MAY IS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AND AWARENESS MONTH
With riding season here, putting an end to our PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) it is even more important to remind all motorists to be alert and share the road with us to help keep us safe. As riders, it is our responsibility to implement safe riding practices and be alert to our surroundings. This leads us to May being Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. Chapter Public Relations Officers, and LCs, now is the time to work together with your local government to have May declared as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month in you local.
How to obtain a proclamation for Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month for May
1. Start by visiting or calling City Hall and ask to speak to the City Secretary, or get their email address.
2. Ask him/her to ask the Mayor, if he/she would be willing to sign a proclamation for Motorcycle Safety and Awareness for the month of May, and also ask if it can be presented to your organization at a City Council Meeting. Email me, for a template letter to send to the Mayor, requesting the proclamation.
3. Explain the purpose of the Mayor signing a proclamation: It is to get the word out to the public to watch out for motorcycles and for everyone to be aware that we are out there. Also, we are trying to get media coverage of the Mayor supporting Motorcycle Safety and Awareness; it will reach many citizens and increase driver awareness throughout their city. If you find that you absolutely cannot set up a City Council meeting for your proclamation, then ask if they would be willing to set up a meeting with the Mayor to get the proclamation and to take pictures with the Mayor presenting the proclamation to you and your chapter members.
4. If the Mayor cannot or will not do this, then just ask if the City Secretary or anyone else can present the proclamation, and are willing to have their picture taken with you and your chapter members.
5. If they do not have a copy of the Proclamation format, you can email them a copy. And make sure to tell them if they want to change up the wording some, it will be okay. We have found out in the past that some cities like to put their own wording in the proclamations, and a lot of the time their wording is better. Most cities have emails, but you might run across one that does not. You can print out the Proclamation and either mail it to them or take it to them, whatever way works the best for you and them.
6. Let your chapter officers and members know the meeting date and times. Ask them to help support you at the meeting. Some of the meetings will be on the local PBS channels and viewed by many non-riders in your community. (Another way to get the word out.)
7. Remember to take a camera and take pictures. Call your local newspaper and try and get them there for the meeting, since May is recognized as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month across the state, most papers are more than willing to be there to get the story.
8. Make sure you have good information to give to the newspaper about Motorcycle Safety & Awareness and also include what ABATE is and what your chapter does for the community.
9. If the newspaper does not do an article, you can send in your own and include a clear photo naming everyone.
10. Remember to get extra copies of the newspaper article when it comes out. Everyone loves to see them.
Keep in mind-depending on the level of government, you are working with, will determine which official who can issue the proclamation.
Whether you have the Proclamation, or are waiting to get it, your chapter can do its part to promote May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month. Some activities could include:
• Assemble a kickoff press conference for Motorcycle Awareness Month by holding a motorcycle rally that starts at one location and finishes at the city hall, shopping mall, motorcycle dealership, etc. to showcase the Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month.
• Promote Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month by handing out information to encourage drivers to "start seeing motorcycles clearly."
• Set up an awareness booth at a county fair, school fair, shopping mall, etc. with your members and their motorcycles on-hand to give out our yard signs, stickers and information on motorcycle safety and awareness.
• Promote the PAMSP. Encourage all motorcyclists to take advantage of the Free training course for new riders and a refresher course for experienced motorcyclists.
• Stage a photo op of surviving family members/fellow bikers of motorcyclists killed in traffic crashes. Take the large photos and a wrecked motorcycle to schools, malls, town squares, etc. to help dramatize the issue.
• Park a mangled motorcycle in the middle of a mall, town square, any busy place, etc. with a sign that reads “Share the Road” with Motorcycles. Prior permission will be necessary.
• Create a partnership with a local motorcycle dealership to host a public open house where safety information can be shared with the general public.
Let’s make this year better than the last by getting all the counties, in PA, on board with proclaiming May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness safety month and spread our message all over PA.
PA Motorcycle Safety Program will be kicking off their 2020 Motorcycle Safety Awareness campaign on Sunday, April 26th, at 12:30 p.m. The event will be held at 101 Champ Blvd., Manheim, PA. This is the 35th Anniversary of the PAMSP. It is a FREE, family friendly event.
Have a good month and keep up the good work with your social media posts.
Look for a sample letter in the April 2020 Issue of Between the Lines to send to the Mayor of your Town/City.