Officials from the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), utilizing their contacts within the Federation Internationale Motorcycliste (FIM), the AMA's international affiliate, have put an end to rumors that had been circulating that the Swedish government intends to ban motorcycle use from all Swedish roadways.
The rumor began when a minor government official in Sweden stated publicly that eliminating motorcycle use would help the country to reduce traffic accidents and promote his stated goal of zero accident tolerance. This statement led to a great deal of speculation within the European motorcyclist rights community about the possibility of a nationwide motorcycle ban being implemented in Sweden. The official who made the remark, Claes Tingvall, a Swedish Road Safety Officer, has since expressed regrets for suggesting that motorcycles should be banned.
Robert Rasor, vice president of AMA government relations, closely monitors European developments and also serves as vice president of the FIM's International Panel for Public Affairs and Road Safety. He immediately contacted Hans Hammarlund, who serves as co-vice president on the FIM panel as well as the president of the SMC, the national organization of Swedish street and road riders. Hammarlund had been in contact with the Swedish Minister of Transport and assured Rasor that the comments made by Tingvall did not reflect the policies of the Swedish government. He further noted that a great deal of the speculation about the rumored ban could be summed up as "rubbish."
"While any news of an impending bike ban must be taken seriously, it's unfortunate, given the limited resources of the motorcyclist rights movement both here and abroad, that we have to engage in rumor control when our efforts would be better spent elsewhere," noted Rasor. "But our close ties with the FIM and the European motorcyclist rights groups aids in quickly separating fact from fiction when it comes to European developments and helps us to clean up these types of misunderstandings and move on to more important matters."
The American Motorcyclist Association is a 210,000-member non-profit organization. Established in 1924, the Association's purpose is to pursue, protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists, while serving the needs of its members.