August 30, 1997

From Terry Lee Cook, Government Relations, AMA


NEW YORK -- In a last-minute move, New York Gov. George E.
Pataki took action to ensure that his state would establish
a self-funded motorcycle safety program, reports the American
MotorcyclistAssociation (AMA).

Earlier in the year, a rider-education bill introduced by State Sen.
Owen H. Johnson (R-Suffolk) had passed the Senate, but it had bogged
down in the Assembly while legislators argued over unrelated
legislation. With time running out, it became apparent that the
bottleneck in the Assembly would kill the motorcycle safety bill, so
activists and staff from ABATE of New York, the Motorcycle Safety
Foundation, and the AMA petitioned Pataki's office for help in
establishing the state's first-ever motorcycle safety program.

The governor responded by including the bill's language in his budget,
which was subsequently approved by the Legislature. The move establishes
a motorcycle safety program that will be funded entirely by a $3.50
annual surcharge on motorcycle licenses and registrations. The fund will
be used exclusively for rider-education activities throughout the state.
New York becomes the 45th state to establish such a program.

"This is a very big victory for New York motorcyclists," noted Sean
Maher, AMA legislative affairs specialist. "Governor Pataki, Sen.
Johnson, the Motorcycle Association of New York State and all the AMA
and ABATE members who worked to make this happen deserve a lot of

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