AMA Seeks Clarification About Helmets

NHTSA Administrator David Strickland

On March 25, Administrator David Strickland of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) made comments about helmet use to U.S. Representative John Olver (D-Mass.). These comments were made at a Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies of the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations hearing regarding the fiscal year 2010 Budget Request for the NHTSA.

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) sent Administrator Strickland a letter, dated April 2, 2010, seeking clarification on his comments. It is the AMA’s understanding that Strickland stated the following: (1) safety grants are important and need to be continued; (2) the “core” of motorcycle safety programs is to instill helmet use; (3) helmet use has a direct correlation to motorcycle fatalities; and (4) anything Congress can do to get folks to wear helmets is welcomed, including possible penalties.

In our letter, the AMA asked, “What is meant by your reference to the “core” of a motorcycle safety program is to instill helmet use? Additionally, you advocated the use of possible penalties if adult riders choose not to wear protective gear. Does this mean administrative and/or legislative action towards states and/or individual riders if adults choose not to wear protective equipment?”

The AMA needs your help to seek clarification of Administrator Strickland’s comments. The fastest way to reach Strickland is to send a pre-written e-mail to him immediately by following the “Take Action” option and entering your information.

For more information about how to protect your right to ride, please visit the “Get Involved” section of the AMA web site.

We urge you to write Administrator Strickland today and ask him to clarify his comments made at the March 25 hearing. To send an email click here

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