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03-03-10

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - ABATE Lobby Day at the State Capitol

It is always great to be able to report good news. Such is the case today.

Motorcycle fatalities for 2009 were 204. That is a 14% reduction in fatalities over the 2008 total of 236.

The reduction could be the result of the bad economy. Less motorcycles were sold last year and disposable income was also down.

On the other hand, many people may have chosen to ride their motorcycle more often in an effort to save on gas prices and took several in state weekend trips as opposed to longer vacations many which would have been out of state. If I remember correctly, there were quite a few rainy weekends also.

So, there probably won't be any answer in black and white to explain the reduction in fatalities. Perhaps we could choose to put on our rose colored glasses and claim that all those blue "Watch for Motorcycles" signs and the attempts at promoting riding straight have paid off with reduced deaths. Even if only a few of those reductions can be credited to our efforts, then it was all well worth it. Let's see if we can continue the trend throughout 2010.

We have been living the good life here in PA since our successful 2003 modification of the helmet law. But that could all change come January 2011. Many of the legislators who were part of the vote back in 2003 have long departed the halls of the state capitol. Many new legislators now sit in those seats and never had to vote on a helmet bill. This year will bring even more change to both the House and Senate. Many retirements, probably a few defeats of seated members and lots of new faces come January.

So to meet the challenge we need two things from concerned members who want to see the status quo continue.

First, no one should know their state Senator and their State Representative better than you. Everyone running for election or reelection in November must have their nominating petitions signed and delivered by next Tuesday. If you know that your present Senator and Representative will not be running for reelection, drop us an email now. If you know who might be running for those seats, you should be finding out if they are motorcycle friendly or not. Again, email us with any info you can.

Mark this date on your calendar - Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - ABATE Lobby Day at the State Capitol. It's easy and it is fun but we need you to make the commitment to put in the time to make it a success. The Legislature goes into session at 11 AM. This only allows a small window of opportunity for you to actually meet your Legislator face to face. A second window of opportunity usually presents itself between 12 and 1 PM. Lunch - and last but not least some legislators will even leave the floor to meet with constituents from back in the district providing they have prior knowledge of you being in Harrisburg on April 20.

Those who are interested in participating in Lobby Day should call the state office now and get on the list. Call 717-731-8955 or email tateoffice@abatepa.org">stateoffice@abatepa.org

The office will open by 8 AM on Lobby Day. You will come to the office to pick up a packet of information and last minute instructions before you head out to the capitol. Transportation decisions are still in the works.

To complete your capitol experience, plan on having lunch in the Capitol cafeteria. If you miss your legislator in his office there is a good chance you will bump into them in the cafeteria.

More details will be available soon and will also be in Between the Lines April issue. In the meantime, let your legislator know that you are planning on being in Harrisburg on Tuesday, April 20 and that you would appreciate a short meeting with them so that you can update them on ABATE activities. I apologize that I cannot be more specific at this moment but things are changing on a daily basis and what might be important to discuss could be moot by April.

Hopefully, there are members in your chapter that have built a relationship with the legislators in your area so that you won't have to walk into their office cold.

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