Here we are back at what most people call the beginning of bike season. March has Daytona Bike Week, Motorcycle Ohio started training the trainers and we are starting to see warmer weather. Unfortunately we already have motorcycle crash statistics. 2019 must have been a little colder out from January first to February 22, 2019 with 10 crashes and 1 fatality. The same dates this year show 42 crashes and 2 fatalities. Something even more frightening, 7 are drug or alcohol related. This can make for a bad year.
Just a note to everyone, start the year out slow. Go down to a parking lot and practice slow riding, figure eights (keep making them smaller), quick stops and stopping in a curve. A little practice will make things natural and then when you need to use it, it will be a habit. Speed and single bike crashes are our number one cause of crashes and fatalities.
Check out the Motorcycle Ohio Training program at www.motorcycle.ohio.gov. Get trained; it saves lives. Even the best rider can learn something they didn’t know or forgot. It only costs $50.00 and that gets you a 16-hour course, 4 in the classroom the rest of the time you are learning on a bike provided by MO. If you are an experienced rider you can take the one-day course and use your own bike. This is good for riders that have been riding for a long time on a temporary permit. Phone is 800-25-BIKER
The Hearing Protection Bill HB129 has been signed by the Governor and in about 60 days will be law. Back in the day a law was passed that said you could not plug both ears. We just had to get it up to date and that took two years. Same with the handlebar height. A few years ago manufacturers were building bikes that broke the law, so ABATE of Ohio, Inc. helped get that law changed to shoulder height.
The Governor is pushing for stronger Distracted Driving Laws and ABATE of Ohio, Inc. has been sitting at that table and will continue to work to get a stronger law. Distracted Driving is so underreported that we can’t use the statistics to show how bad it is. No one ever, when asked if they were using their cell phone, will say yes. They give some other reason why they drove off the road. Be ready to do a Call to Action when we post it, which means we’ll tell you how to contact your Legislator and support this law.
At the federal level, with the leadership at the MRF staying vigilant, we are on top of the E15 problem. We know that supporters are going to keep pushing for higher ethanol blends so we need to make sure motorcyclists have a say in what happens. Most of all we need proper labels on pumps so we know exactly what fuel we are buying. Join the MRF and get on board to support this issue.
Get your calendar out and mark Saturday, May 2, 2020 for the Motorcycle Awareness Rally. It begins at AD Farrows H/D in Sunbury. Sign in starts at 9am and we leave at noon for the Ohio State House. As always we’ll be shooting down I-71 in parade fashion. The Columbus Police will be escorting. This rally is to show everyone that we are back on the roads of Ohio. See our flier for more info.
Hope everyone has a safe and memorable riding season. If you have not taken a Motorcycle Ohio riding course, please do – it works. See you somewhere this summer.
Ride within Your Limits
Mike Stock, COB
ABATE of Ohio, Inc