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Motorcyclists Lobby at Capitol

April 13th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Hundreds of motorcyclists converged on the state capitol today wearing bandanas and leather jackets. But despite their unorthodox appearance, Mike Vasilinda tells us as lobbyists they are unusually successful.

They may look a little rough, but these arent your typical hells angels.

Billed as a freedom rights rally, they bring their own version of pomp to the Capitol, but dont be fooled. They have serious legislative business on their minds.

The vice-president of our chapter was run down by a woman on her cell phone, motorcyclist Stephen Vierra said. We want safer roads.

This year the bikers want two things. Tougher penalties for people in cars who cause accidents with bikes. They also want to stop local governments from assessing a fee for showing up at an accident.

Its bad enough that were getting run over, Doc Reichenbach said. And then theyre going to charge us for it.

Despite being unorthodox, these lobbyists are highly successful.

Past successes include ending the mandatory helmet law, stripping punitive provisions from speeding legislation, and securing a half million dollars for motorcycle awareness campaigns. Doc Reichenbach can truly say I did it my way.

Were here as ourselves, Reichenbach said. This is us. Were not going to dress up in a three piece suit and a tie. To try to impress you, because then, were really actually lying.

Their Acronym is ABATE, American Bikers Aiming Toward Education.

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