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ABATE of Alaska
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Category Archives: Rider Education
New MSF Street Smart – Rider Perception Program Kit Available Now!
See it. Believe it. New MSF Street Smart – Rider Perception Program Kit Available Now: 90-minute, interactive program is the newest release in the MSF Host-an-Event series
IRVINE, Calif., August 20, 2009 – The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is opening the doors to rider perception with the fifth program in its community-based Host-an-Event series. The goal of the new Street Smart – Rider Perception program is to improve a rider’s perceptive abilities when riding in traffic.
Why? Poor perception puts a rider at a disadvantage. Motorcycle riding requires a lot more than coordination and balance, so the Street Smart – Rider Perception program is designed to acquaint participants with their perceptive processes, help them understand how the brain and eyes work together to manage risk, and to develop useful perception techniques.
The highly interactive Street Smart – Rider Perception program utilizes images of traffic situations to illustrate what participants might encounter out in the real world, as well as factors that affect perception, such as rider speed, lane position or path of travel.
For example, during a small group activity, colorful “vision challenge” floor mats and oversized playing cards are used to demonstrate the extreme narrowness of central vision, among other visual characteristics, and to underscore the value of keeping the eyes moving while riding.
“Safe riding is as much a skill of the eyes and mind as it is of the hands and feet, perhaps more so,” said MSF Director of Training Systems Dr. Ray Ochs. “Riding safely requires keen perception to search for clues, evaluate situations, and make smooth and accurate control decisions; therefore, encouraging riders to improve their traffic perception skills is important.”
Available for purchase through the MSF online store for $105, the Street Smart – Rider Perception program kit includes the Leader’s Guide, data CD, 12 participant workbooks, four floor mats, and a deck of large playing cards. The 90-minute classroom-only event is suitable for year-round use and for up to a suggested maximum of 25 participants.
An online, interactive sample of the program – called Rider Perception Challenge! – is available for free at http://www.msf-usa.org/riderperception.
The Street Smart – Rider Perception program is part of the larger MSF Rider Education and Training System (RETS). It may be used to conduct a stand-alone event or as a complement to other MSF programs. The four other MSF Host-an-Event kits are:
- Intersection – Motor Awareness kit
- Share the Adventure – Group Riding kit
- SeasonedRider – Aging Awareness kit
- Riding Straight – Alcohol Awareness kit
MSF Host-an-Event kits are designed to give motorcyclists opportunities for safety renewal to maximize safe and responsible riding practices.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes rider safety through rider training systems, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been internationally recognized since 1973.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For RiderCourseSM locations, call (800) 446-9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org.
Details about the Transportation Secretary’s Attempt to “use” Training Funds.
The section of Law that is affected by Mrs. Peter’s legislative draft is Public Law 109-59 or SAFETEA-LU Section 2010 Subsection(e) Paragraph(1) which states that, “IN GENERAL.—A State may use funds from a grant under this section only for motorcyclist safety training and motorcyclist awareness programs…”, which includes criteria listed in subsections (A-D). In Mrs. Peters’ letters she only suggests that the States be able to use these training/educational funds “to promote the use of motorcycle helmets” (i.e. Universal Helmet Laws). She didn’t provide any language for her proposed draft.
I choose to use a helmet when I ride. No matter how effective helmets may be, they don’t educated or train motorcyclists and they don’t do anything to make that rider more aware of other motorists or those motorists any more aware of the vehicles, including motorcycles, that are around them. Mrs. Peters’ attempt at amending SAFETEA-LU is an attempt at removing the ability to make the choice to use a helmet. It’s this choice that many riders are “up-in-arms” about.
MRF Response to Letters from Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters
MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
236 Massachusetts Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002-4980
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice-President of Government Relations
16 February 2008
MRF Strongly Opposes US DOT Attack on Training Funds
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that United States Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters sent letters to Capitol Hill with draft legislation outlining her intention to raid the 2010 motorcycle training and awareness funds set aside by Congress in the last Highway Bill (PL 109-59). Peters announced on Thursday, February 14 that she would like to see the earmarked training and awareness funds made available to promote the use of helmets in individual states.
“The MRF is extremely disappointed that Mrs. Peters would choose this small, yet critical, grant program to raid. We understand her desire to encourage helmet use, but couldn’t the Secretary of Transportation find a more suitable program to fund her personal helmet hunt?” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations for the MRF.
The 2010 funds were a direct result of years of intense lobbying by state motorcyclists’ rights organizations (SMROs) and individual motorcyclists from across this country, and were intended for two very specific aspects of motorcycle safety – motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness of motorcycles. These two aspects of motorcycle safety have been grossly under-funded at the state level for years, often solely at the direct expense of motorcyclists themselves through licensing and registration fees.
The 2010 funding program, in its second year, is a way for the motorcyclists of this country to get a little help from the feds to save lives. The fact is that helmet use has always been a major plank in the platform at the US Department of Transportation (DOT). So why now take away funds desperately needed for other areas of motorcycle safety? The training and awareness programs in statewide operation now are in jeopardy of reduced or zero funding every year. This federal program was designed to allow a trickle of cash to the states to at least keep current programs running. Should Peters get her way, that trickle becomes nothing but a drip. In addition, the current 2010 grant program is not funding failing programs. In order to qualify for the grant, each state has to demonstrate success in its programs by reducing fatalities.
Secretary Peters narrowly skates around an existing law that bans the federal government from lobbying states to enact statewide legislation. She does this by not asking that the money be used for helmet LAW advocacy, but by asking the money be used for helmet USE advocacy.
What’s actually happened and how concerned do we need to be? You may be asking yourself that very question about now. Here is the real world scenario: Mary Peters has sent two letters to Congress – one to Speaker Pelosi and the other to Senate President Cheney. The letters include draft legislation that would amend section 2010 to allow funds to be used for the promotion of helmet use. At this point there is no actual legislation – just an idea. If and when legislation results, the MRF will be issuing a call to action strongly opposing Peters’ proposal, and will work tirelessly to convince every Senator and Member of Congress not to support this raid on the 2010 funds. At this point, however, the funds appropriated for your state are safe.