Executive Director

Finally, May Is Motorcycle Awareness Month
By Dave Chubby Charlebois 

Now that warm weather is finally here to stay, and we all have done a little pre-ride maintenance to our scoots, it's time to enjoy the open road once again. All across the United States governors have proclaimed May as Motorcycle Awareness Month, actually I think the new politically correct version is "Safety and Awareness" which takes some of the burden off of the cagers and puts it back in our lap. Wisconsin's last two Governors have been supportive of motorcycle awareness, at least in the fact that they have made similar proclamations as other states have. Since Governor Walker took office, and while he was Milwaukee County Executive, he has put out an official proclamation at ABATE's request to proclaim May officially as Motorcycle Awareness Month. This year, I didn't put the time or effort into making it official. Not because the Governor or our current legislature doesn't support motorcyclists, but because we were the only ones to utilize the proclamation. The WI DOT still always felt it necessary to add the word "safety" in every interview they did, disregarding any official proclamations and pushing whatever agenda the feds (i.e.; NHTSA) felt was important to push. I hope they continue to put up at least a few billboards in the Madison area to make it look like awareness might be a part of safety for all of us, but only time will tell. You can be confident that ABATE of WI will be pushing the awareness message this month, and throughout the summer, so let the riding season begin.

Our motorcycle awareness rallies have begun already and I'm proud to see a lot of regions stepping up and organizing these worthwhile events. Milwaukee and Waukesha County ABATE's got together and held their rallies at locations of some serious right of way violations last year and got some very positive press out of it. We also had a lot of positive support from motorists and I was proud to see so many members show up to be a part of them. I hope the rallies in the rest of the State turn out as well as 1A/ 1F's did, maybe it will be enough to make the cagers look out for us this year. If you have pictures or comments from a successful event in your area, please email them to Kari at mailto:pubrel@abatewis.org .

I know a lot of establishments put out awareness signs and support our cause. For several years the law firm of Hupy and Abraham has run a successful awareness campaign and has helped get our PSA's on T.V. Lamar advertising has once again offered us free billboard locations to promote awareness during the summer and I believe we have over twenty of them throughout the state. Our Board of Directors just allocated more funds to continue spreading our message throughout the summer so we can continue to work towards our goal of zero right of way violation fatalities in the state this year. You may have heard one of our public service announcements on the radio already, many stations statewide offered to help us out this year and I can't thank them enough. I salute business that are willing to help raise motorist awareness and save lives throughout the state, please show thanks by supporting businesses that support our efforts.

Now is the time to start utilizing all the awareness materials that were given out at officer training. We should see placemats in diners, coasters on the bar, yard signs on lawns everywhere, and bumper stickers on the backs of all bikers vehicles. I know this point is getting redundant but our lives could depend on it. Don't let those items sit in your garage or the trunk of your car, show everyone you ride and help raise awareness. We also have our audio and video public service announcements available to download from our website if you find a station willing to give us the airtime.

Some of us have been lucky enough to hit the road very early this year. With the mild winter I was able to ride each month of 2017 so far. Those of us without windshields or with scoots with chrome on them have been waiting patiently. Finally the warm winds are here, the salt is off the roads and we can clear the cobwebs from our heads. We've already had a successful year legislatively and nice weather came early. It was a busy winter for all those involved in ABATE but now it's time to ride. Go out and make the best of it. Be safe, be educated, and be free. But first we have to let the public know we're out there. After all, it is finally Motorcycle Awareness Month. Until next month ... Ride Free

Charlebois, Dave Chubby. "Finally, May Is Motorcycle Awareness Month." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter May. 2017.

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