Dr. Samir Ahmed, the researcher and engineer leading the latest motorcycle crash causation study for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has resigned citing “serious reservations about the value of this study”.
In an email sent on Tuesday, September 11 2012 he announced the following: “I am writing to let you know that I am no longer working on the motorcycle crash causation study. I have serious reservations about the value of study with the existing FHWA involvement. My expectations of the study are very low.”
The study was originally planned to examine 1200 crashes but due to funding difficulties that was cut back to approximately 300, then to 120. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) had raised commitments from its members to provide $3 million to the study but decided not to make the money available for a study with fewer than the 900. It was decided then that the study would use only one location instead of the three that had been envisioned. The reduced study got underway last year.
The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has had some serious questions about this study since its conception. The MRF did not lobby Congress to have the study mandated. “It is no question that we need more information on why motorcycles crash, but with such limited resources in the motorcycle safety world we should be putting them toward proper motorcycle rider education and motorist awareness to prevent crashes.” Said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.