MRF CALL TO ACTION
For the past several weeks the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been actively working on a multi-tiered strategic initiative to counter the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) program to pressure states into enacting mandatory helmet laws. We are prepared today to launch the program beginning with a Call to Action to our State Motorcycle Rights Organizations (SMROs).
The MRF's Call to Action is to encourage our SMRO partners to send their top lobbying teams to Washington D.C. in late October and early November to visit with their members of Congress to voice opposition to the NTSB's lobbying efforts. It is our position that the NTSB is proposing to directly lobby the states with federal tax money based on poorly-drawn conclusions, using a very narrow scope, and not employing the rigors of research to which they normally hold themselves. This is simply not acceptable to the MRF and our SMRO partners. A clear message was sent by the Senate in the 109th Congress when they voted 69-28 to defeat the Lautenberg Federal Helmet amendment, which would have pressured states into passing mandatory helmet laws, based on the fact that this issue is clearly a State's rights issue. Accordingly, we will be asking members of Congress to write a letter to the NTSB reminding them of this fact.
During these SMRO visits we will also be presenting a bullet point statistical fact sheet developed in conjunction with the MRF Legislative, Motorcycle Safety, and Statistics Committees that clearly shows that the answer to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities is, in fact, an aggressive approach toward CRASH AVOIDANCE and NOT safer crashing. In addition, we will be educating members of Congress on the many points contained in our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan, pointing out to them that states with the highest reductions in motorcycle fatalities and states with low fatality rates per registered motorcycle are not those with mandatory helmet laws, but rather states that utilize the many tools in the motorcycle safety action plan. Additionally, we will thank many of them for their belief in motorcycle safety shown by the creation of the 2010 motorcycle safety grants and the creation of the Motorcycle Advisory Council in TEA-LU. We will take advantage of this time to inform them as to how these programs are being used effectively.
The second phase of the MRF's strategic initiative involves the MRF holding a press conference in the first week of November in one of the office buildings of the United States House of Representatives in Washington, DC. The press conference will feature a prominent member of Congress. Expect another Call to Action encouraging our members, our SMRO partners, motorcyclists in general and other concerned citizens to attend.
At that time we will be issuing a formal letter to the Chairman of the NTSB asking him to reconsider their proposed lobbying of the states and asking that he consider the statistical facts related to our Motorcycle Safety Action Plan and its effectiveness with regard to Crash Avoidance and NOT Safer Crashing as the goal.
For strategic reasons, third phase of our initiative will be announced once we complete the necessary research and sufficient discussions have taken place. We will go on record, however, as stating that we will not rule out asking Congress to take action against the NTSB, as we have done with NHTSA in the past, should they continue to ignore the spirit of previous congressional mandates against federal agencies lobbying states on mandatory helmet laws.