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A. B. A. T. E.
District 21

Information Site



Call to Action


Abate of Iowa

Please take a few minutes to read the following, this is one of the reasons that we have to stay vigilant. We will pay close attention to this.
Immediate action on your part is requested, there will be a group of ABATE of Iowa folks headed to Washington DC on the 23rd of this month, which leaves not much time, but we can do it.
What is being asked is that each of you handwrite a letter to our Representative's and Senators, requesting them to:
    1. Send a letter to Mary Peters requesting her to withdraw her amendment request
    2. Vote against any such legislation when/if it comes forth.
Try to get these letters written right away, then send them to the ABATE office, they will need to be at the ABATE Office no later than Friday, this will allow them to be hand delivered to our lawmakers in DC by our delegation leaving on Saturday.
Attached is a copy of the letter Mary Peters had sent:
They can be mailed to ABATE of Iowa, P.O. Box 70, Eldora, IA 50627. If you are running late in getting them in the mail, you can also fax your letter to the office at 641-858-5012.
Letters should be addressed to your Representative or Senator: here is the list along with addresses.
Senator Chuck Grassley  
(202) 224-3744
Senator Tom Harkin  
(202) 224-3254
Congressman Leonard Boswell
1427 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Steve King
1609 Longworth Office Building
Washington D.C. 20515

Congressman Tom Latham
2447 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Congressman Bruce Braley
1408 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Congressman Dave Loebsack
1513 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515 
Next if you all will simply send the same type of request via e-mail to V.P. Cheny and to Speaker Nancy Pelosi requesting them to turn down Mary Peter's demands. Their e mail addresses are:
Spkr. Nancy Pelosi   fill out the email form and submit
or snail mail address:
Office of the Speaker
H-232, US Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
This is the press release from the
DOT.  Hopefully we can find out soon just what
"sent legislation to Congress" means.  I would
not think it has been introduced yet, but the way
Congress does business it could pop up
anywhere.  Information will available as I get
it.  Everyone should realize that when the
Secretary crashed her motorcycle she was riding
in a group and hit the back end of her husbands
bike.  I for one at first hoped having a
motorcyclist as Secretary of Transportation would
help us.  I should have known better.

DOT 21-08
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Contact: Brian Turmail
Tel.: (202) 366-4570

U.S. Transportation Secretary Peters Unveils
Legislation to Help States Target Motorcycle Helmet Use

WASHINGTON, D.C. U.S. Transportation Secretary
Mary E. Peters today sent legislation to Congress
seeking greater flexibility for states to target
one of the leading causes of motorcycle deaths
across the nation riding without a helmet.

An avid motorcyclist, she credits her helmet and
riding gear for saving her life during a 2005 motorcycle crash.

"My helmet prevented me from being a brain injury
patient when I crashed my Harley two years ago,"
Secretary Peters said. "We know helmets save
lives and I want states to be able to join in
urging riders to take personal responsibility for
their safety by wearing a helmet every time they ride."

The legislation submitted to Congress would allow
states to use federal motorcycle safety funding
to promote the use of motorcycle helmets.
Currently, states are limited to using the funds
for motorcycle safety training and awareness programs only.

Secretary Peters noted that states need
additional resources to combat a sharp increase
in motorcycle fatalities. In 2006, motorcycle
fatalities reached 4,810, an increase of 127
percent since 1997, Secretary said. The National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
estimates that motorcycle helmets not only saved
the lives of 1,658 motorcyclists in 2006, but
that 752 additional lives could have been saved
if all motorcyclists had worn helmets, she added.

Calling motorcycles "our nation's greatest
highway safety challenge," Secretary Peters
launched a comprehensive federal initiative to
improve motorcycle safety in October 2007. The
action plan emphasizes more rider education and
training, tougher standards for helmet
certification labeling, law enforcement training,
and road designs that consider motorcycle dynamics.

For more information on DOT's motorcycle safety
initiative, please visit
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Suite 510
Washington, DC 20002-4980
202-546-0983 (voice)
202-546-0986 (fax) (website)


Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations (e-mail)

16 February 2008

MRF Strongly Opposes US DOT Attack on Training Funds

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that United States
Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters sent letters to Capitol Hill with
draft legislation outlining her intention to raid the 2010 motorcycle
training and awareness funds set aside by Congress in the last Highway
Bill (PL 109-59).  Peters announced on Thursday, February 14 that she
would like to see the earmarked training and awareness funds made
available to promote the use of helmets in individual states.

"The MRF is extremely disappointed that Mrs. Peters would choose this
small, yet critical, grant program to raid.  We understand her desire to
encourage helmet use, but couldn't the Secretary of Transportation find a
more suitable program to fund her personal helmet hunt?" said Jeff Hennie,
Vice President of Government Relations for the MRF.

The 2010 funds were a direct result of years of intense lobbying by state
motorcyclists' rights organizations (SMROs) and individual motorcyclists
from across this country, and were intended for two very specific aspects
of motorcycle safety - motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness
of motorcycles. These two aspects of motorcycle safety have been grossly
under-funded at the state level for years, often solely at the direct
expense of motorcyclists themselves through licensing and registration

The 2010 funding program, in its second year, is a way for the
motorcyclists of this country to get a little help from the feds to save
lives. The fact is that helmet use has always been a major plank in the
platform at the US Department of Transportation (DOT).  So why now take
away funds desperately needed for other areas of motorcycle safety?  The
training and awareness programs in statewide operation now are in jeopardy
of reduced or zero funding every year. This federal program was designed
to allow a trickle of cash to the states to at least keep current programs
running.  Should Peters get her way, that trickle becomes nothing but a
drip.  In addition, the current 2010 grant program is not funding failing
programs. In order to qualify for the grant, each state has to demonstrate
success in its programs by reducing fatalities.

Secretary Peters narrowly skates around an existing law that bans the
federal government from lobbying states to enact statewide legislation.
She does this by not asking that the money be used for helmet LAW
advocacy, but by asking the money be used for helmet USE advocacy.

What's actually happened and how concerned do we need to be?  You may be
asking yourself that very question about now.  Here is the real world
scenario: Mary Peters has sent two letters to Congress - one to Speaker
and the other to Senate President Cheney. The letters include draft
legislation that would amend section 2010 to allow funds to be used for
the promotion of helmet use. At this point there is no actual legislation
- just an idea.  If and when legislation results, the MRF will be issuing
a call to action strongly opposing Peters' proposal, and will work
tirelessly to convince every Senator and Member of Congress not to support
this raid on the 2010 funds.  At this point, however, the funds
appropriated for your state are safe.

AMA concerned about new threat to motorcycle safety training funds

U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters is urging Congress to allow states to divert federal money now used for motorcycle training and awareness to instead promote the use of motorcycle helmets, the American Motorcyclist Association reports.

Peters sent letters to House and Senate leaders this week asking for the change.

Ed Moreland, AMA Vice President for Government Relations, expressed concern that diverting federal motorcycle safety funds to promote helmet use could harm rider training courses and motorcycle awareness programs that are already underfunded in many states.

"Helmet use is certainly one part of a comprehensive approach to motorcycle safety," said Moreland. "But this step is a direct raid on funds that were appropriated by Congress to address the specific safety concerns of the motorcyclists' rights community. Furthermore, the use of motorcycle helmets is already advocated in existing motorcycle safety initiatives.

"Funding for rider-training courses is frequently under threat in cash-strapped states, and cutting the same-size pie into thinner slices is not the comprehensive, thoughtful, national motorcycle safety strategy we need."

Moreland also expressed concern that Peters' proposal could contradict sections of transportation bills passed in 1998 and 2005 that ban the use of federal motorcycle safety funds to lobby state legislatures in favor of mandatory helmet laws and could effectively reverse those bans.

The AMA strongly advocates the voluntary use of helmets by adults, along with other appropriate safety gear, and does not oppose laws requiring helmet use by minors. But the Association believes adults should be allowed to make their own decisions about when to wear a helmet.