Iowa DOT News Release



Registration opens for April 29 Motorcycle Safety Forum

Posted on: January 25, 2011

AMES, Iowa – Jan. 25, 2011 – Registrations are now being accepted for the Eighth Annual Motorcycle Safety Forum. The Iowa Traffic Safety Alliance, a diverse partnership of highway safety practitioners in engineering, enforcement, education and emergency services, is facilitating the event from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29 at the Scheman Building on the Iowa State University campus in Ames. 

Last year’s forum was a sold-out event, so do not wait too long to register. Registration is $10, with lunch and breaks provided. 

The forum brings together stakeholders, including individuals representing the Iowa Motorcycle Rider Education Program, Iowa departments of Transportation and Public Safety, and motorcycle associations, along with enthusiasts, riders and dealers.

The theme for this year’s event is Ride Bright – Be Smart Be Seen. The focus is on “conspicuity,” which means easily seen or noticed; readily visible or observable; and attracting special attention. 

There are plenty of ways motorcyclists can increase their safety, including being more conspicuous to other roadway users and continuing on a path of lifelong learning, which could include participation in a rider training course designed to help motorcyclists hone their riding skills. 

This one-day, interactive forum will be highlighted by safety displays, rider training, vendor booths and other motorcycle-related exhibits. 

Forum attendees will have an opportunity to participate in breakout sessions, including presentations from Imre Szauter, American Motorcycle Association (AMA) - Government Affairs; Harry Dietzler, attorney specializing in motorcycle justice; Slider Gilmore, two-wheel trauma expert; and David Hough, AMA Hall of Fame inductee for motorcycle journalism and motorcycle skills course designer.

Motorcycle fatalities have increased significantly, both in Iowa and nationally, since the late 1990s. Iowa has more than 200,000 licensed motorcycle operators and more than 125,000 registered motorcycles. Preliminary data shows 60 people were killed last year while driving or riding on motorcycles in Iowa. This total is close to the recent high of 61 in 2007 and is nearly a 24 percent increase from the 2009 total of 49. Average annual motorcycle fatalities continue to increase among riders age 45 and older. Typically, about half of Iowa’s motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle, and about nine of 10 motorcycle fatality victims were not wearing a safety helmet. 

To register for the forum, contact Iowa State University’s Conference Services by phone at 515-294-6222, fax 515-294-6223 or E-mail UCS-info@iastate.edu. Participants may also register at www.ucs.iastate.edu/mnet/motorcycle/home.html. 

Participants are asked to be prepared to share ideas and thoughts with forum committee members and other riders throughout the day. 

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Iowa highway in the evening