11NR33 – MRF News Release

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11NR33 – MRF News Release – NHTSA Proposes Motorcycle Study

8 December 2011

Contact:Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Ralations and Public Affairs

NHTSA Proposes Motorcycle Study

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has requested comments on a proposed motorcycle safety study.  

The study they are proposing copycats one that the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is currently conducting, known as the “naturalistic study.” The MSF study has instrumented a hundred motorcycles with computers, cameras and all sorts of meters. Those specially-equipped one hundred motorcycles are being ridden by volunteers across the country as their personal bikes.  After one year, the instruments are taken off and the analysis begins.  NHTSA is proposing the exact same study, only with 160 motorcycles.  

This proposal does come as a bit of a shock, considering the feds have been struggling to conduct another motorcycle study that tracks actual crashes. That “crash causation study” has been languishing since 2006 and has yet to complete data collection, analysis and final reporting.  

“I do like the idea of the study,” said Jeff Hennie, MRF Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs. “Tracking volunteer riders and collecting some best practices for countermeasures is a great idea, but as with every study there will be some technical and logistical bugs to work out over the course of the study. It seems to me that it would be wise to wait on the MSF results and use them to craft a better, sturdier study.” 

NHTSA is already predicting that out of the 160 participants in their proposed new naturalistic study, 20 will have a crash and sustain injuries so severe that they must be reported. So far there has been no mention of the cost for the new study. 

The feds are asking for comments on the proposal. The comment period runs through January 17, 2011. Read the proposal and learn how to submit comments here: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-11-16/pdf/2011-29361.pdf 

Do not hesitate to contact the MRF with any questions or concerns.

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