Archive for Motorcycles in the News – Page 2

Former state senator seriously injured in crash

A former state senator is hospitalized with serious injuries.

Dave Zien is in a Florida hospital, after a highway crash over the weekend. Tallahassee Memorial Hospital spokesperson Beth Gabrini could only release limited information about the Republican from Chippewa Falls. “All I can say is he’s a patient here and he’s in fair condition. That’s all I can say.”

Reportedly, Zien had his left leg amputated above the knee and has a fractured pelvis.

Florida State Patrol Lieutenant Jerry Maddux says a motorist driving an SUV changed lanes and flipped over. Zien, who was on his Harley Davidson motorcycle, didn’t have enough time to see the overturned vehicle in the dark, or avoid it. “He could not see it in time; could not react in time. And to the last second he swerved to avoid it. He still made contact with the rear of the other vehicle. He was subsequently ejected.”

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MRF News Release – National Transportation Safety Board Calls for Nationwide Helmet Laws

“National Transportation Safety Board Calls for Nationwide Helmet Laws The Motorcycle Riders Foundation reports that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling on all States that do not have a mandatory helmet law to adopt one. The NTSB has a “top ten most wanted” list that has never before addressed motorcycle helmet law, but does now. They are asking for every State to enact mandatory helmet law for every rider and passenger on every motorcycle. This is a disturbing, but not surprising, recommendation by the NTSB.  They had a forum in 2007 where they brought in some motorcycle safety professionals and asked them a few questions, they then relied on their motorcycle crash investigations, a whopping six in total crash investigations to issue some safety recommendations. This pales in comparison to the over 150,000 airline incident investigations, over 90,000 other surface transportation investigations, which does more than qualify them to issue such recommendations.

But investigating just six motorcycle accidents and now they are the experts? What’s also surprising is the fact that motorcycle deaths declined last year. For the first time in 11 years motorcycle fatalaties went down, and not just a few percentage points. Motorcycle fatalities were down 16 percent last year. And it is not because people were riding less, vehicle miles traveled for motorcycles was down just a half a precent over the previous year, according to the US DOT.
The NTSB has no regulatory ability and no law making ability, just the power to issue recommendations to the States, industry and the Federal government. We at the MRF are troubled by the NTSB issuing recommendations about anything motorcycle, with such a lack of expertise in the arena of motorcycling and a seemingly nonchalant attitude towards the motorcyclists of this country.

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Congress members ask to suspend funding for motorcycle-only checkpoints

Federal lawmakers have sent a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood asking him to suspend a grant program that provides money for law enforcement agencies to set up motorcycle-only traffic checkpoints, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

In a letter dated Sept. 30, House members told LaHood that safety-related funds would be better spent in other areas to improve motorcycling safety. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) drafted the letter and then circulated it to his congressional colleagues for signatures before sending it to LaHood.

Besides Sensenbrenner, those who signed the letter are Reps. Thomas Petri (R-Wis.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.).

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Grandmother sells house to ride

In a true Amelia Earheart spirit, Sue O’Grady, a 62 year old grandmother from Sprotborough, UK is selling her six bedroom house in order to generate enough money for a trip around the world on her Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

Sue is not a lifetime rider, she only recently got her motorcycle license, at the age of 50, and only owned her first bike at the age of 55. Today she has a fully customized Harley Low Rider, on which she plans to ride around the world.

Sue, who used to run a hairdressing business said “The Harley Davidson lifestyle in the seven years since I’ve been riding has completely changed my life. It is just brilliant.”.

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Traffic Fatalities Lowest Since 1950 – Motorcycle News

10NR25 – MRF News Release – Traffic Fatalities Lowest Since 1950 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10 September 2010
Contact: Jeff Hennie, Government Relations and Public Affairs Traffic Fatalities Lowest Since 1950 The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). has released the 2009 yearly traffic fatality numbers, reports the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). The report shows that traffic fatalities are at the lowest in this country since 1950. The DOT said that traffic deaths fell 9.7 percent in 2009 to 33,808, the lowest number since 1950. In 2008, an estimated 37,423 people died on the highways.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood called the new data “a landmark achievement for public health and safety,” but cautioned that too many people are killed on the road each year. Forty-one states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico saw reductions in highway fatalities, led by Florida, with 422 fewer deaths, and Texas, down 405. Motorcycle-related deaths were down 16 percent, the first drop in the past 11 years, from 5,312 in 2008 to 4,462 in 2009. “Of course a one year drop is encouraging but can hardly be called a trend,” said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “We in the motorcycling community need to continue to push for proper rider education and motorist awareness campaigns in order to establish a true trend.” Motorcycle related injuries were also down 6.3 percent from ’08 to ’09, more encouraging news. Pinning the fall in deaths to a single source is difficult. Some will say that the economic slowdown reduced vehicle travel, but that’s just not true. The vehicle miles traveled for 2009 is slightly higher than it was in 2008, about 0.2 percent.

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Harley-Davidson New 2011 Models


Plus New PowerPak Touring Combo and Available ABS for Softail®models

Harley-Davidson introduces the new SuperLow™, XR1200X and Road Glide® Ultra models with its expansive line of 2011-model-year motorcycles. With 32 models including urban brawlers, long-haul touring machines, contemporary customs drenched in chrome, dark retro-style bobbers, exhilarating sport roadsters and inviting standards, Harley-Davidson offers a motorcycle to match the desires of almost any street rider. Each rolls to the sound track of the American road, a syncopated V-Twin cadence that is the pulse of every Harley-Davidson® motorcycle.

Highlights of the 2011 Harley-Davidson line include:

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Trial date set for woman charged with manslaughter

By Louis Ojeda Jr. and John Cuoco

WACO – A judge has denied a plea deal for a woman charged with manslaughter for allegedly causing an auto accident which killed a man last year.

“I believe this is what the majority of the biker community wants, they want this on her record as a felony,” Jason Harris, a friend of the victim, said.

In December, Trena Evette Mitchell, 39-years-old, who is legally blind, reportedly killed a motorcyclist after failing to yield right of way while making a left turn on East Lake Shore Drive.

The motorcyclist, Richard Schroeder, was delivering charity Christmas toys that afternoon.

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Woman found guilty in fatal ‘nail polish’ crash

Woman found guilty in fatal ‘nail polish’ crash

May 7, 2010 6:03 AM | 113 Comments | UPDATED STORY

Had Lora Hunt been eating a sandwich or dialing her cell phone instead of polishing her nails when she struck and killed a motorcyclist, she would not now stand convicted of reckless homicide, her lawyer contends.

But prosecutor Mike Mermel said there’s a big difference between polishing nails and other forms of distracted driving. “It is not the same as biting a sandwich … it’s a voluntary disablement,” he said. “She might as well have been in the back seat making a sandwich.”

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Harley-Davidson Recalls Tie Down Kits 5-19-2010

As posted on in the US Rider News

Harley-Davidson has notified  the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration there is a defect in certain aftermarket cam buckle tie-down kits p/nos. 94690-10 and 94665-10.  “The straps may slip at less than the rated 1200 lb load specification. This may allow unexpected shift or movement of a load being secured by the tie down straps, which may increase the risk of serious injury or death. Harley-Davidson will notify owners through its dealer network and will offer a full refund for the return of the defective straps. The safety recall began on April 13, 2010. Owners may contact Harley-Davidson at 1-414-343-4056. Harley- Davidson’s recall campaign number is 0142.”

Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures from the Hurt Report

Throughout the accident and exposure data there are special observations which relate to accident and injury causation and characteristics of the motorcycle accidents studied. These findings are summarized as follows:

1. Approximately three-fourths of these motorcycle accidents involved collision with another vehicle, which was most often a passenger automobile.

2. Approximately one-fourth of these motorcycle accidents were single vehicle accidents involving the motorcycle colliding with the roadway or some fixed object in the environment.

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