passed and once again we have the fund available for Motorcycle Awareness projects.

I Hope to see EVERYONE at Motorcycle Day at the Dome!!

Ride Free!! Ride Safe!! Ride ENDORSED!!

Jim Butsback
State President
ABATE of Arizona