Awareness Rallies and Crashes
By John Reblin
Wow the summer is in full swing, the Hummer is
done for the year and all those that planned and
coordinated that event are taking a couple days
off and starting to think about next year. I am
sure if you have any comments or questions most of
these people will be found at your land keeping it
trimmed up and ready to use for the membership.
Thank them when you see them. As for the
4th of July, celebrating the original
"we just want to be left alone"
people. It was a great day in the city where I
live. Huge parade, everyone patriotic, giving the
veterans the welcome home they deserve. Makes me
proud of this area and the support we show.
If you have ever gone to ABATE of Wisconsin's
Officers' Training or any of our State Events or
talked to an ABATE Officer we always recognize
that the Region Rep is probably one of the hardest
working people in our organization. It takes a
special person to guide anywhere from 4 to 30 plus
people at a meeting: informing them, motivate them
and making sure everything is done within our
bylaws and procedures. Throw in some regional
events, membership drives and raffles (you know
the money stuff) and that person that accepted
the Regional rep job is now a "small
business" manager. He/she is looking at some
responsibilities that s/he may have not considered
when they agreed to step up for the position.
Hopefully he has some great help to get though
some of these things, people he can trust and help
him with the hard decisions. Sometimes, depending
on the region size and help available the region
rep is alone like trying to herd cats and
directing members to achieve a goal. A small
business owner and the region rep are paid about
the same: a few zeros on a check but that is all.
They are doing it all for something they believe
in. Please support your Regional Rep when you can
- they are doing much more work behind the scenes
than you think.
Following a recent crash, I got an email from a
person asking a couple different things starting
with how to get people to drive paying attention
not with their heads not in their butts.
Let's start off with the awareness part, any
member that has been around a while has heard
about or participated in our awareness rallies.
Sure, some regions don't have the time or
manpower maybe to set one up. But that does not
mean the tools aren't there for membership
to do it. We make available yard signs, banners,
and bumper stickers to raise this awareness. Pick
a day create some signs and pick a corner and
stand raising awareness at a busy intersection.
Write a letter to the editor or a filler article
for the local paper. About motorcycle awareness.
All these are fairly easy to do and take a short
amount of time and effort. If you want to spend a
little more time or effort become a Share the Road
instructor: it's probably one of the more
rewarding things you can do, if you have the
slightest skill and ability to walk into a
classroom with a bunch of kids and teach one of
these classes. Take our Share the Road course
"on the road" to local business or
community groups and show the older drivers how to
watch out. Share the experience within the region
and maybe get another one or two people interested
willing to help out reaching more students.
As far as following a right of way crash, some are
comfortable with doing it - others not so much. I
do get emails asking for help or if I can check
out something. I can help as much as I can,
unfortunately most are some distance away so my
help is usually by email. Therefore my first
response back is, did you talk with your District
Director? If a right-of-way crash happens in the
region bring it up at a meeting or talk with your
rep and see what they think, feel them out. If
they don't feel comfortable or don't
have the time offer to talk to the police and
check into it. Get copies of the crash reports,
they cost a couple of dollars and see what they
have to say. Look at the site at about the same
time of day and see what you think happened. Take
time, make an appointment with the Chief or
someone at the Police or Sheriff department and
talk to them about the case and ask questions and
explain our right of way bill. After the 11 years
or so I still hear of police not having heard of
our right of way bill (ACT 466) and the importance
of this ticket being written.
Do not interfere with the police investigation but
get a feel for it. Watch to see what charges are
brought up, and if you don't think they fit
call or send an email to the authorities and ask,
can change the charges. Again, the educational
factor of Share the Road training being used. By
no means are we investigators or police but we can
offer experience that can influence a decision.
Some of these cases take time to complete. The
same as the region rep the police seem shorthanded
and have many things going on. A good
investigation takes time by the time the math and
site information is completed. Share the
information you have heard with the region and
explain why you feel it is important to you and
gather more interest. Take the time if you have it
to go to the court case showing support for the
rider. Wear your ABATE of Wisconsin gear and let
them know that if you hit a rider they are being
watched that the consideration or punishment is
The region gets stronger by members giving back to
it in an informative way. Conversations and
participation is a big start.
Reblin, John. "Awareness Rallies and Crashes." ABATE of Wisconsin Newsletter Aug. 2017.