Motorcycle group revs up support at CapitolMinnesota members of American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education (ABATE) and other motorcyclists from groups and clubs statewide recently lobbied at the state Capitol to protect the rights and safety of all motorcyclists.
Minnesota members of American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education (ABATE) and other motorcyclists from groups and clubs statewide recently lobbied at the state Capitol to protect the rights and safety of all motorcyclists.
From Alexandria to Roseau, from Marshall to Duluth and from all points in between, hundreds of Minnesota motorcyclists attended the rally.
They expressed support for increasing careless driving penalties, protection of a motorcyclist-funded motorcycle safety account and most of all, no changes to the adult helmet law in Minnesota.
Each year, motorcyclists, pedestrians, bicyclists, vehicle drivers and their passengers are killed by other motorists who drive carelessly, said Mack Backlund, state coordinator for ABATE of Minnesota.
While hoping to save a few seconds of their time, these drivers cut in front of others, turn left into their path or fail to yield the right of way, causing heartache and shattered lives, Backlund said.
Currently, if the driver at fault is found to be sober and drug-free, he or she may face only misdemeanor charges – the same as running a stoplight, Backlund said.
“ABATE of Minnesota feels that Minnesota should strengthen the penalties for those who kill others while driving in a negligent manner and raise the offense to the level of gross misdemeanor,” said Backlund.
The legislation ABATE supports is House File 68 and Senate File 201.
ABATE of Minnesota said it will continue to:
• Maintain and defend the rights and freedoms of all Minnesota motorcyclists.
• Promote increased penalties for motor vehicle operators who drive in a negligent manner and harm or kill others.
• Promote motorcycle safety training, including beginner and experienced rider courses.
• Promote motorist awareness of motorcyclists through its “Share the Road” program.
For more information about ABATE, see the website www.abatemn
.org or call 1-800-224-6570.