Interesting article on delayed accident causation study

Interesting article by blogger Jeff Cobb. It was picked up by the MCN UK site after he submitted it to them through their portal, he says.

Landmark Motorcycle Crash Casuation Study Progressing Slowly in America’s Heartland

As we already knew, the study was passed as a matching fund study–the gov’t was to put in about 2 million (less than originally legislated). The motorcycle industry finally ponied up more than the gov’t was going to put in ($3M). This would be more impressive had not Tim Buche, President of MIC/MSF said the study would happen “over his dead body” and tried very hard to stop the earmark from going through in the SAFETEA-LU bill. That is from an absolutely unimpeachable source. When someone is that vehement, you have to consider it represented more than just a trite cliche.

Senator Inhofe–in return for his cooperation–demanded it be awarded to a university that didn’t want it in the first place and wasn’t qualified to do it according to motorcycle safety experts who are in the best position to know who is and who isn’t. So we have a study that industry–despite promising $3 million funds–doesn’t want done given to a university that isn’t qualified to do it and hung up on an administrator’s greenlight who doesn’t want to give it. And here it is–how many years later? h yeah, four years later–and it’s hit yet another road block. Interesting.

It was originally thought that the study would cost $3 mill–and half was to be raised in matching funds. The industry fought hard against giving the money (and got some pro quo for its quid) and that delayed the study by years. And remember, the study itself will take 3-4 years before the results are in. If it gets done at all, it could be 10 years after SAFETEA-LU was passed.

Now, despite having over 40% more money promised than the study was originally anticipated to cost, suddenly Alan Tree, associate dean for research at OSU’s College of Engineers, Architects and Technology who has the power to green or red light the study, says he thinks the study will cost up to twice as much as has been promised. Instead of the original $4M the price tag is now, he says, up to $10M. I have no idea whether the increase in cost i’s because of the cost was underestimated to begin with but I’m sure it’s not due to inflation.

According to the article they’re hitting up states and the military. Yeah, in this recession-becoming-a-depression that should be an easy sell. That’s why, the article says, the study is still delayed–there isn’t enough money to do it.

But the article suggests, if Buche gets his wish and the study isn’t done maybe motorcycle rights activists should be happy–the article devotes quite a bit of space to why riders might be–or is it should be–nervous if the study went ahead. The results, it makes clear, could be used to pass onerous legislation. Wow. I haven’t heard anything like that from my Libertarian friends nor anyone else. And, of course, it was motorcycle rights activists that fought so hard for the study in the first place–against Industry’s efforts to stop it. Don’t you think that SMROs–so many of whom are so fervent about helmet laws, sound laws, etc.–would’ve thought about that aspect before they fought for the study?

It’s interesting that the idea has not just been raised in this article but that it’s, in a way, the emotional heart of the piece–oh, no! If this study really happens someone–all hypothetical–may come after this long list of things you hadn’t thought of before. But now you will because Cobb raises it. Nothing like a good dose of fear-mongering!

I would ask you to note–beyond the oh-so-tiresome-helmet issue–what kind of things industry is frightened the report might find. And consider that one of the conditions now is that the report make no recommendations and consider that industry is putting up most of the money…and consider that Buche was so scared of what the report might find out that he said it wouldn’t happen unless it was over his dead body.

And consider that it’s been four years already and it’s going to be delayed even further because suddenly now that the economy has crashed, it’s going to cost twice as much as has been raised. Or something else will happen to delay it longer.

Not to mention that the death rate will finally begin to drop this year or the next–it does in recession years. And if the study can be delayed long enough then people might not even notice if it’s not done at all.

Call me a cynic but I’m wondering if a miracle occurred and $10 million was raised if suddenly the study would cost $15 or $2o million so it couldn’t be done and yet more money had to be raised. And I wonder how many ringers will be out there raising

I tell you, Buche must have extraordinary luck.

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2 Comments on “Interesting article on delayed accident causation study”

  1. aidanspa Says:

    Interesting isn’t it?

    We discussed this article yesterday on the msgroup site. PR ploy by AMA/MIC-MSF, pork payback for Inhofe as the guy on the subcommittee that will always vote pro AMA/MIC-MSF. Yeah, have an agency responsible for road maintenance sponsor the study, and give it to an institution without experience in crash causation or motorcycles, without enough funding to complete the study. And just tell us why riders crash…we don’t need no stinkin’ recommendations. The motorcyclenews.com writer got it exactly right: Money, power, positioning, and posturing.

    Check the FHWA site for Motorcycle Advisory Council membership. Edward Moreland, AMA Vice President for Government Relations, was named to the newly created Motorcyclist Advisory Council to the Federal Highway Administration. In addition, Kathy Van Kleeck, Vice President, Government Relations, MSF, was named to this same new council. Inhofe recommended each of them. Check Inhofe’s voting record on things motorcyclist “rights”.


  2. Needless to say, with this Crash Causation Study going on in our backyard, ABATE of Oklahoma is monitoring developments with great interest. As an aside, it’s been quite awhile since we’ve been able to interface, Wendy, and I hope you’ll be able to attend an NCOM Convention again in the future. Please contact me when you read this at: REMOVED Also, Sarge, the NCOM Executive Director, needs you to contact him at REMOVED Thanks for your continued hard work in supporting Motorcycling Freedom through providing a wealth of information to increase everyone’s knowledge–keep in touch.

    In Liberty,
    Tiger Mike Revere
    State Coordinator,
    ABATE of Oklahoma, Inc.
    Phone number REMOVED


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