"Edward Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations, urged motorcyclists to contact their U.S. representatives and senators to ask them to support the House funding for motor-vehicle safety research that is included in HR 5559.
'The funding is a far cry from the amount needed for a comprehensive motorcycle accident study, but it's a move in the right direction, Moreland said.'"
I will not be renewing my membership to the AMA. Even a motorcyclist organization cannot refrain from demanding money from the public teat, I guess. If this study will be so great, pass around the plate to citizens who will pay for it willingly. If no one will, it's obvious that we don't want it very much, and we don't need the feddle gubmint to tell us "well, if you won't pay for it, we'll just take the money off you to do it."
A comprehensive safety study could be a good thing. It all depends on the political climate.
If we have an administration that is similar to the looneys who ran Jimmy Carter's DOT then expect to see the data cooked to support the elimination of motorcycles altogether. At the very least you would see a concerted effort to put in horsepower limits, as the DOT bureaucrats have before.
Who knows what insane ideas they might come up with. Back then the DOT was poised to require linked braking on all motorcycles. They even wasted a bunch of money trying to develop a "safe" motorcycle with, get this, rear wheel steering. Expect ABS to be required at the very least, which could be a good thing if it's cost can be kept down.
If we have an adminstration that is less intrusive and more concerned with doing something decent than just bureaucratic empire-building maybe some good will come of it.
Most likely we'll just see some useless band-aid proposed and the cagers will continue to get away with murder with their phony "I didn't see him" excuse. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but the history of this sort of government involvement in bike safety leaves much to be desired.
I think the AMA has good intentions and one has to be realistic. There are many important projects that would never be realized if one waited for public charitable contributions.
Nevertheless, in this case I think the AMA is shooting us in the foot. They will inevitably find that speeding, stunting, drinking, and riding without full armor can be hard on one's health. This will only give the government more ammo to increase traffic fines, lower BAT levels, mandate dress, etc.
Perhaps its a self perpetuating scheme, force the government to crack down and then fight against them.
I beg to differ----the history of government involvement with virtually anything leaves nothing to be desired. No one is better at getting involved and throwing confiscated money around. Why is it passe' to assert that government has no business in this, along with 95% of everything else? Why is this idea shrugged off? Has no one any backbone anymore? Are you all sheep?
That most crashes were caused by drivers "not seeing" riders. Solution: make riders wear more visible clothing. Why do you think that always-on headlights were mandated in the first place?
That most fatalities and critical injuries are caused by head injuries, many of which could have been prevented by wearing a helmet. Solution: mandatory helmet laws. Why do you think that such laws are already in place in many states?
That most crashes are inexperienced riders on large displacement motorcycles. Solution: tiered licensing like in England, Japan, and Europe. I am very suprised this hasn't happened already.
I shake my head in wonder at the AMA supporting this and yet lobbying hot'n'heavy against helmet laws. Seems contradictory to say the least.
The last thing we will see is the implementation of stiffer penalties for right of way violations and moving vehicle violations that result in injury or death--until that happens, expect "I didn't see him/her" to remain a viable defense for drivers who kill, and for crash rates to remain unsurprisingly the same regardless of safety legislation for motorcyclists.
Dear saddlebag. Sadly your post is typical of our uneducated citizenry who expect the great nanny state to meet everyone's needs. Our so called security could not protect us from two bozos with a rifle and a whole cut in the trunk of their chevy, let alone someone with brains bent on wreaking havoc on a large scale. As for taking care of our roads, they are supposed to be maintained with the constitutionaly legal excise tax that we pay on gasoline and tires. VWW
Generally I'd agree with you - but on this one I'd have to support the concept of a publicly funded study simply because I think it'll actually cost us all less in the end.
Unless you are studying an issue that is very mainstream (and affects a large percentage of the population) it has been my experience that you are unlikely to get a single, unbiased, well-run, privately funded study. For a study affecting motorcyclists the only two groups likely to have the time, werewithal, and resources to conduct such a study would be the insurance industry and perhaps the AMA - and these are both entities not verly likely to produce results that do not simply verify their pre-existing belief structures.
When you pass legislation based on bad information it ultimately is either unproductive or even counterproductive and usually costs us all money in terms of economic inefficiency and litigation. So I, personally, would rather take a shot at having a reasonably good study done by the most unbiased folks I can find and if that means public funding so be it.
As others have rightly pointed out in this thread there are publicly funded studies that aren't worth the paper they are written on (I review a good number of these for a living), but I still maintain that your best shot, at issues outside the mainstream, lies with researchers more interested in finding answers than verifying pre-existing beliefs. And that generally means the government-funded, peer-review studies.
Admissions like this come hard for a libertarian so take it easy on me, OK
Now, I'm not 100% sure of this, but I could swear that the Japanese have a law that declares an automobile driver at fault if they state they didn't see the motorcyclist they were involved in an accident with. There should be some hierarchy of responsibiliy required based on the size i.e. mass of the vehicles on the road. Something like pedestrian, biclyclist, motorcyclist, automobiles to 2500 lbs, automobiles greater than 2500 lbs, tractor trailers, etc with the pedestrian at the bottom. So for someone to say I didn't see anyone below them would indicate that they were negligent, since operation of the larger vehicle and it's inherent limitations would require them to drive more responsibly. The larger vehicle can deliver greater damage to all of the lesser vehicles.
Now I know there are the legal types who could shoot holes through this, but it is logical.
If the AMA funded a university study, I'd think that peer review and the university's desire to maintain credibility would produce an unbiased report. The AMA could cook the statistics to their point of view, as could any other group, but the original report would be available to both sides of any debate. Yes, I know that university professors, graduate students, etc. have been burned in the past for falsifying data, but the this would very likely be the best bet for an unbiased report.
You forget in America its always someone elses fault for anything we do. If I didnt see you, its your fault for not being easily seen. I'm fat, its McDonalds fault for making me eat that big mac. I broke my arm falling through your bedroom window when I went in to steal your TV, now you owe me since You didnt leave the door open...
Just think aloud, but I wonder if there have been any overseas studies on motorcycle safety, and if they would be applicable to the US riders. It seems that in Europe and Australia motorcyclist generally arent viewed as being a fringe group by law makers as we are here.
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