Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MSF's move a Game Changer for Crash Study

The Motorcycle Crash Study has been mooted since 2005, there has been a lot of negotiation and to and fro between the stakeholders, both on the financing issues and around the helmet law problems. So what has changed in October 2009 that has bikesafer.com organizing a biker petition?

I'll explain this way: 2005, AMA has been trying to organize a game, and deals the hand. Transportation committee is dealt a pair of jacks and opens with 2.8 million. MSF, with a pair of aces, sees the 2.8 million and raises 300K given by friendly equipment manufacturers.

Transportation gets together with DOT, hustles some cash from the states and AMA, sees MSF's 3.1 million and raises 87K.

October 2009: DOT announces the start of the study, assuming MSF will see, but MSF throws in its hand.

See what I mean? The hand has ended, and someone has to take the initiative and deal a new hand. There is no obvious next move, no fairy godmother to wave a magic wand and make the missing funds appear.

That said, I don't think MSF's move is intended as a spoiler. It's hard to know what they are thinking, but they did put out that long statement.  I am inclined to take them at face value. I think what they saw was what we discussed in Saturday's blog, the costs being given are way out of whack. A 'good money after bad' type of judgement. I am inclined to agree with them, the cost factors need to be reviewed. On the face of it, with the little information we have, the taxpayer and MSF are being asked to pay eight times what Hurt paid, fout times what Maids paid for the exact same work using the exact same OECD methodology, and a third more than was talked about last February. There is something very wrong with the numbers.

That's why bikesafer.com is following the money. The resolution lies there.

And that's why we started out petition. It's there to raise awareness, and so that bikers can force the way to the table. The petition is coming along very well, by the way, we are already receiving dozens of petitions daily. Southern Cruisers has stepped up and endorsed the petition drive, and we are talking to other biker groups to enlist their support. Thank you, everyone who filled one on, and keep them coming. It is our gas tax money that is being spent right now, and our lives that are on the line. If the other stakeholders can't or won't do it right, it is up to us to make our presence felt and show that we care about the outcome.

Pass the word, and sign the petition.

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