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Bikers' Rights: DELAWARE RIDERS ISSUE NATIONWIDE CALL-TO-ACTION: GOVERNOR, TAKE DOWN THOSE SIGNS!

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DELAWARE RIDERS ISSUE NATIONWIDE CALL-TO-ACTION:
GOVERNOR, TAKE DOWN THOSE SIGNS!
Release Number 0009

Motorcycling Endurance Riders
Bikers Rights, Motorcyclists Rights, Long Distance Motorcycle Riding

Extreme Long Distance Endurance Motorcycle Rider IronBoltBruce Can you believe this?!? The State of Delaware is ENCOURAGING motorists to use their cell phones while they are driving!

http://ohs.delaware.gov/services/
Aggdrive05.shtml

***

From: Shirley Vandever [mailto:svandever@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 5:41 AM
To: bruce@ldrlongdistancerider.com
Subject: Call to Action - Delaware's Misguided Aggressive Driving Campaign

Fellow Freedom Fighters,

There are some things that are obvious. They are right in your face. One of these is that the use of a cell phone while driving is a distraction and impairment.

Driver distraction kills....not only bikers, but everyone else on the road. You can read all the studies you want, and they all say the same thing. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see it.

Whatever your views may be on how to approach this issue, there is one thing on which we can agree:. Cell phones at the very least endanger us. At the very worst, they kill us. We all have the stories to prove it. The activity on Bruce-N-Ray's Biker Forum demonstrates the passion of bikers all over the country. I estimate 100 posts to the thread:

http://pub42.bravenet.com/forum/
3562429698/fetch/846647/

This is why we were particularly outraged at a billboard we saw while riding in northern Delaware. In the State's "Stop Aggressive Driving Campaign": they promote the reporting of aggressive driving through the USE OF A CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING.

We had to stop and take a picture of this insanity:

http://www.delfreedomriders.com/aggressive.jpg

How could anybody in their right mind, especially the Office of Highway Safety (OHS) which is there ostensibly to advise us about risky behavior, even think of such a misguided campaign?

See an aggressive driver...report it from your cell phone while driving....run into a biker. Or a bicyclist. Or a pedestrian.

We find this to highly irresponsible and negligent on the part of the agency whose purpose is to advise AGAINST driver impairment, not ENCOURAGE it. There is even a paid position within the Office of Highway Safety called "Impaired Driving Prevention Coordinator".

What has SHE been sipping? Is the Office of Highway Safety impaired themselves, or was the entire OHS on a cell phone when they dreamed this up?

We found many others who were similarly outraged. As independents, Delaware Freedom Riders is a small but dedicated group. We asked our friends from ABATE, MRF, and others to be signatories to the attached letter. It is encouraging that officers of ABATE and the State MRF Representative were positive in their responses. There is still room for activism. There are still people who will sign on the dotted line in the interest of their fellow brothers and sisters on the road.

For those who see the tragic irony, if you feel so moved, MAKE YOUR FEELINGS KNOWN TO THE ADDRESSEES IN THE ATTACHED EMAIL. We are not addressing legislation; no legislators are included. What we ARE doing is questioning the responsibility of a State department that, however nobly they may perceive their goal, is attending quite frivolously to the safety of the people within their responsibility.

Shirley "GirlGeek" Vandever
Jimmy "Chainsaw" Epps
Delaware Freedom Riders

From: Shirley Vandever
Date: Aug 27, 2007 5:33 AM
Subject: Stop Aggressive Driving Campaign
To: Mark.brainard@state.de.us, kate.bailey@state.de.us, terry.pepper@state.de.us, lorilee.harrison@state.de.us, barb.brown@state.de.us
Cc: ltgov@state.de.us , matthew.denn@state.de.us, troberts@state.de.us, andrea.summers@state.de.us, patricia.bachman@state.de.us, lisa.moore@state.de.us

To: Governor Ruth Ann Minner (via: Mark Brainard, Chief of Staff
Kate Bailey, Communications Director
Terry Pepper, Policy Advisor
Lorilee Harrison, Executive Assistant
Barbara Brown, Constituent Relations Director)

cc: Lt. Governor John C. Carney, Jr.
Insurance Commissioner Matthew Denn
Tricia Roberts, Director, Office of Highway Safety
Andrea Summers, Community Relations Officer, Office of Highway Safety
Patricia Bachman, Corporate Outreach Coordinator, Office of Highway Safety
Lisa Moore, Impaired Driving Prevention Coordinator, Office of Highway Safety

Dear Governor Minner,

The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is currently conducting a "Stop Aggressive Driving Campaign". While the cause may be noble, the means employed are tragicomic at best, life-threatening at worst.

The billboard used to promote this effort states:

"NOW YOU CAN CALL FOR BACKUP...CALL 911 TO REPORT AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS"

The sign displays a man USING A CELL PHONE to make his report.

The irony of this concept is that it is a blatant, life-threatening promotion for the use of a cell phone while driving, which is the equivalent of a permit from the Office of Highway Safety to use a device which in and of itself is an impairment to the act of operating a motor vehicle.

We maintain that this billboard is a hazard and a danger to all motorists, as it is sending a very wrong and potentially fatal message to Delaware motorists.

GOVERNOR MINNER: TAKE DOWN THOSE SIGNS !

There are currently 236 million cell phone subscribers on our roadways...73% of them are talking while they are driving. Numerous studies have been conducted which conclude that cell phone conversations impair driving skills so much it is as if the driver was intoxicated with alcohol. Consequently, they are four times more likely to cause or be involved in an accident than motorists who responsibly shut up and steer. [And using hands-free technology makes no difference:]

One such study, Association Between Cellular-Telephone Calls and Motor Vehicle Collisions, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 1997, Vol 336, pp. 453-458 concludes that, "units that allowed the hands to be free...offered no safety advantage over hand-held units ."

In 2004, The Journal of Neuroscience published an important study "Control of Attention Shifts Between Vision and Audition in Human Cortex" which concluded in part that "...the effect of switching attention between vision and audition suggests a neural basis for behavioral evidence that focusing attention on auditory input (e.g. a cellular telephone conversation) can impair the detection of important visual events ( e.g. while driving an automobile). When attention must be directed to audition, the strength of early cortical representations are compromised...leading to potentially significant behavioral impairments."

GOVERNOR MINNER: TAKE DOWN THOSE SIGNS !

There are many other studies, too numerous to mention that make the same conclusions. I can only suspect that the bright idea for these signs came from a beleaguered bureaucrat who would not or could not take the time to consult the available science.

By encouraging the use of cell phones while driving, OHS and the State of Delaware is promoting a dangerous and potentially deadly activity. I would suggest that those concerned with the safety of our citizens do some research.

Oh, and one more thing:

GOVERNOR MINNER: TAKE DOWN THOSE SIGNS !

Respectfully,

Shirley Vandever
Wilmington
Co-Founder, Delaware Freedom Riders
Member, ABATE of Delaware, New Castle County Chapter
Member, Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)

Jimmy Epps
Wilmington
Co-Founder, Delaware Freedom Riders
Member, ABATE of Delaware, New Castle County Chapter
Northern Delaware Ride Captain, Patriot Guard Riders
Member, Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)

David A. Breakiron, Sr.
Newark
Delaware State Representative, Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF)

Gary K. Hilderbrand
Magnolia
State Legislative Coordinator, ABATE of Delaware

Carol Hooper
Newark
County Coordinator, ABATE of Delaware, New Castle County Chapter

Ken Brong
Wilmington
Life Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars
Life Member, American Legion
Life Member, Delaware Medal of Honor Society
Life Member, Republican National Committee
Charter Member, National WW ll Society
Charter Member, USO
Northern Delaware Ride Captain, Patriot Guard Riders
Board Member, Local 435 U.A.W. Veterans Committee

Mike Kaminski
Wilmington
Citizen

Jeff Rivenbark
Wilmington
Member, Iron Butt Association (IBA)
Member, American Motorcyclist Assn. (AMA)
Lifetime Member, ABATE of Delaware
Member, Harley Owners Group (HOG)

Lysa Kaminski
Wilmington
Citizen

Art Bookout
Bear
Citizen

Ilene S. Carson
Hockessin
Citizen

Harvey Hooper
Newark
Tax-Paying Citizen

Susan Davis
Bear
Citizen

Daniel Hoffman
Bear
Citizen

John Bell
Seaford
Citizen

Susan Sturgis
Bear
Citizen

Edward A. Slavin, Jr.
Townsend
Citizen

Bob Moyer
Bridgevillle
State Captain, Patriot Guard Riders
Member, American Legion Riders, Chapter 1
Member, American Legion Post 6
Member, VFW

Bernadette Moyer
Bridgeville
Citizen

Michael and Elizabeth Kaminski
New Castle
Citizens

John Davis
Dover
Citizen

###

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