Executive Director

Activate Don't Procrastinate
By Dave Chubby Charlebois 

Procrastinate; to put off, delay. If that word seems familiar to you it's probably because you're honest with yourself and realize that you could do better. Since its beginnings in 1974, ABATE of WI has always been about legislation. Through the years we have grown and taken on more responsibility as an organization by adding safety and education to our mission. All of this, Legislation-Education-Safety, lends credibility to our organization. You can get on your soapbox all you want, but if you don't back up your stance with some effort to change, your rants will fall on deaf ears. It's human nature to procrastinate, at least biker nature, we all seem to want to wait to see if someone else will come through and step up so we can sit back and relax, or just go riding. We all seem to wait until the last minute to make reservations or even to just sign up for things just in case something better comes along. And in the new millennium with communication supported by technology you'd think we could get a substantial number of contacts with legislators with bills supported and passed. Well, I'm here to tell you that the time has come to activate, not procrastinate. ABATE's legislative agenda for 2017 is substantial and we're going to need strong participation from our members to get it done during this session.

Not everyone joins ABATE of WI to support legislative action although I think it's pretty obvious that effecting change legislatively is our primary focus. But, if you joined for the fun there is still plenty for you to do this month also. October 6-8 is our annual meeting weekend hosted by our regions in District 3 and held in Green Bay. More info is on our website, social media, and in this newsletter. There is a lot of biker fun planned and it's a perfect opportunity to meet your representatives on our Board of Directors. There is also plenty of time to enjoy local food and sites and even some time in the saddle with the help and support of the Magnetos M/C. I'd like to give a big thank-you to everyone involved in planning this event. Don't procrastinate, make your reservations now.

Last month the first meetings of the WIDOT Governors Steering Committee on Autonomous and Connected Vehicle Testing and Deployment were held and I'm proud to say that ABATE of WI was present not only in the room, but on the committee. Former Executive Director of ABATE of WI, Ric Mellon, has been appointed to the committee and will be spending a lot of time in Madison looking at what legislation will have to be passed or removed to make room for the future of transportation. Ric will be making sure that we are aware of any actions that adversely affect the motorcycle culture and our ability to safely enjoy Wisconsin roads far into the future. No action by our members is needed at this point but in the near future we may need you to get loud and help ensure that our motorcycles continue to have the ability to navigate all of Wisconsin's roads.

Our legislative committee chair has spent a significant amount of time in his articles this year educating our members on our current legislative agenda and how you can help. I don't think I need to repeat that information here but I would like to give my briefest synopsis of each bill and why it's important to me.

Our current ROW bill has been through two sessions of the legislature, it needs to get passed. We've seen positive results from previous enhancements and I'm shocked that our many friends in the legislature have been dragging their feet on such common sense all inclusive legislation.

I don't quite understand why everything on three wheels or less is considered a motorcycle but it has to stop. Our safety funding and statistics are two of the most important things besides you that ensure our freedoms of the road stay intact. Without accurate statistics money and lives could be wasted chasing down or defending against inaccurate information.

And finally, ownership of the information held and transmitted by your vehicle data recorders should be the vehicle owner's unless they are aware of the collection and give consent. I am surprised that every member, every member's friends, and every member's friend's friends aren't up in arms about the lack of privacy associated with the speed of technology. Data collection is about money, and privacy. Which side are you on? If you support this agenda, please do everything you can to help get our bills passed and signed into law. The time is now.

If you have internet access at home, take the time to sign up for ABATE Alerts to your email. They pretty much take the place of the old phone tree and only alert you to important motorcycle information. No solicitation. Your email address is NEVER sold or shared.

If you've always wanted to be more involved, now is a great time. Contact your region rep and find out how you can help all motorcyclists' in Wisconsin.

Don't just sit around whining about your rights being trampled on and ignored. Get up and do something about it. There has never been a better or easier time to get more involved in ABATE and I know you'll regret it if you let some of the great opportunities coming up pass you by. Attend an event or meeting, sign up for lobby day, and register for alerts on our website. Apathy and procrastination will not keep your bike on the road or the man off your back. Activate and become a part of history. We're all in this together. Until next month ... Ride Free

Charlebois, Dave Chubby. "Activate Don't Procrastinate." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Oct. 2017.

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