MMA Legislative Update – Ryan’s Bill passes MA Senate unanimously!
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) is pleased to announce that Legislation designed to help prevent motorcycle deaths among junior operators has unanimously passed the Massachusetts Senate with a 35-0 vote and is headed to the House of Representatives.
Dubbed “Ryan’s Bill” in memory of Brockton’s Ryan Orcutt, this bill is designed to emphasize the need for formal rider-training for junior operators. Recent RMV statistics show 79% of those involved in motorcycle accidents have never received rider-training.
“This is a great step forward in reducing motorcycle fatalities” commented MMA Safety & Education Director, Doc D’Errico, “especially considering that 35% of all motorcycle fatalities in Massachusetts are under the age of 29 and the majority have no Rider Education. When you look at just this age group, although the total numbers of riders are lower, the percentages of fatalities and untrained riders are higher! This bill now offers young riders a choice towards education or gaining more real-world road experience before sitting on the saddle.” “Sadly, Ryan Orcutt was one of those statistics”, Doc continued, “to have this bill named after him is an honor to Ryan’s memory and others like Danny Wood who can now be remembered as positive role models for future generations of riders”.
Ryan Orcutt of Brockton MA, was just 16 when he lost control of his brother’s motorcycle and crashed on March 20, 2009, causing his fatal injuries. Acknowledging the MMA as the leader for motorcycle issues in the Commonwealth, a total of twenty-five (25) Beacon Hill legislators have publically signed on as co-Sponsors to this safety initiative.
Public hearings held at the State House on October 6, 2009 included testimony from MMA members and approximately 40 students and faculty from the SouthEastern Regional Technical High School. In addition to their testimony, Ryan’s former classmates also delivered approximately 700 letters to Transportation Committee Members.
Pamela Foster, the schools’ Criminal Justice instructor comments,”To see our students’ hard work coming to fruition is amazing.” “We are very lucky to have been working with the MMA who have been so supportive. We are all so grateful to be a part of honoring Ryan in such a positive way”, adds School Resource Officer Cally Gurney.
The MMA notes that additional legislation currently pending on Beacon Hill, Senate Number 1934 named in memory of Danny Wood, specifically targets the preservation of the Motorcycle Safety Fund that has been in existence since 1987. The current administration has recommended elimination of this important safety fund even though motorcyclists are the only ones contributing to the fund.
Further information can be found at www.MassMotorcycle.org or by contacting LegislativeDirector@MassMotorcycle.org