Agenda For Motorcycle Safety is Nearing Completion
The blue ribbon conference
is over, more than 1,500 comments have been received and considered, and
the end is in sight. The technical working group is adding the final touches
to the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. Modeled after the EMS Agenda
for the Future, the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety will provide
guiding principles for enhancing motorcycle safety at the national, state,
and local levels. To create the National Agenda, a technical working group
comprised of experts in motorcycling, motorcycle and traffic safety, law
enforcement, insurance, health care, and safety research was formed. While
not a members of the working group, NHTSA and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
are supporting the development of the National Agenda.
Developing this comprehensive,
strategic vision for the future was no easy task. Since the first meeting
in October 1998, many hours have been spent listening to motorcyclists
and other interested individuals and organizations from across the nation
and to learn what is needed to increase the safety of motorcyclists on
the highway, debating issues, and writing and revising various drafts.
Perhaps the highlight of the entire process was the Blue Ribbon Conference
for the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety held in Phoenix, Arizona
on November 12th & 13th , 1999. Over 125 individuals
representing over 90 organizations attended the conference to provide
input and comment on the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. With varied
viewpoints of conference participants, the theme coming from the conference
is one of "commitment not consensus". The conference was a resounding
success and most of the participants expressed an interest in attending
a similarly structured conference in the future.
So what are the next
steps? The National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety will be widely distributed
(in print and CD Rom) in late 2000. After the various communities have
had a chance to study the document, implementation of the recommendation
will begin. At this point both NHTSA and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation
await input from the community to determine the best approach for implementing
these recommendations. From the first day of work on the National Agenda,
the goal was to have "a strategic vision from the motorcycling community
for the motorcycling community."
To obtain a copy of
the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, please send written request
Joey Syner, Fax (202)
366-7721 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Motorcycle Safety Conference: The Human Element
Motorcycle Safety Conference: The Human Element is a forum on current
issues in motorcycle safety. The information presented and discussed in
the conference will assist industry, government, academic institutions,
and research organizations in planning for research and programs to motorcycle
Motorcycle Safety Conference is a two part conference. The September 11
- 12, 2000 segment, International Motorcycle Conference: Safety - Environment
- Future takes place in Munich, Germany and focuses on scientific, administrative,
and industrial developments concerning the use and safety of motorcycles
in the new millennium. The March 1 - 4, 2001 segment, International Motorcycle
Safety Conference: The Human Element, is sponsored by the Motorcycle Safety
Foundation and co-sponsored by the German Institute for Motorcycle Safety
(IfZ, Institut für Zweiradsicherheit) and the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration and will be held at the Hyatt Orlando in Orlando,
Florida. International Motorcycle Safety Conference: The Human Element
will review the body of research activities in motorcycle safety from
1990 to 2000; provide an updated review of recent motorcycle safety research
focused primarily on rider training and the human element, and provide
long range goals which industry, private research, and other safety related
organizations can strive toward during the years following the conference.
This segment will focus on human factors involved in motorcycle safety
covering such topics as motorcycle crash analysis, motorcycle rider safety
attitudes, impaired riding research and programs, and personal protective
For more information
on the International Motorcycle Safety Conference: The Human Element,
please contact: Elisabeth Piper; Motorcycle Safety Foundation; 2 Jenner
Street, Suite 150; Irvine, CA 92618; Tel: (949) 727-3227.
Safety Awareness Month: May 2000
On May 3, 2000, NHTSA
and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) sponsored a national satellite
media tour to promote Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Francesco Quinn
a longtime motorcycle enthusiast and star of CBS's The Young and the Restless
hosted the national media tour. Local television and radio stations from
across the United States interviewed Francesco to discuss the important
issue of motorist awareness of motorcyclists. The following issues were
key messages for the interviews: expect to see motorcyclists on the roadway;
respect motorcyclists' right-of-way; over two thirds of motorcycle/automobile
crashes involve the driver of the automobile turning into the motorcyclists
path of travel.
Also, Francesco Quinn
is featured in a public service announcement (PSA) promoting motorist
awareness. MSF and NHTSA produced the PSA so that it can be used throughout
the year. For additional information on the national satellite media tour
or to obtain a copy of the PSA, please contact: Elisabeth Piper; Motorcycle
Safety Foundation; 2 Jenner Street, Suite 150; Irvine, CA 92718; Tel:
Plans are underway
for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May 2001. More information will
soon be available.
Safety Program Assessments: A Valuable Technical Assistance Tool
The National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) continues to offers states an opportunity
for an objective, outside review of their comprehensive motorcycle safety
program by a recognized team of experts. The team, through interviews,
evaluates the current status, notes strengths, and provides recommendations
for improvements /enhancements on programs related to motorcycle safety.
The team evaluates activities in program management; personal protective
gear; operator licensing; rider training and education; impaired riding;
conspicuity and motorist awareness; and public information and education.
The Motorcycle Safety Program Assessment is a cooperative effort of the
state motorcycle safety program, state highway safety office, and NHTSA.
To date, seven states
(Ohio, Delaware, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri, West Virginia, and Florida)
have conducted a Motorcycle Safety Program Assessment. Wisconsin (November
2000) and Hawaii (February 2001) will be hosting an assessment team to
review their programs. If you are interested in conducting a motorcycle
assessment, please contact the NHTSA regional office serving your state.
in the New Millennium: State of the Art and Future Directions
To mark the approach
of the new millennium, the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) standing
committees mounted a special effort to capture the current state of the
art and practice, and their perspectives on future directions in their
respective areas of focus. TRB published Transportation in the New Millennium:
State of the Art and Future Directions, a series of papers representing
the results of that effort. Each paper provides a thoughtful and perceptive
review prepared by experts fully engaged in advancing the way the traveling
public is served. Taken together, the papers provide a comprehensive view
of transportation as it exists today and can be expected to evolve as
the new century unfolds.
Division staff contributed to Motorcycle Safety, a paper published in
Transportation in the New Millennium: State of the Art and Future Directions.
Motorcycle Safety discusses issues concerning rider training, impaired
riders, operator licensing, conspicuity, vehicle and roadway, crash investigations,
motorcycle helmets, and public education and awareness.
You can obtain a copy
of Transportation in the New Millennium: State of the Art and Future Directions
by visiting TRB's website at:
The National Association
of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA), in partnership with
NHTSA, is developing and implementing a professional development workshop
series to enable state administrators to better plan, develop, and implement
comprehensive motorcycle safety programs.
The first workshop,
held on August 20, 1999, focused on fostering and strengthening relationships
with the state highway safety office. The second workshop, held on August
18, 2000, focused on improving public information and education efforts.
Amy Parnell, who has
over 10 years of experience in the communications field, conducted the
workshop scheduled as part of the SMSA Conference this August in Indianapolis.
Amy served as project director of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Public
Information Campaign from 1991-94 and is currently executive director
of communications for the Minnetonka Public Schools in Minnetonka, MN.
Amy has also collaborated with SMSA on previous projects.
To obtain a copy of
the materials from the first workshop or for information regarding upcoming
workshops, contact: Karen Kadar, Executive Director; State Motorcycle
8251 Main St. NE #102;
Fridley, MN 55432
Role of Alcohol in Motorcycle Crashes
Motorcycling is a
complex task requiring excellent coordination and motor skills. Alcohol
diminishes the coordination and motor skills needed to maneuver a motorcycle
safely. Even motorcyclists with blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) below
the legal limit can be impaired, which affects riding and decision-making
skills necessary to handle traffic situations on the highway. Alcohol
involvement in motorcycle crashes is a concern at the national, state,
and local levels. Motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes have
higher intoxication rates than any other motor vehicle operators. Yearly,
almost 30 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle operators are intoxicated
with a BAC of .10 g/dl or higher. An additional 11 percent have a lower
alcohol level .10 g/dl. Almost half of the motorcycle operators who died
in single vehicle crashes are intoxicated. Unfortunately these data have
changed very little over the past 10 years. While the proportion of automobile
drivers with a BAC .10 g/dl who die in alcohol-related crashes has declined
to the lowest level ever, the proportion of impaired motorcyclists dying
in alcohol-related crashes has not shown similar reductions.
NHTSA is working on
the issue of alcohol and motorcycling. In December 1999, the agency began
a national campaign: You Drink & Drive. You Lose.
to focus on the issues surround impaired driving and riding. And in an
effort to support law enforcement agencies as they focus on impaired riding,
NHTSA worked with the Law Enforcement Television Network to produce training
tools officers can use to detected impaired motorcyclists.
1. You Drink &
Drive. You Lose. National Public Education Campaign.
The goal of You
Drink & Drive. You Lose. is to enhance national awareness about
the deadly toll drinking and driving exacts on America's communities and
to generate a greater national urgency to stop the senseless killing and
injury on our nation's highways. The campaign supports the national goal
to reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities to no more than 11,000 by
the year 2005.
You Drink &
Drive. You Lose. is much more than just a public service advertising
campaign. It's a comprehensive impaired driving prevention program for
states and communities to use as we all work together to save lives and
reach the national goal.
The campaign is targeted
to high risk populations such as youth, 21 to 34 year olds, and repeat
offenders. The four elements of the campaign are based on proven methods
- public education, building public-private partnerships, enacting strong
legislation and highly visible enforcement.
The You Drink
& Drive. You Lose. campaign is expanding its messages to include
the dangers of mixing alcohol with motorcycles. These messages will reinforce
that drinking and riding is a deadly choice.
You Drink &
Drive. You Lose. will be implemented with partners in highway safety,
law enforcement, youth-oriented organizations, diverse groups, health/medical,
advocacy, prosecutors, and judges. For copies of the campaign materials,
please fax your request to NHTSA at 202-493-2062, or visit the NHTSA website
2. Law Enforcement
Training to Detect Impaired Motorcyclists
In 1992, the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) developed and released cues
that law enforcement officers can use to detect impaired motorcyclists.
These cues were later incorporated into the standardized field sobriety
testing curriculum. In developing the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety
and in conducting motorcycle safety program assessments, it became apparent
that law enforcement officers were not aware of these cues or of the training
to detect impaired motorcyclists. To address this concern, NHTSA developed
this product, targeting command and training officers within state and
local law enforcement agencies, to provide a brief introduction to the
impaired riding detection cues and to explain the availability of the
The Law Enforcement
Television Network produced and broadcasted a program discussing the detection
cues law enforcement can use to identify impaired motorcyclists. This
effort supported the July 4th Weekend Impaired Driving Mobilization and
the You Drink and Drive, You Lose. campaign.
Update - Cost of Injuries and Source of Payment From Motorcycle Crashes.
In October 1998, NHTSA
awarded a contract to Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE)
to examine the cost of injuries and the source of payment resulting from
motorcycle crashes. This project is nearing completion. PIRE staff have
completed the literature review; collected source of payment data; and
are in the final stages of drafting the report. The next steps are NHTSA
review and approval. Once approved, the final report will be sent to print
and distributed in late fall.
The objectives of
this project are to prepare a comprehensive and critical review of the
"state of knowledge" about costs associated with motorcycle crash-related
injuries, and provide a review of the availability of motorcycle operator
insurance, coverage, and costs. This is the first critical literature
review of the cost of motorcycle crash-related injuries since the United
States General Accounting Office undertook a similar effort in 1991.
of Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal in Arkansas and Texas
use laws have been one of the most contentious measures affecting the
motoring public. For more than 35 years states have enacted, amended,
repealed, and re-enacted these laws, usually amid intense public debate.
Congress has enacted legislation affecting state motorcycle helmet laws
four times during this period. Following four years during which no states
enacted, amended, or repealed helmet use laws, Arkansas and Texas amended
their helmet use laws in 1997. Before then, both states had required all
motorcycle riders to wear helmets. Effective August 1, 1997, Arkansas
required helmet use only for riders under the age of 21, and effective
September 1, 1997, Texas required helmet use only for riders under the
age of 21 and for older riders who have not completed a rider education
course or who do not have at least $10,000 medical insurance coverage.
The National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored a study by Preusser Research
Group to evaluate the initial effects of the law changes in Texas and
Helmet use decreased
following the Arkansas and Texas law changes as shown both in on-street
observations of motorcycle riders and in reports covering motorcycle crash
victims. While both states had their mandatory helmet use laws in effect,
97 percent of motorcyclists were observed to be wearing their helmets.
By the following May, Arkansas' rate had fallen to 52 percent, and Texas'
rate had fallen to 66 percent.
Another measure of
helmet use comes from motorcyclists who received emergency medical services
(EMS). In Arkansas, helmet use for these motorcyclists dropped from about
55 percent in 1997 before the law changed, to 33.5 percent in the remainder
of 1997 and below 30 percent in 1998.
Arkansas EMS pre-hospital
data showed an increase in the number of injured motorcyclists, the number
of motorcyclists with head injuries, and the proportion of all injured
motorcyclists with head injuries after the law change.
In the last few months
in 1997 following their law change, motorcyclist fatalities did not change
significantly in either Arkansas or Texas, compared to the same months
the year before. In the first full year following repeal, however, fatalities
in Arkansas increased by 21 percent, compared to the last full year under
the universal law. In Texas, operator fatalities increased by 31 percent
over these same periods. Texas police crash reports showed that the number
of injured motorcycle operators increased slightly in 1998 compared to
1994-1996. The increases occurred in fatalities and in B and C level injuries.
Serious (A) injuries declined.
Texas Trauma Registry
data showed that the proportion of motorcyclists treated for traumatic
brain injury increased and that treatment costs for traumatic brain injury
cases also increased following the law change. Treatment costs for other
injury cases did not change markedly.
For a copy of Evaluation
of Motorcycle Helmet Law Repeal in Arkansas and Texas, (47 pgs),
write to the Office of Research and Traffic Records, NHTSA, NTS-31, 400
Seventh Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20590, fax (202) 366-7096.