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· Registered
643 Posts
World News Tonight reports on the high cost of feeling the wind in your hair. Motorcycle riders who don't wear helmets can cost taxpayers nearly $10 billion.
Where is the story Titled

World News Tonight reports on the high cost of running a busisness. Operating systems that crash daily and require constant patches and fixes cost consumers nearly $10 billion per day.

· Registered
456 Posts
ABATE is on it already heres the story and addresses to voice your opinion to the network and the addvertisers

Here's the complete text of what was said on the ABC World News Tonight
program aired on 8/16/02. Elizabeth Vargas was the Anchor. The story
reporter was Jeffrey Kauffman.

I will be putting together a form letter for anyone to use. Give me few
minutes. Cindy and Mike (Freewheelin') from NC are putting together the
list of advertisers and their contact info for any who would like to put
pressure on the sponsors of this program. They have also given me many,
many statistics to use in our form letter.

Stay tuned and let the bastards have it.
See below for the list of sponsors....


Vargas: "We're going to explore the cost of Freedom tonite - in this
case, the very high cost of being free to "wear" a motorbike without a
helmet. And it's the taxpayers who are picking up the bill. in 1975 only
three (3) states allowed motorcyclists to ride without helmet (graphic
showing California, Iowa and Illinois) Today thirty (30) states allow it
for most riders.
"Florida joined that group two (2) "months" ago and doctors say it
has had disastrous consequences"
"It's your money - here's ABC's Jeffrey Kaufman".

Kauffman: "To bikers, (roar of a Harley)...this is how motorcycles were
meant to be."

Florida Biker Jim Vugrich: "The wind in your hair, the freedom you feel"

Kauffman: "It's not just about comfort, it's about the constitution"

Florida Biker Ernie Russo : "We all like our freedoms and we won't lose
our freedom."

Kauffman: "Passions like that help explain why bikers have pushed so
hard - so successfully to overturn helmet laws in most states. But
there's a big cost not just to bikers to bikers. Here in Florida, after
two (2) years without mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, trauma unit
doctors say they are treating more and more patients who hit the road
without a helmet."

Dr. Lawrence Lottenburg, Director of Trauma and Critical Care, Memorial
Regional Hospital, Hollywood, Florida: "The law that we have now in
Florida requires unhelmeted motorcyclists to have a $10,000 personal
injury protection insurance policy. We'll use $10,000 in this room in 20

Kauffman: "A study here in Florida (Journal Trauma) found that 2/3 of
all bikers had no insurance leaving the taxpayer with the bill. And for
those riding without helmets, the average medical cost rises to $55,000.
The federal government estimates taxpayers and insurance companies would
save 10 billion dollars if all bikers wore helmets. (Quoting NHTSA -
1998) Eugene Williams was happy to ride without a helmet until the night
a car pulled into his path. He spent 2 months in a coma - almost 2 years

Eugene WIlliams: "I really didn't understand the importance of a helmet
until I made an example out of myself."

Kauffman: "So, if the arguments for helmets is so strong, how did bikers
get rid of helmet laws in so many states? The thing you have to
understand about bikers is they may not wear suits or roam the corridors
of power, but they know how to make people listen. It comes down to
nothing more than the old-fashioned art of lobbying."

Lobbyist Chuck Wilde: "We support the legislators that support us and we
get out and vote and we vote out the ones that won't support us."

Kauffman: "Trauma doctors say that the freedom that bikers cherish cost
lives and your money. They want mandatory helmet laws brought back. But
when it comes to counting votes, there are more bikers than doctors.

This is the addy for World News Tonite.


This addy is for TV related questions & comments:

[email protected]

This page is for comments or problems.


For general ABC Network queries please call: (212) 465-7777

Bernard Gershon - Senior Vice President and General Manager
Steve Jones - Executive Producer

Many thanx to Mike and Cindy of North Carolina for putting this all
together. In case anyone out there wants to get in touch with the
sponsors of tonite's program, express your displeasure, to inform them
that you will NOT be buying their products and that you will tell ALL
your friends that you won't be buying their products. Money talks -
bullshit walks. If enough people let these sponsors know how pissed we
are - they might exert pressure on the news agency to do a better job of
fair and balanced reporting. Not just the doctors side of this issue,
but OUR side of this issue.


Whiskas is owned by Mars... go to www.kalcan.com and it takes ya to Mars

website, makers of pet foods, mars bars, m&ms, snickers, twix, etc.

Minwax site gives an email address - - [email protected]

Caltrate and Fiber-Con are owned by Wyeth laboratories... email to
[email protected]

Plavix is owned by Bristol Myers/Sanofi. I could find no real contact
information that seemed like what we would want at this point.

Ziploc is an SC Johnson company. 1525 Howe Street, Racine, WI*

Nexium is owned by Astra Zeneca. President of company is David R.
Pres & CEO. Site lists no address or contact info. BUT.. Rachael
Bloom-Baglin, Senior Director, Corporate Communications 302-886-7858
says she handles overall business information)

Dawn and Tide both are owned by Proctor & Gamble. 301 East Sixth
Street, PO
Box 599, Cincinnati, OH 45201

Polident is owned by Glaxo Smith Kline. All I got was R&D info but they

have a big office here in Raleigh.. will check more.

Frontline flea product is owned by Merial, which is owned jointly by
and Avantis.. two big drug companies. Still working on finding best

Office Depot: [email protected] is the best I could

Cheerios is owned by General Mills. PO Box 200 Minneapolis, MN 5540.

Centrum, Caltrate, and Fiber-Con is owned by Wyeth Laboratories. So far
best inclination is [email protected]

Whiskas is owned by Kal Kan Foods which is owned by Mars Inc. (M&Ms,
snickers, twix, etc.) Not sure yet on which is best way to contact.

Minwax - again, incomplete info... [email protected]

AFLAC insurance - 1932 Wynnton Road, Columbus, GA 706-323-3431.
[email protected]

· Registered
456 Posts
Here is the letter ABATE came up with , or you can just use the facts and writh your own.

Well, here is what I came up with. I borrowed many of these facts and sentences from many places and many resources. I hope they don't mind I used them. Cut and paste this email into another email or into the text body of one of the webpages I listed before. Feel free to add or delete anything you want to this letter. Sign your name, giving contact information so ABC knows you're a real person. You take sole responsibility if you use any titles you might have as I am not advocating that - simply mentioning it.
My personal response will NOT be so nice - but most of you figured that out already didn't you?



On August 16th, your ABC Nightly News program ran a piece titled "Costly Ride" concerning the ridiculous assumption that unhelmeted motorcycles are a public burden.

A "social burden" is defined as an individual or group that causes additional suffering or cost to society-at-large without contributing to offset those costs. We should look at the whole idea of whether motorcyclists, helmeted or not, create additional cost to society.

First, to be a burden one must not contribute. Which begs the question, can someone be a burden, if they contribute but do not contribute enough to cover the cost of their expenses?

Covering that shortcoming is what insurance is for, to spread the cost over the many so the few will not be devastated by the traumatic event. Social programs are the safety nets designed to catch those who fail to plan for the extreme and do not buy enough insurance, or those who, for whatever the reason, have fallen into the category of uninsured.

Lets place the motorcyclist into the social fabric and you decide whether there actually is a social burden. In 1998, motorcycle registrations accounted for two percent of all motor vehicles registered for use on public roads in the United States.

The average motorcyclist, according to a 1998 survey by the Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC), is 38 years old, has a median income of $44,250 and almost 59% are married. Just over 31% of the nation's motorcycle owners are in the Professional/Technical category of professions and 36% have completed some college, and an additional 23% are college graduates.

Motorcyclists are just as likely to be privately insured as any other road user. A Harborview Medical Center study reported 63.4% of the injured motorcyclists in the trauma center relied on public funds to pay their hospital bills. According to testimony by David Gitch, director of the Trauma Center, 67% of the general patient population also relied on public dollars to pay their hospital bills in the same time
period. A study by the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research
Center reported that 49.5% of injured motorcyclists had their medical costs covered by insurance, while 50.4% of the other road trauma victims were similarly insured.

The costs associated with the treatment of motorcyclist injuries account for less than 0.001% of total US health care costs. Only a portion of these costs are attributable to unhelmeted motorcyclists, the majority of which are paid by privately-purchased
insurance. The remainder, spread across the taxpayer base (which includes
millions of motorcyclists), is insignificant. Approximately 1.16% of total US health
care costs are attributable to motor vehicle accidents. Motorcycles represented only 0.53% of the accident-involved vehicles nationwide in 1999.

If each accident costs about $55,000 in treatment, and you save $10 billion a year in helmet laws, are you saying that over 181,000 uninsured riders are receiving catastrophic injuries?

Less than 7 million Americans ride motorcycles, and more than half of us are insured.

Over 39 million Americans have no health insurance at all, and are using public medical facilities for primary care. Who is the taxpayer's real burden?

Motorcyclist are just as likely, indeed, more so, to have insurance as any other segment of the motoring public. In a study released in 1998 by the Health Insurance Association of America it was found that 82% of the American public had some type of public or private health insurance. The study conducted by William S. Custer, PhD and Pat Ketsche, MBA, MHA, both of Georgia State University, gathered data tabulations from supplements to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS) for the years 1991 to 1998. We motorcyclists are part and parcel of that 82%! Mandatory helmet usage seems to be the only mantra that the safety nazi's in this country can chant; personal liberties be damned. Yet if one looks at the statistic it is found that mandatory helmet usage has little, if nothing, to do with injuries.

I quote, "Helmet usage is not associated with overall injury severity, discharge
status, or insurance status" (University of N.C. Highway Safety Research Center, 1998)

In another study, released in 1990 by the Arizona Governor's Office on Highway Safety it was found that, "There are no appreciable differences found relative to fatality rate, severity of injury, hospital stay, and discharge status between motorcycle accident victims who wore helmets and those that did not."

As you can see, we're just as likely to be insured and mandatory helmets aren't the answer.

The MRF (Motorcycle Riders Foundation) today, August 16th, 2002 at 1pm, addressing the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators in Boise, Idaho. The AMA (American Motorcyclists Association) and many State Motorcycle Rights Organizations are also in attendance.

The REAL answer is for NHTSA, the governmental entity charged with correcting safety issues, to turn from the flawed philosophy of "safer crashing" and focus it's efforts on the promotion of motorcycle education and awareness.

I encourage you to contact the MRF, the AMA and other organizations whose sole purpose is to reduce motorcycle accidents and save lives. The other side of this story should be told so that the American public can decide for themselves. You are not doing the public any service at all by not reporting both sides of this issue in a fair and balanced way.


· Registered
1,547 Posts
I will be seeing Amy Vargas (her sister works with me) next week and will ask her about feedback from the story, as well as forward the responses from this sight...

· Banned
4,497 Posts
This reeks of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the lobbying arm of the insurance industry which spews propaganda and misinformation to the media. The insurance industry doesn't care one bit about safety, only about NOT PAYING OUT while you continue to pay in.
Ever wonder why a quality helmet costs an arm and a leg? Because boneheads get drunk, smash up their bikes then sue the helmet manufacturers when they get hurt. So a good portion of a helmets cost goes to liability insurance. The industry doesn't want to lose this business so they push for helmet laws.
As FLHT points out, that "social burden" arguement is a load of crap. It has been disproven for years yet it won't die. The IIHS doesn't care about facts as long as they can get a knee-jerk reaction out of enough ignorant bystanders who vote.
The only defense we have is to support OUR lobbying groups like ABATE and AMA. Remember - freedom isn't free, it's a constant battle with the assholes who want to crush it


· Registered
176 Posts
What is the taxpayer cost for the following?

1) Homeowners who rebuild their homes in flood prone areas, only to have the
new homes washed down the river or into the ocean again a few years later...
2) The health costs of people who have piss-poor eating habits and sedentary
lifestyles...gobbling Twinkies and cheetos by the bag full and then croaking
of a heart attack before they are 60...(while watching "Jerry Springer" of
3) The cost in dollars and human suffering caused by a judicial system that
allows repeat offenders to be released early, causing even more mayhem...
4) Our JOKE of a driver training system which allows just about ANY
incompetent jack-ass to get behind the wheel and allows them to stay
there...the only thing that gets them off the road is a head stone of them
and others...
5) Foreign aid to tin-horn dictatorships that don't even allow our aid to
reach the masses of poor and starving who need it...
6) Etc. Etc....

Those shows and segments in the media are about $$$$ and SOMEBODY'S agenda.
feeling about that stuff after 40-some years of living is...
WHEN IN DOUBT, FOLLOW THE MONEY, you will always find your answer.

'03 White Pearl 1200S due in Nov.

· Just Like to Ride
2,664 Posts
Crawdaddy, excellent points. I've said the same for years. Let's look at Desert Storm back in 90's(oh, wait, didn't last long enough to qualify for added years, did it? :D ). People kept hollering that we were over there to defend poor Kuwait from the aggressor.

Desert Storm was about OIL, pure(pun intended) and simple. We were about to lose a major supplier of it and couldn't be held captive to someone as enemy being in control.

Damn, we(we being US gov't) didn't say JACK**IT to Russia when they invaded Afghanistan in 80's. We might have behind the scenes helped the rebels(oops, that bit us on ass, didn't it?:rolleyes: ) but that's it. We didn't say anything to China when they were killing dissidents in Tianamen(spelling) Square. We've never really taken a 'diehard' stand on apartheid in South Africa when that was prevalent. And don't get me started on our war on drugs (yeah, right :rolleyes: )

I worked with a guy who graduated West Point and was assigned to Desert Storm while it was going on. He got out of military because idiots were in charge. He said that rest of Middle East HATED the people of Kuwait because they have so much money and they way they are setup, they have to bring people in from out of country to do normal work.

· EvilMonger
6,912 Posts
I sure would like to know the statistics on underinsured head injury costs for automobiles and trucks. I bet it would be astonomical, why aren't they pushing for helmets in cars? Too many cars too few bikes I guess were the easier target, or are we? Send Emails and letters to the station and sponsors!

· Registered
307 Posts
Over the years most of the accidents that I have seen or heard from other folks about, were a cage hitting the bike. If any extra training is needed, it is for the car and truck drivers to take. These people with cell phones, playing with the radios, applying make-up and such need to be fined as soon as the legislaters get off their duffs and make such acts illegal. The bluehairs that should not be behind the wheel, should have driver testing every few years to mae sure they are safe drivers. The judges sentencing for attemted homocide should fit the crimes and not a slap on the wrist. Education is a must for all riders, but the general population needs it just as much or more than we do. Rant off.
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