WASHINGTON, DC – Though this week marked the end of May’s “Motorcycle Awareness Month” the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Assistant Secretary Greg Winfree reminded everyone to keep an eye out for motorcyclists.
Assistant Secretary Winfree, himself a motorcyclist, was the author of a recent bulletin posted by the Department of Transportation’s Research and Technology office. The bulletin, available by clicking here reminds all road users to share the road and be alert. Though Winfree does mention the recent Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report, he acknowledges that the numbers showing an increase in motorcyclist fatalities in 2015 are preliminary.
Importantly, Winfree himself makes no mention of a universal helmet law as a solution despite the GHSA’s report repeated insistence. Instead, Winfree points to the importance of having concrete data to help inform and shape critical safety priorities.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) agrees on the importance of having concrete data which is why ensuring that the statistics compiled by Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) and used by the GHSA and are actually capturing motorcycles and not other vehicles such as the newly emerging class of autocycles. Reasons like this are why the MRF and its partners are advocating for the Department of Transportation to ensure the federal definition of a motorcycle is narrowed to guarantee that any collected data is accurate. Accurate data helps lead to responsible strategies rather than blanket solutions that focuses solely on surviving motorcycle crashes rather than avoiding them.