A.B.A.T.E. of PA Honored by Motorcycle Safety Foundation
HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 19, 2002; The Alliance of Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) recently received recognition for its support of rider education from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (M.S.F.) at the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program's annual banquet held in New Cumberland. The Special Achievement Award was presented to A.B.A.T.E. by M.S.F. president Tim Buche who flew in from California to attend the event.
The award honored the successful completion of a two year effort by A.B.A.T.E. to increase funding for the Motorcycle Safety Program. On October 4, Governor Schweiker signed Act 114 which increased the surcharge on motorcycle Learners Permits and Drivers Licenses from $2 to $5 annually.
In making the presentation, Mr. Buche noted the new funding may allow the Pennsylvania program to be the first in the nation to meet demand.
"No state program has ever been able to accommodate all of the people who want to be trained. The new funding, combined with the lowest cost per trainee in the country, could very well mean the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program will be able to provide motorcycle safety training to everyone who wants it."
During the 2002 training season, slightly more than 16,000 students went through the 15 hour course which includes 5 hours of classroom instruction and 17 on-motorcycle exercises conducted on a closed course.
According to the program's Director, Dave Surgenor, previous classes filled quickly and demand exceeded training capabilities. "When class reservations opened in March, we were getting about 1,000 calls per day. The increased funding should permit us to open at least ten new training sites around the state."
In addition to the award given to A.B.A.T.E., Mr. Buche also presented Special Achievement Award plaques recognizing the individual efforts of Joe Dickey, A.B.A.T.E. State Coordinator, and Charles Umbenhauer, A.B.A.T.E.'s lobbyist, for their "extraordinary effort to improve funding for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program." Both men were also honored earlier this year for their work on behalf of motorcyclists by the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum when they were inducted into the Freedom Fighters Hall of Fame.
The Motorcycle Safety Program is free to Pennsylvania residents and is unique in that students who successfully pass the course are licensed right on the spot by Site Coordinators authorized by PennDOT to endorse the graduates' permits. The program has been repeatedly recognized by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation as one of the best in the nation. Information on how to become a RiderCoach can be obtained by calling 717-849-5156.
A.B.A.T.E. of Pennsylvania, a 501©)3 corporation formed in 1983 , is one of the nation's leading State Motorcyclists Rights Organizations (SMRO) and currently has over 7,000 members. Motorcycle ownership is not required to join. Further information on membership can be obtained by calling 717-234-3777 or writing to A.B.A.T.E. at P.O. Box 15226, Harrisburg, PA 17105.