NHTSA was preparing to issue a nationwide mandate on motorcycle ABS in 2010, when it unexpectedly released a report concluding the technology provided no safety benefits. The report’s findings were at odds with dozens of scientific studies dating back decades, many of which were commissioned by NHTSA itself. That body of data proved that motorcycle ABS works as intended and would save the lives of 1,500 motorcyclists a year if made mandatory in the United States, roughly the same number who would be protected by a nationwide helmet law.
Nolan has argued that lobbyists employed by Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson and other motorcycle manufacturers pressured NHTSA to issue the 2010 report and cancel its ABS mandate the following year, allowing the industry to continue selling the technology as an expensive option. The company had access at the time to several lobbyists who had once worked at NHTSA’s highest levels.
Nolan has sent NHTSA multiple Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests in connection with this issue, but the agency has refused to respond. His fight for an explanation has been covered by The Huffington Post.
“I call upon the American Motorcyclist Association, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation, and all state-level motorcyclists’ rights organizations to abandon their allegiance to the motorcycle industry and join me in demanding that NHTSA reconsider mandatory ABS,” said Nolan. “I also call upon Chairman John Thune and the other members of the Senate Commerce Committee to thoroughly question Elaine Chao on her plan for ‘draining the swamp’ when they hold her confirmation hearing. It’s time to clean up the Department of Transportation and NHTSA. The lives of thousands of American motorcyclists hang in the balance.”
About the Motorcycle Action Network:
The Motorcycle Action Network is dedicated to making American streets safer for motorcyclists and the drivers around them. Its founder, Fergus Nolan, has been riding motorcycles since 1973 and is webmaster at bikesafer.com. He has a 2006 Honda ST1300A with an antilock brake system (ABS). He lives in Memphis, Tennessee, where he is a victualler and inventor by day. For more information, see motorcycleaction.org.
Source: Motorcycle Action Network