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Bikers' Rights: NTSB Motorcycle Safety Recommendations Miss The Mark By 84 Percent

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NTSB Motorcycle Safety Recommendations Miss The Mark By 84 Percent
Release Number 0013

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

Extreme Long Distance Endurance Motorcycle Rider IronBoltBruce From: IronBoltBruce [mailto:Bruce@LdrLongDistanceRider.com]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2007 2:04 PM
To: Mark Rosenker (mark.rosenker@ntsb.gov)
Cc: 'debbie.hersman@ntsb.gov'; 'williat@ntsb.gov'; 'bridget.serchak@ntsb.gov'; 'lopatt@ntsb.gov'; 'hollowk@ntsb.gov'
Subject: NTSB Motorcycle Safety Recommendations Miss The Mark By 84 Percent

Mark Rosenker (mark.rosenker@ntsb.gov)
Chairman
National Transportation Safety Board
429 L'Enfant Plaza
Washington, D.C. 20024
202-314-6000

Mr. Rosenker:

The universal helmet law mandate you proposed this week fails to address the causes of approximately 84 percent of all motorcycle fatalities. Not only do we have the NTSB's admitted issues with understated motorcycle registrations and vehicle miles travelled (VMT) in the demoninators of key NHTSA statistics, you made even greater and more reprehensible misrepresentations by overstating the numerator:

In your Tuesday morning meeting, you and your fellow NTSB members and staff implied that as many as 4,810 motorcycle accident fatalities in 2006 could have been avoided by the enactment of universal motorcycle helmet laws. This was a gross and I suspect intentional overstatement. In 2005, 4,553 motorcyclists died on our highways ... 2,521 (55%) of them were wearing helmets AND DIED ANYWAY ... and of the 2,032 remaining, quoting NHTSA, only "... 728 more [lives] could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets." Applying those same percentages to the 2006 death toll of 4,810, the maximum number of lives that MIGHT have been saved by helmet laws is only 769, not even 16 percent of the 4,810 you implied. In other words, Mr. Rosenker:

IF THE NTSB MOTORCYCLE SAFETY RECOMMENDATIONS RELEASED ON TUESDAY HAD BEEN IN EFFECT NATIONWIDE FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR OF 2006, ONLY 769 LIVES MIGHT HAVE BEEN SAVED, WHILE EIGHTY-FOUR PERCENT (84%) OF THE 4,810 MOTORCYCLISTS WHO DIED ON OUR ROADWAYS WOULD PROBABLY HAVE DIED ANYWAY.

At the same time, as NTSB Chairman you either knew or should have known that (a) we have 236 million cellphone subscribers on our roadways, (b) 73% of them are talking while they are driving, (c) cellphone conversations impair their driving skills as much if they were intoxicated with alcohol, consequently (d) they are four times more likely to cause or be involved in an accident than motorists who responsibly shut up and steer, and resultantly (e) assuming reports of the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office are a reliable measure, roughly ONE IN FOUR ACCIDENTS in 2006 occurred when a driver was talking on the phone. So barring evidence to the contrary, as NTSB Chairman you either knew or should have known that it would be reasonable to assume that cellphone conversation-impaired motorists could have been responsible for 25 percent (or more) of the 2,575,000 traffic injuries and 42,642 traffic fatalities reported by NHTSA for 2006.

And rather than using the taxpayer-provided resources of your bureacratic office to pursue restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving, which might have saved 10,660 lives (25% of 42,642 fatalities) last year, you chose instead to go on what the press calls a mandatory helmet law "crusade", which in comparison might have saved at best only 769 lives. Had you made the responsible choice, Mr. Rosenker, our nation could be saving almost 15 TIMES AS MANY LIVES by restricting the use of cellphones by drivers rather than requiring helmets for riders.

I am no lawyer, but given these facts and pursuant to the provisions of United States Code Title 49, Chapter 11, Subchapter II, Paragraph (c) as I understand them...

***

(c) TERMS OF OFFICE AND REMOVAL.--The term of office of each member is 5 years. An individual appointed to fill a vacancy occurring before the expiration of the term for which the predecessor of that individual was appointed, is appointed for the remainder of that term. When the term of office of a member ends, the member may continue to serve until a successor is appointed and qualified. The President may remove a member for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office.

http://ntsb.gov/alj/NTSB_statute.htm

***

...I believe that immediate steps should be taken to see that you are removed from office on the grounds of clearly demonstrated inefficiency, neglect of duty, and malfeasance.

In distributing this communication, I am calling on all American motorcyclists, all motorcycle clubs and riding groups, and all state and national motorcyclists' rights organizations to call, write and email the White House and their United States Senators and Representatives to petition for and demand your resignation or termination as Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Speaking strictly for myself and no other entities or organizations,

IronBoltBruce

Bruce@LdrLongDistanceRider.com
Author and Publisher, LdrLongDistanceRider.com
Co-Moderator, Bruce-n-Ray's Biker Forum
Premier Member, Iron Butt Association
Sustaining Member, Motorcycle Riders Foundation
Member and Elite Legislative Supporter, American Motorcyclist Association

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