-- Off-highway riders also benefit from transportation bill --
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is applauding Congress for funding for the first nationwide motorcycle-crash study in almost 30 years.
U.S. House and Senate conferees agreed to a compromise version of the $286.4 billion transportation bill, which was passed by both chambers late last week, reauthorizing transportation spending through September, 2009.
The bill, which President Bush is expected to sign this week, includes
nearly $3 million for a study of motorcycle crashes. It specifies that
the research grants be provided to the Oklahoma Transportation Center,
located at Oklahoma State University.
"After more than a decade of decline, motorcycling fatalities have
increased in recent years, and those increases have prompted endless
speculation about the reasons why," said AMA President Robert Rasor.
"We're pleased that Congress agrees that we need answers, not theories.
We're anxious for the study to begin, to help us understand how to
prevent crashes and save lives."
"I'm happy we were able to include the provision providing grants to the
Oklahoma Transportation Center for this important study," said Sen.
James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public
Works Committee. "It's an important step in helping to improve
"I was pleased to work with the American Motorcyclist Association to
update these statistics," said Rep. Sam Graves (R-Missouri), who
introduced the motorcycle-study language into the bill. "It has been
over 20 years since we last studied what causes motorcycle accidents and
now is the time to take another look."
The last comprehensive study on the subject, commonly called the "Hurt
Report" after University of Southern California researcher Dr. Harry
Hurt, was published in the 1970s.
The AMA notes that the bill also preserves motorcycles' access to
High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, and that it specifies that local
governments will continue to be prohibited from excluding motorcycles
from roads maintained with federal funds. In addition, the bill calls
for motorcycles to be included in research on Intelligent Transportation
systems, and makes available $25 million to individual states for
motorcycle-safety training and awareness programs.
Off-highway motorcyclists and ATV enthusiasts will benefit from the
transportation bill as well, through $370 million in gasoline taxes
earmarked for the Recreational Trails Program.
The American Motorcyclist Association: rights. riding. racing. Founded
in 1924, the AMA is a non-profit organization with more than 260,000
members. The Association's purpose is to pursue, protect and promote the
interests of motorcyclists, while serving the needs of its members. For
more information, visit the AMA website at www.AMADirectlink.com, or
call 1-800-AMA-JOIN. For the latest news releases, visit the AMA News
Room at http://home.ama-cycle.org/newsroom.
Source: American Motorcyclist Association