ABATE helps promote motorcycle awareness

"SHARE THE ROAD, LOOK TWICE FOR MOTORCYCLISTS" is the message that millions of Californians awoke to on morning commutes last week. In an astounding show of support, CalTrans posted the message statewide in efforts to increase awareness of motorcyclists. Traditionally, the high visibility Amber Alert signs were used only to deliver traffic advisories on road conditions and occasionally to alert the motoring public to a case of child abduction.

Now, in addition to their primary purpose, the state’s Amber Alert signs will be employed to display a new message asking the California motorists to be more aware of motorcycles that occupy and share the road with them daily. And the bike community has John Del Santo of the American Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) to thank!

The response among California motorcyclists was overwhelmingly supportive, if not groundbreaking. For some it even brought an unexpected flood of emotion and pride!

Lil David Morena, State Treasurer for ABATE of CA, announced "this morning, coming to work, something just about brought tears to my eyes" as he noticed that the Amber Alert signs on northbound 1-5 near Sacramento were displaying the message.

ABATE Executive Director, Anthony Jaime, views this decision by CalTrans as a perfect example of multi-tasking and putting existing resources to work in a more efficient manner that achieves the end result of increased motorcycle safety and awareness without a large capital outlay and investment for the taxpayers.

"These are the kinds of solutions to problems and issues that state officials should try to put into practice on a more frequent basis, especially in the tough economic climate we are currently experiencing. This recent action by CalTrans highlights the impact that grassroots organizations like ABATE can have on their government when they actively become part of the process of governance rather than just sitting back and being governed."

ABATE is a Motorcycle Rights Organization (MRO) concerned with the safety of motorcyclists. ABATE members are on the advisory board for the California Motorcyclist Safety Program, which is overseen and administered by the CHP. As car drivers are at fault in a majority of accidents involving motorcycles it is ABATE’s philosophy that it is pertinent to increase driver awareness and encourage motorists to share the road.

ABATE is also responsible for legislation and governmental issues including declaring May as Motorcycle Awareness Month throughout California, opposing SB435 the Motorcycle Smog Check law (motorcycles are already a green industry!) and the Annual Freedom Rally, set to educate lawmakers in Sacramento on April 12!

For more information or to get involved with the motorcycling community visit abate.org

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One of the few moto journalists based on the East Coast, Ron Lieback joined the motorcycle industry as a freelancer in 2007 and is currently Editor at Large at Ultimate Motorcycling. He is also the author of 365 to Vision: Modern Writer's Guide (How to Produce More Quality Writing in Less Time).