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MEETING NOTES: June 18, 2022, River Bend Sports Bar & Grill, Adger, Alabama
In attendance:
Kris Cook
Matthew Schroeder
Shane Coker
Rodney Green
Justin Matney
Blythe Joslin
Amanda Nash
Ken Palmer
Freddy Wheeler
Kris passed out meeting notes from the previous meeting, along with a treasurer’s report. Shane made the motion to approve, Blythe seconded, notes and treasurer’s report are approved.
Freddy and Matt reported on the COC meeting in Dothan. Animal reminded everyone there to complete the Profiling Project questionnaire every year.
No education report, as Fred and Gia were not in attendance.
Blythe gave the webmaster’s report. 328 people have hit our website in the past couple of months. 227 hit our home page, 60 hit the membership page, 35 hit the upcoming events page, and a few hit the other pages too. Blythe gets incredibly thorough analytics for the traffic on our website.
Freddy discussed the reflective helmet sticker legislation that didn’t pass during the last session, and he thinks it will be brought again next year.
We discussed raising the annual dues to $25.00 single and $40.00 couple.
We discussed legislators and who might be friendly to us. Gil Isbell, R-District 28, outgoing, was on our side. Mack Butler is going to win, and is not friendly to us. Victor Gaston, R-District 100, was our ally, but he was redistricted out. This is a big loss for us. Mark Shirey, running for Representative for District 100, starts motorcycle-related conversations with “I almost died…”
Freddy exhorted us to get in touch with our new incoming state legislators. Kris has tried to get in touch with Jamie Kiehl, R-District 18, and did make contact, but there wasn’t time for a conversation. Jamie is the legislator that brought the helmet freedom bill last season. We need to develop that relationship. Freddy reminded us that we need to lean on other organizations to help us. He reached out to Michael Sayre, of the AMA, and they did a call to action on HB24 for us. Letters work better than emails.
Freddy reported on meeting with the committee considering the reflective tape on helmets bill. He spoke about conspicuity vs. perception and why just requiring reflective helmets wouldn’t really help the problem. He said when we ask to have legislation written, we need to make sure it contains motorcycle-aware verbiage. The general public has a negative perception of motorcycles to begin with.
We need to invite Michelle Lunsford to one of our meetings. She is the Birmingham state rep for Hands Free Alabama.
Dixie ABATE has a new chapter! The Southwest Alabama Chapter of Dixie ABATE is up and running in the Mobile/Baldwin/Washington county area. Freddy Wheeler is president for a 3 year term. They have around 8 people, and are still organizing. Their short term goal is to gain membership. No changes to Dixie ABATE’s policies and procedures manual are contemplated as of this meeting.
Kris read statistics from some recent Alabama motorcycle fatalities. They were about divided evenly between accidents caused by another vehicle on the road infringing on the riders right-of-way and single vehicle crashes.
We will talk at the next meeting about what legislation to pursue next spring. Choices include a skills test for a motorcycle endorsement and legislation to bring harsher penalties to drivers who hit a motorcycle, and another try at a safe on red bill.
Our next meeting is at 2 PM on Saturday, August 20, in conjunction with our summer retreat at The Secret Bed & Breakfast, AL Hwy 68 W, Leesburg, AL. 35983. Make reservations to spend the night at 256-523-3825