Ohio motorcycle rider safety training funds saved from transfer
March 01, 2013
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- A
provision in an Ohio House bill that could have made it difficult to determine
how motorcycle rider safety training funds were being spent was deleted after
several motorcycling organizations complained, the American Motorcyclist Association
The AMA, ABATE of Ohio, the Ohio Motorized Trails Association and others told
state lawmakers that the provision was a bad idea because motorcyclists wanted
to ensure that the funds are used for motorcyclist safety training. Lawmakers removed
the provision from the bill, and then on Feb. 28 the full House approve the
bill, sending it to the Senate for further consideration.
The provision was in House Bill 35 -- the proposed state transportation budget.
The language proposed abolishing the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund and
transferring its cash to the State Highway Safety Fund. The Motorcycle Safety
and Education Fund, coupled with student tuition fees, funds the Motorcycle
Ohio rider education program.
Ohio's on-highway motorcyclists support Motorcycle Ohio through $6 from each
motorcycle registration fee paid to the registrar of motor vehicles. That money
goes into the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund.
Imre Szauter, AMA government affairs manager, was among those who testified
against the provision before the House Transportation Subcommittee of the House
Finance and Appropriations Committee on Feb. 15.
"The proposed abolishment of the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund
following transfer of its cash balance to the State Highway Safety Fund is
troubling for several reasons," Szauter testified.
He said those reasons included:
1. Placing motorcycle registration fee money in the State Highway Safety Fund
would make it harder for the motorcycling community to track it.
2. Placing motorcycle registration fee money in the State Highway Safety Fund
would make it easier to divert it for purposes other than motorcycle safety and
3. Motorcycle Ohio, which provides the training, is strongly supported by the
motorcycling community because riders know how the money is being used.
4. The motorcycling community doesn't want money collected from them for a
specific program used for purposes other than motorcycle safety and education.
Szauter also noted that in 2006 and in 2009, the state of Ohio attempted to
raid the Motorcycle Safety and Education Fund. In 2006, the Ohio Controlling
Board received, and later rejected, a request to transfer $750,000 from the
fund. In 2009, then-Gov. Ted Strickland reversed a decision to transfer
$800,000 from the fund. In both cases, the motorcycling community spoke up to
protect the money riders paid to support rider education.
Motorcycle Ohio is a nationally recognized respected rider education program
that provides four training courses for motorcyclists of all skill levels. The
Basic RiderCourse, the Basic RiderCourse for returning riders, the Basic
RiderCourse 2, and the Advanced RiderCourse are taught by dedicated,