Motorcycle Advocacy Organizations in the United States
Estimates suggest there are more than 13 million riders in the United States. Riders are a statistically significant part of the populace and the electorate. Both local and federal legislators have an interest in keeping riders happy, and there are many motorcycle rider advocacy organizations that lobby lawmakers to push legislation that protects the rights and safety of riders on the road.
Local and National Organizations
Rider advocacy organizations fall under one of two geographical umbrellas: local and nationwide. Most of the state motorcyclist rights organizations brand themselves with the acronym ABATE and the name of their state.
These separate ABATE organizations lobby state representatives and senators on a slew of local motorcycle issues, including those pertaining to:
- Rider safety
- Motorcycle traffic and equipment laws
- Rider safety education
- Penalties for drivers who put riders in danger or cause accidents that injure riders
In many states the lobbying efforts are directed towards making rider regulations optional instead of mandatory. For example, an ABATE organization may try to lobby state house members and senators to change the current mandatory motorcycle safety course for an M endorsement into an optional course.
There are perks for members in local motorcycle advocacy groups. Members of state ABATE organizations are often eligible to receive discounts at many motorcycle-adjacent businesses that sponsor the advocacy group. Members of ABATE of Virginia can get 10 percent discounts on everything from motorcycle seat upholstery and custom motorcycle work to motorcycle repairs and coffee.
ABATE groups aren’t just about lobbying on things that are good for riders. You’ll frequently find local chapters organizing and participating in charitable events like blood drives, fundraising for local veterans’ causes and putting together educational resources on rules and regulations that affect local riders.
If you visit ABATE of Virginia, ABATE of South Carolina or CBA/ABATE of North Carolina, you’ll find Tom McGrath’s Motorcycle Law Group represented as one of their proud sponsors. We stand behind motorcycle advocacy organizations that fight to protect the freedoms of riders and their safety on the roads.
Riders in Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Georgia can learn more about their local motorcycle advocacy groups at the following websites:
- ABATE of Virginia
- ABATE of South Carolina
- CBA/ABATE of North Carolina
- ABATE of Georgia
- ABATE of West Virginia
What Does the ABATE Acronym Mean?
There are a variety of interpretations of the ABATE acronym. The original acronym stood for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments, but some groups now use:
- American Bikers Against Totalitarian Enactments
- A Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education
- American Bikers for Awareness, Training and Education
- American Bikers Aimed Towards Education
- American Bikers Advocating Training and Education
The American Motorcycle Association (AMA)
The AMA advertises itself as the largest motorcycling organization in the world, boasting more than 200,000 members. The AMA does do some advocacy work in Washington D.C. but also puts a lot of resources towards various sports and racing activities. They’ve recently lobbied for increased federal trail funding legislation for dirt bike riders and the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports Act.
Not all of their advocacy is focused purely on the sports and racing side of riding. They also helped get bipartisan support for The Motorcyclist Advisory Council Reauthorization Act, which is intended to ensure motorcyclists have a voice in U.S. Department of Transportation infrastructure design.
Other National Motorcycle Advocacy Organizations
The majority of motorcycle laws that affect riders on a day-to-day basis are state traffic laws, which is why local ABATE chapters and other state motorcycle organizations tend to have the greatest real-world impact on riders. However, there are some broad federal laws and federal funding that can also have both short- and long-term effects on riders.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), which was founded by leaders of State Motorcyclists’ Rights Organizations (SMROs) in the 1980s, lobbies to make sure motorcycle interests are included in federal transportation infrastructure plans.
They also lobby U.S. Representatives on Senators on various motorcycle rights issues. The organization was instrumental on Senate Resolution 154 in 2018 that encouraged law enforcement to engage with the motorcycle community to end motorcycle profiling.
National motorcycle advocacy groups also take an interest in laws that may affect riders even if they aren’t specifically targeted at motorcyclists. For example, the MRF advocates for Right to Repair laws that allow consumers (including riders) to self-repair or use third-party repair shop instead of being forced to go through a manufacturer.
The Motorcycle Law Group Is Proud to Sponsor Local and Nationwide Motorcycle Advocacy Groups
The lawyers at the Motorcycle Law Group are committed to fighting for motorcyclists in court, in state capitols and in the United States’ capitol. As the firm that rides, we have a vested interest in helping organizations that advocate for the freedoms of riders as well as rider safety.
If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident or lost a loved one in a motorcycle crash, our Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, West Virginia and Georgia motorcycle lawyers are ready to fight for you. Call us at (855) 529-7433 for a free consultation.