Contact State of Michigan ABATE Awareness Officer: E-Mail

March 2015



ʘ Awareness Support Form PDF

  ʘ Motorcycle Safety PSA - Click here

How to get a Proclamation PDF

  ʘ Pre-order forms for 2015 (classroom supplies)

ABATE Awareness Donation

Your donation will go toward classroom & printed materials to help increase public awareness and safety of all motorcyclist.

ABATE OF MICHIGAN would like to Thank You in advance for your kind consideration
and donation.

ʘ Awareness logo contest rules
ʘ May is Motorcycle Awareness Month - PSA

MADNESS IN THE MONTH OF MARCH................... Well, the State Seminar 2015 is in the books. It was great to see that everyone had a blast throughout the weekend. Now, it's time to get the two/three wheels on the ground rolling again.

All the regions received their awareness supplies and yard signs. A BIG shout out to all our Awareness Instructors and their families for the sacrifices you make and on your continuous hard work.  Getting the young minds to be more aware of what's around them will help make our riding season more enjoyable. So, just remember, our goal is to have fun with these students in the driver’s education classes, and help them to see that there is more to us then black leather and chrome.  Please share this funny the next time you have a class, and show these kids that no matter what they think - we are always "AWARE"!


Now is the time to get focused on the upcoming spring season. March is the month that we need to get started on where and when the proclamations will be distributed. Don't forget, meeting all local officials is another way for us to make an impact. Showing the communities that we care for everyone on the roads. From pedestrians and bicyclists to motorcycles, we are a small spec in the driver’s eyes. GET THE WORD OUT!

JUST A REMINDER to all R/C's and Awareness Coordinators..................... The yard sign count and money must be sent to me so that I may keep better track of our inventory. All checks will still be written to ABATE OF MICHIGAN, and I will forward the payments to Mimi Spomer. This way, we can keep an accurate account on all the yard signs. Your cooperation is very important to this program, and in keeping the education in the public eye.

SHOW YOUR LOVE TO SOMEONE SPECIAL... February is the month to give the one you love something special. Why not, give the gift that will last all year long. A "LOOK TWICE" yard sign...Still only $10...

Remember, love is a valuable asset in everyone's lives.

Ride safe and be free.  Mark

FATHER TIME HAS LEFT AND BABY NEW YEAR IS RIDING INTO 2015... Well, the time has come to kick in the New Year, the right way! The ABATE awareness program has great plans to look forward to. All regions are doing a great job teaching the young and old drivers to "LOOK TWICE". CONGRATS to all coordinators and members who are making an impact throughout the state of Michigan. This is our home to ride safe and ride free...

We are very excited to have Nathan Bower’s family, Kelly Gooch (Miss Capital City) and a few State Representatives/Senators backing the awareness program for this year. We are all working together to make a positive statement for the future of our organization. Building a solid foundation for all riders is where we are headed.

One thing that keeps me going, as your Awareness Director, is the way we (ABATE members) are presenting ourselves to everyone in this state. There are people who don’t know who ABATE is, but we have many who are reaching out to us for information. These individuals range from students to professionals. They have questions that need to be answered. Mind you, they are coming to a bunch of “BIKERS” for these answers… JUST AWESOME! Where else can we be so proud to be a part of an organization that has that kind of influence.

I could never do this alone, without looking around to each region for the way YOU make it happen. From the rural town to capital city, we are ABATE OF MICHIGAN…

And finally… THANKS to all the awareness supporters who have given their generosity throughout the year to allow this awareness program to move forward. It means so much that we have you to make this possible.

Happy New Year,


THE SEASON OF CHANGE IS UPON US............ November is the month for the awareness program to look forward to 2015. Awareness classes are still growing with new laws being placed on the books. The Nathan Bower Act (HB 5438) makes it mandatory for motorcycle/bicycle awareness in all segment 1 drivers’ education classes. That means, a challenge for all ABATE regions to focus on getting into the local classes to educate all students. LET'S MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Also, I presented to the Board and R/C's the new design for bumper stickers that will be sold through state products and a special "generic" design for local law enforcement. They will be available in January at the seminar. This will give us more exposure throughout Michigan. Getting the word out is a never ending job for all members of ABATE.

ATTENTION AWARENESS COORDINATORS: All R/C's have received the new pre-order forms for 2015. These forms must be filled out and returned to me by DECEMBER 1, 2014 so I may place an order to be ready for the seminar. These forms are for classroom supplies plus your "FREE" surplus of yard signs to sell. If any awareness coordinator has any questions; please don't hesitate to call/text/email me.

There is a downloadable form available on our ABATE website in two locations: on the Awareness Page (above) and also on the Links and Forms Page.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving...

Ride safe and be free,


HOW TIME FLIES WHEN YOU'RE HAVING TOO MUCH FUN............... The summer riding season is coming to a close. With that, leaves,debris and many other things are on the roads we ride. Knowing how to protect yourself during this time of year is vital for the end of the riding season. October is a month that drivers do not expect us to still be on the road. If you are planning on riding, not only keep your eyes and ears open, but also dress warm or make sure to have someone warm to hold on to.


 It was truly amazing to see that so many "LOOK TWICE" yard signs were sold throughout the state of Michigan. Every region did an awesome job promoting awareness and getting the word out. But, let's not forget that this is just the beginning. Awareness runs 365 days a year/ 7 days a week. Remember to EDUCATE, EDUCATE, EDUCATE...

School is back in session... Keep eyes open for all school buses in your areas. If we do the right thing, our children will follow our lead. Guidance is the first step in teaching children and others how to protect themselves. So, make sure to follow the laws regarding school buses on your daily rides.

The awareness program is working on new ideas for 2015. We can never take for granted that what we do today will work tomorrow. Keeping ahead of the next curve in the road is important when dealing with the public. So,  keep the rubber on the road and your eyes looking into the future...

Be safe and ride free,


SHOWING OUR TRUE COLORS... Throughout Michigan, the yellow and black yard signs are blooming all over. Every region has stepped up their program to promote awareness in their communities. It's great to see what kind of impact ABATE is making. LET'S KEEP IT UP!..

Before I continue, I want to send out a big "THANK YOU" to every member for their generosity and hard work in doing their part. As the State Awareness Director, I learned a long time ago that you can't do it alone. This program is not just about team work, but that we are a family unit. Blood, sweat and tears make us who we are. I am privileged to be a part of this family... Thank you again.

Now, back to what's been going on with the awareness program this summer. We were invited to attend the ABC Harley Davidson/WRIF Biker Bash at the DTE Energy Music Theatre. A great turn out of over several thousand bikes and riders. Mike Poage and I heard great music while talking to old/new friends. The day was a great chance for ABATE to be a presence to many.

Nathan Bower's family welcomed Region 7 and me for their annual ride. The ride benefits their love of the son they lost. Getting the chance to be a part of this day was very special to everyone who attended. State Representative Terry Brown was also present to give the ride its blessing and praise the family for their hard work on Nathan's Law (HB 5438). So, remember to contact your SENATOR and let them know to support this educational bill.

Let us not forget... Region 13 lost a member this year. Mike Lofton was killed doing what he loved (RIDING). His legacy continues on by his loving wife, Brandy. The family wanted to give back to the awareness program by placing donation canisters throughout Jackson County in his name. Their efforts are not forgotten by their generosity and time. Mike's wife and family are another inspirational story of love for us all. Without their efforts, we couldn't make a difference... Thank you!

ONE MORE FOR THE ROAD... A new product has been born. I have designed a novelty metal road sign for all to purchase. For only $60, you can get the new sign through state products. We only made a very few to start... BUT REMEMBER that these cannot be placed on the side of the roads. They can be used in your yard (10 feet from the street) or in the man cave.

Ride safe and be free,


IT’S TIME TO INTRODUCE… Spirit of the State, Kelly Gooch. She is running for Miss Michigan 2014 with the platform of Motorcycle Awareness. Kelly reached out to ABATE about 8 months ago, wanting to get involved with our program. Like us, she has dedication and passion towards all bikers. We are very proud to be part of her mission of education and moving forward to reach the younger generation about motorcycle safety/awareness.

Kelly’s story is one that we are our all too familiar with. In 2012, she lost her brother in a motorcycle accident. She knows what it’s like to go through the loss of a family member. Being a strong individual with admiration, Kelly is working hard to become a figure others can look up to. She will be a great spokesperson and asset for ABATE and for all we are working to achieve.

During the Freedom Rally in Lansing, we had the honor and privilege to be introduced to the Bower family. Clint and Tammy Bower lost their son, Nathan on May 6, 2009 in a motorcycle accident. Their loss is being memorialized in HB 5438 (Nathan’s Law). This law changes drivers’ education classes in Michigan to put more emphasis on motorcycle/bicycle safety. ABATE Awareness is supportive of this bill and what it means to all riders.

It is amazing to know how far this awareness program has come. We have seen victories through the losses and knowing that these two stories are intertwined by the passion of getting education/safety to the next level. I am proud to be part of the growth of ABATE Awareness. The road ahead is unknown, but I can’t wait to see where it takes us.


Be safe and ride free,



UNANIMOUSLY PASSED... The TIP Bill is now on the books. It makes all riders require a CY endorsement on their licenses. A great VICTORY for ABATE of Michigan. Let's give thumbs up to all our representatives and senators for making this happen.

BUT FIRST... Did you know that without a CY endorsement on your license, your insurance company does not have to cover you in an accident that was your fault? It's true... In their eyes, you are riding illegally. Make sure you know the laws/rules of what your insurance company is covering. Many riders have no knowledge that there are stipulations regarding what is covered. Get with your insurance agent and know what your policy covers. We, as ABATE members, need to EDUCATE ourselves before we can educate the public.

NOW, it’s time to show how the Awareness Program is making an impact. I have been honored to be able to place new decals and bumper stickers throughout Monroe County. It was an opportunity to work with local businesses and law enforcement. I would like to "THANK" Sheriff Dale Malone & the Monroe County Sheriff Dept. and Complete Packaging for allowing us to promote motorcycle awareness. Their belief in what we are trying to do is dedication to us all.

I am also proud of all the regions throughout Michigan in striving to make our awareness program stronger. THANK YOU for being so dedicated in your hard work. We are an organization that cannot be touched!

Be safe and ride free,



ABATE AWARENESS is moving forward on all cylinders to make this a safe riding season. It takes everyone to participate: by getting yard signs in the ground, talking with your local legislators, proclamations, class education, radio PSA's and much more. Working as a TEAM, is the only way to show the public that we are here to make an impact…

Over the past year, I have seen this program make leaps forward to safeguard ourselves as riders. Each region has made awareness a vital part to their meetings. I want to "THANK" all the members/RC's for their hard and dedicated work to make it possible. ABATE of Michigan knows how important educating the public is. I am very excited to see the new yard signs flying out onto the streets. The effort of all is highly appreciated...

NOW... Where do we go from here?

ONLY UP!... OR DOWN, depending on where you live. LANSING BOUND!... Our work needs not to be overlooked. The legislators and representatives in each area need to be educated. Get them into your Awareness classes or in your regional meetings. Have them donate generously to our cause...DON'T JUST SIT THERE ON YOUR HANDS AND EXPECT SOMEONE ELSE TO DO IT! GIVE UNTIL IT HURTS...I am working on a next project for Awareness. Can't give out details yet, but it will continue to make us an impact onto the public eye. Just keep looking and soon you will see........ Remember to "LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE...WE ARE ALL OUT THERE."

Be safe and ride free,


P.S......... I want to thank Region 6 & 20 for allowing Danielle and I to participate in their regional activities. We had a great time and enjoyed their hospitality.

SPRING HAS FINALLY SPRUNG............ With that in mind, Steve Morris (ABATE member/brother) has an important message to send to us all:

Motorcycle awareness is something we all like to be aware of and share with anyone we can as a rider of a motorcycle. But before we hit the road again for another season of fun on two wheels we should all take time to make sure out bikes are ready for the road after setting all winter. After all, even if we are prepared mentally and physically for anything that other drivers on the road can throw at us, it is even better if our motorcycles are up to that challenge mechanically. I run my own business and have been turning wrenches since my early teens. In my years of working as a mechanic, I have worked for two local motorcycle dealers, and to this day I work on more than just my own. Now in my late 40’s, I figured I would take a little time to share some of my knowledge with the other members of ABATE. Most of these items you can find in your owner’s manual that came with your bike from the factory and they are the best source for your particular motorcycle you drive. 

The one item that provides us with contact with the road is our tires, making sure they are properly inflated is the first thing to check after setting all winter. Make sure the tires are at the recommended pressure for your particular motorcycle and the load carrying capacity is one thing you should check before you even put the key in the ignition. Low tire pressure can not only cause handling issues, but left go long enough can even cause a tire to blow out under certain conditions. A tire pressure gauge is something that should be kept on a bike and used regardless the time of year. You would be surprised how many tire loose air pressure regardless of tube type or tubeless, when in doubt! Check it! When you check the tire pressure also take a moment to look at the tire, does it still have a tread on it? If you have to wipe the dust off the tire to make out the tread grooves. It is way past being safe! Is the tread cupped or ruff feeling as you rub your hand across it? Are the side walls showing signs of cracks or checks as they are also called? And this one may seem silly…. But does the valve stem have a cap on it? When a motorcycle tire is new it has a radius to the tread profile, on rear tires they will tend to wear from the center out to the side and become flat across the tread. They appear thin in the center with plenty of tread on the side of the tire. Once the rear tire flattens out across the profile the tire it will lose its ability to maintain a adequate contact patch with the pavement in a banked turn. If you have ever felt the back of your bike get loose in a turn especially on wet roads, take the time to check your tires condition. Front tires will sometimes tend to cup or wear funny on one side, this could be signs of incorrect tire pressure, and even loose or worn front end components. Have the motorcycle inspected by a qualified mechanic if you’re not sure, either way a pair of fresh tires and cost to have them installed is way less than an emergency room visit. This photo was taken of my friend’s bike just after being on I-94 in Detroit. We had stopped to see someone and before hoping back on the bike he just happened to do a walk around to check his bike out. As you can see this tire had started to separate and about a two inch diameter piece of the tread is missing. This tire had only been on the bike for less than two years at the time of this failure and even he is pretty good about checking his tire pressure and tires during the year, it can sneak up on you when you least expect it. 

Controls! The throttle, brakes, clutch, are all things that you not only want to check, but make sure they are working correctly. Routine maintenance is a must for any motor vehicle and even more important on a motorcycle. Lubrication of pivot points on levers, lubrication of cables, brake fluids and hydraulic clutch fluids should be changed every year to avoid problems from fluid contamination that are the number one cause of dragging brake, no brakes, and clutch problems with hydraulic clutch motorcycles. If you have your bike serviced every year, take a moment to specifically ask if they simply check the fluid or if they change it. You would be surprised how often this item gets over looked as a part of a service when you simply get a oil change done and figure that is all you need to worry about rite? As I said before your owner’s manual will tell you what maintenance needs to be done and at what mileage. It will tell you how to do basic checks and even how to change your oil if you’re up to the challenge of doing it yourself.

Signals! Head light, turn signals, tail lights, horn, and yes even marker lights. One of the biggest excuses we all hear when it comes to motorcycle accidents involving another motor vehicle is “I didn’t see them” Older motorcycles use to have the option of turning off the head light and even the running lights during the day, most modern bikes built since the early 80’s are required to have the headlight on all the time. During the day this of course helps us to be seen and we all like that! But after the sun goes down it is obvious your headlight works or it doesn’t, one thing that is often overlooked is it aimed correctly? To low and you cannot see the road in front of you, too high and your blinding an oncoming driver heading in your direction. Marker lights front and rear also help to get us noticed, turn signals let others know our intentions with turns and slowing down with a brake light. If they are not working or you simply do not use them, then do not expect other drivers on the roads to know you are about to turn or even stop. A horn is a must on a motorcycle, some models come from the factory with a horn you couldn’t hear in a stiff breeze standing still. If yours is not working or simply not up to the task, spend the time and money to get it fixed. One day it could save your life by getting the attention of that distracted drive wondering into your lane you’re using at that moment.


Besides these tips there are many more to be found in your owner’s manual, regardless of how well you think you know your bike, I challenge you to pick it up, thumb through it and see if there is something in there you didn’t know before or something you may have forgotten. I hope that this article may help a few of you fellow riders out there riding this year to prevent at least one accident that could have been avoided if you would have taken the time to check something out before hitting the road. It is hard enough riding as it is with all the hazards on the road today. Having a motorcycle that can perform when you need it the most in that split second that can determine being just another statistic or having a great story to share with your buddies after a great day of riding,,, Is priceless!  Let’s all try to do our part to lower the numbers of accidents and fatalities of motorcycle riders in the State this year.  

AND A FINAL REMINDER: Proclamations need to be sent to all commissioners throughout the state at this time. Make sure that they get on the docket before your commissioners have their monthly meetings. You can download the proclamation and information on "How To" at EDUCATE the public that MAY IS MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS MONTH.

Be safe and ride free,


JUSTICE FOR FALLEN RIDERS STILL FALL SHORT...I have been following 2 cases for the past several months. Knowing what these families have been through and seeing the injustice in the final outcome is a blow to everything ABATE has worked for. I guess it's time to head to Lansing to get a better understanding on the laws they write.

The first case... Mark Cousineau (November Rider)

I've been involved with the family since they contacted ABATE. Their generous donations to the awareness cause will never be forgotten. But, their story doesn't end here. The verdict of their fathers’ loss has been finalized. The sentence to the driver: Being charged with Moving Infraction Causing Death and will be sentenced under a 9 month delay of sentence. During the 9 months, his behavior will be monitored. If he complies during the 9 months, the charge will be reduced to RECKLESS DRIVING!

The second case... Monroe County, MI

This father of twin 3 year olds was killed while riding to work. His wife reached out to ABATE as well. Her family has placed yard signs throughout the county to make sure this doesn't happen to others. Her love for her husband is continuing through what the awareness is teaching. The verdict for this case is finalized. The sentence for the driver: $3,000 fine. 30 days in jail immediately with 1 year probation; which includes grief counseling, alcohol/drug monitoring. NO OTHER CHARGES!

In the past year ABATE Awareness has made an impact in every community. Our effort has not been overlooked. But this is just the beginning... We need every member of ABATE to stand up and do their part. REMEMBER ONE THING: This could have been one of your family members or friends who lost their lives by a driver who “DIDN’T SEE THEM".

Be safe and ride free,


HAPPY NEW YEAR........... 2014 has arrived. The awareness program is ready to make a solid impact in Michigan once again. I want to again "THANK" all coordinators and instructors for their hard work last year. The word is getting out with positive influence in the state.

Now........ back to business, as usual. The board has voted and approved the purchase of yard signs for the entire state; having the signs available for every member and the public to purchase will help promote safety and education in Michigan. An inexpensive way to know that we can ride without fear of others not looking out for us.

 Each region will have an allotment of signs at their disposal. The signs will be handed out in Midland at the state seminar to your RC's or Awareness Coordinator. Make sure that you get your signs TODAY!

Pricing for the yard signs:

$7.00 for ABATE members

$10.00 for non-members/general public

*Bulk pricing is available

The focus is to emphasize EDUCATION and SAFETY throughout the state. Making sure that we show all Representatives in Lansing and the public that we are teaching motorcycle awareness in a positive way. Having "The Choice" in Michigan takes all regions to work together. The push is to get the "Look Twice" signs out there in every location, if possible.

ABATE of MICHIGAN must continue to move forward and make an impact throughout the state. Awareness needs to be the heart and soul of this organization. New ideas and concepts are what we need to make this happen.

For any members that will be at the seminar........... MIDLAND WEEKEND CRAZY PRICE!!!!!

Call for details..................................

Be safe and ride free,


MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY BIKER NEW YEAR TO ALL, from my family to yours... It's been a very busy 2013 for the awareness program. We've done some great things to reach out to the public in positive ways; from new ideas of awareness logos on buses, to regions getting awareness programs off the ground. Everyone needs to be proud of all their accomplishments. It takes blood, sweat and tears to make this work. I, personally, want to "THANK" all the members for their continued efforts on making ABATE Awareness Program a big success.

Looking back on my first year as State Awareness Director, I am so proud to be working with such devoted volunteers. Our commitment shows solidly in all the communities in Michigan and other states. I can't wait for 2014...

BUT FIRST, we need to wrap up this year.

TO ALL RC'S AND AWARENESS COORDINATORS... I need to get a count of students taught in your regions from this year. Also, any additional events or public advertising your regions accomplished to promote awareness. Please email them to me by DEC. 31st...

I am getting very excited to see what 2014 has in store for our awareness program. Moving forward and striving to reach for new heights is the plan for us all. I am always looking for new ideas and concepts to make this program the best it can be. So, if anyone has anything that will make us stronger, please contact me with your thoughts. We are a TEAM … not individuals when it comes to motorcycle awareness.

See you in Midland,



This is true when we get a call from a family that lost their DAD in a motorcycle crash. Mark Cousineau was an attentive father to his family. He was a mentor, coach, therapist and protector that loved his family more than life itself. With 3 loving children and 5 special grandchildren, Mark was a
SUPERHERO. His family has lost the first love of their lives.

He was an easy going, simple man that everyone loved to be around. People enjoyed his company and listened to his advice. Riding gave him a spiritual freedom that he enjoyed. But, the bond for his family was always first. He was a coach to all the youth in his community. Giving back and never thinking twice about it.

Mark was killed on August 21, 2013 when a driver pulled out in front of him. He was riding that day to celebrate his dad’s birthday, a man he lost in 1983. Riding gave him the chance to reflect on his own father and be one with his thoughts. But that all changed in an instant. Mark and his father were both 51 years of age when they left this life to be together again.

WHY AM I WRITING ABOUT THIS? ...Mark’s family contacted ABATE to make a donation to the Motorcycle Awareness Program. By making this donation Mark’s family wants to do their part to get the word out to help educate the public so perhaps other families would not have to endure this type of tragic loss of a loved one.

This is a story that we all know so well… But, this family were NOT members of ABATE. They knew about our "LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE" slogan, but had no understanding of what ABATE was about. Mark’s family should be a true inspiration to us all.
This is the first time ABATE of MI has ever received a donation from a fallen rider. I have always believed that our actions are vital to this Awareness program. All the hard work IS making an impact in our local communities. Having a positive influence with riders and drivers is essential in everything we do. ABATE members should be proud to be part of this great organization…With that in mind, let’s welcome our 2 NEWEST MEMBERS… Beverly Olsen (Mark’s Mom) and Allison Modrzynski (Mark’s Daughter).


Ride safe and be free,


AWARENESS AND FAMILIES...No matter how we look at it, these two go hand in hand. Being aware of how we teach our families is an everyday lesson. We all want to make sure that every generation has the knowledge to know right from wrong, to understand that families are essential in their lives and by making a difference in the world. In a way, ABATE does that by way of our legislative, judicial and the awareness teams. We stand, as ONE FAMILY, to make an impact on the present and future motorcyclists everywhere. We are not blood related....... well, some of us are. (LOL).... But, we all come together as a family when one goes down or needs a small favor. We are all blessed to have a family like we have with ABATE.

With the ABATE Awareness Team, we go the extra mile to make sure that the general public understands the why's and how's of riding by focusing on every family member from the youngest to the oldest. From the new drivers to the professional drivers, we all need additional education. Making people AWARE of everything around them is a task, in itself.  So, let's make sure we say a big THANK YOU to our family members who take the time to go to driver’s education classes, sit in the heat at fairs/events or who get in front of their own regions to talk about the Awareness program. Without their support and hard work, we would never be able to enjoy a safe ride around the block... YOU ROCK!!!!

A final note to all Awareness Coordinators/Directors and RC's... For additional materials, please go to There are FREE Traffic Safety Materials that you can order to use for your regions...Can't pass this up.

Be Safe and Ride Free,


Another month has gone by and more issues with drivers NOT looking out for riders. Region 18 had one of our own involved with a driver, who lacked the ability of paying attention to bikers on the road. Tim Tipton (Region 18 Awareness Instructor) was run off the road by a driver who pulled out in front of him. Tim hit the side of the vehicle before ending up in a ditch. He received road rashes and bruised ribs/hips from this idiot driver... And you can guess what the driver said: "I DIDN'T SEE HIM." Really??????. Tim had a bright orange awareness shirt ON. Even with florescent colors on, these idiot drivers are still lacking the understanding of LOOKING TWICE.

I am getting to the point that ABATE must get involved with the local court systems and EDUCATE them with the "RIGHT OF WAY BILL".  It is up to all members to be aware of what this bill is about. Region 18 is working diligently, by making calls to the local prosecuting attorney, to make sure this bill is ENFORCED in the recent crashes/fatalities in Monroe County.  If we don't push for this action......... WHO WILL?.

I see so many ABATE regions in this state that only have a handful of members who are involved with Awareness. This lack of interest is making our focus harder to manage. It takes more than a few to make this awareness program work. GET INVOLVED!!!!!!


Be Safe and Ride Free,


SUMMER IS HEATING UP...................... Awareness and safety continues to be, in the forefront of all ABATE members thoughts. Keeping fatalities down in the state is our top priority.  In doing so, we must learn to protect ourselves first. Here are some tips to make sure you are ready to ride in the heat of the summer:

1. RIDING WITH ANOTHER BIKE- Having an additional bike on the road gives oncoming traffic more to view. As well as, giving you security if any problems occur with your bike or any other issues that may arise.

2. LIQUIDS-  Make sure you have a water bottle or ice available when out on a long ride. Dehydration is a big factor while riding in the heat. Keeping fluids in your body keeps you more alert and responsive. Let's make sure we are able to focus on road issues.

3. YOUR BIKE- Make sure your bikes maintenance is updated. Tires are well inflated, chains lubed, cables are tied up and away from any moving parts, all bolts tightened, etc. Let's be sure our bikes are safe on the road for ourselves and everyone else.

4. CLOTHING- Make sure to have the right attire for the weather conditions you will be facing. Think ahead on what you need and don't over dress. Light colored clothing keeps you cooler longer and more visible.

EDUCATE the public by showing them we are a well educated organization. Showing them we care for ourselves and everyone around us makes a strong impression. Let's be the leaders in Michigan for other groups to follow.................................

I also want to let everyone know that the STATE AWARENESS LOGO CONTEST is now over. Do to the lack of interest (not one entry was submitted), I will be working on a design for the state.

Be safe and ride free,


THE DANGER IS STILL AMONG US.................. As the State Awareness Coordinator, I read about accidents involving vehicles and motorcycles way too much. Every region has their fill of them. But, beginning June 2, 2013, Region 18 has had more than our fair share. During the span of 4 days, we had 2 fatalities and 1 with severe injuries.

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT TO SHARE???? ........ All these accidents involved 16 and 17 year old drivers.  Two of these were the result of turning left in front of the motorcycles and one by crossing over the center line. As an instructor to these new drivers, we preach to them about paying more attention to their surroundings and to LOOK TWICE or even THREE TIMES. The consequences for these actions must be enforced. Even the older drivers must be aware of the laws, including THE RIGHT OF WAY BILL. Continuing to educate the public is our main focus. Every member should have an understanding about how the awareness program operates and what is taught in these driving schools.

I know we can't reach everyone, but every region should make a valiant effort to, at least, educate their members. What would it take to make ABATE members WAKE UP?..... Losing another one of our own? ......... Or having ourselves being crippled for life?

Remember it takes hard work to make things happen. Making ABATE Awareness a TEAM program is the focus on all members. Let's show we can work together for a safer summer............ "UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL."

Be safe & ride free,


Now that May is in our rearview mirror, we need to keep our focus on EDUCATING the public. We, as ABATE members, need to show others the importance of looking twice while on the roads. Not just looking, but to make sure talking and texting on the phones are not to be used while driving.

Teaching the young drivers is simple. The adults and elderly are the next focus to our class teachings. How do we do that? By making sure we get our faces in the public eye at festivals and fairs this year. Getting the chance to be face to face with the general public and educating them about what awareness is doing to make it safe for all of us. ABATE members must work TOGETHER. Don't EXPECT your brothers and sisters to do it all. We are an organization that must become a one, solid unit to show others we do care.

Remember........... ABATE is working hard on making sure every rider is ENDORSED. Being leaders are what we need to be. Showing the new and seasonal riders that getting the "CY" on their license can save money, as well as, their lives. It's a benefit to us all.

Show your pride in your organization! Every ABATE member should have a yard sign up.  This is a great way to show our communities we are not all about CHOICE, but more about CHOOSING to make a difference.


Be safe and ride on,


MAY is Motorcycle Awareness Month!...............

 We finally made it. Spring has somewhat sprung. I hope everyone has focused on what it takes to make sure we, as ABATE members, are getting the word out to the general public about watching out for motorcycles.

 The Proclamations should be in the hands of all local and county commissioners by now. Make sure to have several ABATE members there for representation and to accept the proclamation. It's a great opportunity to get one on one with your elected officials and show them we are an organization that cares.

Don't forget about PSA's for your local radio stations. Make sure they can help by giving us 20-30 second spots on their airways.  All information is available on the ABATE website under the Awareness link.

Yard signs should be out in EVERYONE'S front yards! If you don't have one........ GET ONE! They are only $10. An inexpensive cost compared to your life.

The next agenda for ABATE members is to educate ourselves and others on getting Motorcycle ENDORSEMENTS on our licenses. There are over 48,000 non-endorsed riders in Michigan. Are you one of them? Get to the nearest riders safety class and get it. No more excuses!  And I've heard all the stories:....... Been riding for years............... Why do I need to get one now................. I don't have the time............ It's only for the new riders........................ Etc.


Be safe and ride free,


COUNTDOWN BEGINS.............. It might be April, but May is right around the corner. For ABATE, it's the beginning of Motorcycle Awareness month. Not only do we focus on Proclamations to all commissioners in our regions, but we need to get ready to move forward in all other venues.

PSA (Public Service Announcements) are a great way to get the word out to the general public. Everyone has radio stations in their area. It doesn't take much to just ask for them to put a 20-30 second spot on their stations. 

Yard signs and other materials are another way to get our point across to the public. Making an effort to put our products in the EYES of others is essential. Awareness is not that hard to do. Every region will have rides or events in May. Make sure you have your materials available.

One important factor is to understand that EDUCATION is key to prevention.

Every ABATE member should be knowledgeable in the political and awareness programs and be able to show others how they are working for us all. We are a TEAM organization. Let's show that we are ONE.  Working together is our main goal.

Also, be sure to get your CRAYONS and MARKERS out…. The Awareness Logo Contest is still going on!

Be Safe and Ride Free,


What's the definition of AWARENESS: the state or condition of being aware; having knowledge; consciousness.

That is why EDUCATION is so important. Our instructors and awareness teams are always teaching and getting the word out. But, we cannot do it alone. Every MEMBER should have the ability to educate the public about awareness. Taking the time to go to one of the classes should be a top priority. Ask your regional awareness director when the next driving class is or what you can do to help get involved. Never stop learning!

One way to get involved is through Proclamations. This is a great way to introduce yourself to your town, city or county commissioners.  Making everyone aware that May is Motorcycle Awareness Month. It's a great way to represent Abate in a positive way. Showing them that we do care and that we want to educate the public about motorcyclists. Proclamations are an easy presentation to the local commissioners. Plus, IT'S FREE! ............ (see the form or ask for an attachment to be sent to you).

Awareness program consists of many educational materials as well. Yard signs, wristbands, key chains, pens and tri-folds are some of the things we offer. These materials are for the classrooms and the general public. So, let’s make sure to stay in the face of your communities.

Finally....... Get your creative minds in gear. ABATE State Awareness Logo contest is now on!

Spring is near and be safe.



Designating May as Motorcycle Awareness Month

WHEREAS, the Month of May is the nationally recognized month motorcycles become more prevalent on our streets, the need to be aware of their presence is of the most urgency; and

WHEREAS, Motorcycle Awareness Month is designed to increase public awareness about motorcycles; encourage their safe and proper use among motorcycle riders; is worth special recognition; and

WHEREAS, and overwhelming number of car-motorcycle accidents could be avoided with due regard, respect, and awareness of motorcycles on the streets and intersections; and

WHEREAS, the inclusion of motorcycle awareness as a distinct part of driver education curriculum and motorcycle rider education programs will help promote safe driving and motorcycle riding practices; and

WHEREAS, citizens should recognize the fact that motorcycle operators have the same rights and privileges as operators of other vehicles on all roads and highways; and

THEREFORE, it is in the best interest of our community and the citizens to note the increase in the amount of motorcycle traffic, as we enter the warm weather months, to enable the reduction of accidents and injuries involving motorcyclists.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT PROCLAIMED that I/We, ________________ do hereby recognize May 2013 as


And I/We call this observance to the attention of all our citizens and encourage all motorist and motorcyclist to drive safely.

With the new year starting, there's new looks taking their places. Mike Poage has finally got his wish of freedom from his position as Awareness Director. He handed over the keys to the Awareness Program before the seminar even started (LOL). Thanks Mike, for keeping the program moving forward for the last several years. Enjoy the endless summer breezes and keep the rubber on the pavement, brother.

I am excited to have the opportunity to be elected as the new ABATE of Michigan State Awareness Director. Now, it's my turn to continue to do my voodoo on this Awareness Program. Hoping to build onto this program and to keep our freedom of "CHOICE" here in Michigan. Education is one of the important pieces of ABATE. Lets work together and make this organization a strong force to be reckoned with.

Your new State Awareness Director,

Mark R. Buchanan (Region 18)

(734) 777-7530 call/text

facebook page: Abate of Michigan Region 18 Awareness



  ABATE is stressing car driver awareness of cyclists as a method to prevent motorcycle /car accidents.  The State Police, Office of Highway Safety Planning, (OHSP), under direction from Director Michael Prince, has used the 2012 Federal funds for, “Ride Safe to Ride Again”.   This program is directed to motorcyclists to improve their skills.  ABATE of Michigan believes the emphasis should be on car driver awareness.  Letters on how effective you think “Ride Safe to Ride Again” is can be directed to the Department of State Police, 333 South Grand Avenue, P.O. Box 30634, Lansing, MI 48909.

Ruth Johnson has no input at this time where this Federal money is spent.  It comes to OHSP.  They decide where and how much is spent using Federal Funds.  Each state has a designed agency that has this type of responsibility.  The state police are working from the information obtained or “study” that Sgt. Spinks presented at the state seminar several years ago.

Please support Ruth Johnson, she is a member, and tell her how you feel about, “Ride Safe to Ride Again.”

Wednesday, May 2

10:15-10:30 a.m. Secretary Johnson rides to new conference (times are approximate)

10:30 a.m. news conference starts (News conference should last about 25 minutes)

Grand Rapids Harley Davidson

2977 Corporate Grove Drive

Hudsonville, MI 49426

Sales:  877-596-6387

Service:  877-818-0230

Parts:  877-867-4149

Tuesday, May 15

10:15-10:30 a.m. Secretary Johnson rides to news conference (times are approximate)

10:30 a.m. new conference starts (News conference should last about 25 minutes)

Motor City Harley-Davidson

34900 Grand River Ave

Farmington Hills, MI  48335

Phone:  248-473-7433

Car driver awareness of motorcyclists is critical to our survival.  Car drivers must be made aware not to turn in front of oncoming motorcyclists.  Please make Ruth Johnson and your legislator aware of this. 

Ride Free and Safe,



Did you know that 40% of all accidents involving cars with motorcycles are caused by the car driver that has less than 6 months driving experience?
Did you know that approximately 82% of all accidents are the fault of the car driver not seeing the motorcycle?

Since 1995, members of ABATE of Michigan, Inc. have taught over 60,000 students, that were about to be get their first drivers license, how to be more aware of motorcycles. 

ABATE of Michigan, Inc. is committed to making the general public aware of motorcycles on the roads in Michigan.  One of the ways to achieve a lower accident/fatality rate is to  educate the new driver.  Driver Education instructors are inviting ABATE Awareness Instructors into their classrooms to teach their students important factors on how to prevent accidents involving motorcycles. By making the general public aware of motorcycles on the road, accidents and fatalities will be reduced.


 LOOK TWICE -  SAVE A LIFE – Motorcycles are Everywhere

For more information call: Mark: 734 777 7530



Resolution Commemorating May as Motorcycle Awareness Month article here

Do you want to ride these?

This is Terry (Region 14) here.  Preaching from the been there, done that, got the T-shirt, sucks to be me, pulpit!  Riding weather is here and we want to go but what do we want to ride? 


Or these?

Trust me it sucks sitting home, mangled limbs propped up, watching the world go by while you just sit in pain.  With the awareness program we can help stop the slaughter!

Think About It!, Terry


Hey, this awareness program is a good thing, glad you guys do it.  How many times have we heard that?  Have you ever said that?  Well, Bull S__t.  Get off your butt and do something to save it.  The gift that keeps on giving (even though unwanted) is a wreck.  Yes, it can happen to you, no matter how careful you are.  It goes something like this:  June 26, 2004 a jerk runs a stop sign and T-bones you on your bike.  You did everything you could think of to get out of his way, but he hit you anyway.  You spend 3 days in the hospital while they take x-rays (should glow in the dark by now), CT scans, blood tests, poking, prodding, twisting and not to mention the scrub brush and antiseptic they use to scrub the dirt out of your road rash, and then they ask “Does this hurt”?  The doctors come in for 3 days and tell you the leg must go until you insist on finding a Dr. willing to try to fix it.  June 28, 6 ½ hours of surgery and 2 days in bed with no movement and they tell you they fixed it as best as possible.  June 31, Rehab starts, they teach you how to walk with a walker, how to use stairs, how to use the bathroom, how to get in and out of bed, chair car etc....  You practice their techniques every day.  Wow it is now ironically July 4th, Independence Day!  You get out of the hospital and spend the afternoon resting up for the long ride home (the accident happened out of state).  The next day you drag your sorry and mangled behind in the back (the cargo area) of an SUV and bounce around for 8 ½ hours only to be halfway home.  Each rest stop takes a while as you cannot move very quickly and have to be helped in and out of the vehicle and into the restroom.  On July 6th you get up early to get a start on the 2nd half of the journey home.  Spend the next 8-9 hours riding in the back of the SUV, your leg, knee, sternum, face and nose are all aching as you have fractures in all, but you must push on.

Now you get home and drag yourself up 3 steps and into the house.  Sleep in recliner in living room as too many stairs to get to bed.  You get to enjoy reruns and think about the pain you are in.  Just a trip to the bathroom is a major effort.  Several days of waking up, hurting, reruns, hurting, nap, hurting, eat, hurting, more reruns, dinner, pain, another nap, more pain and reruns.  Hospital bed arrives but is too painful to sleep in so you spend the next several days and nights in the recliner.  July 14th, took first trip outside today, and then had to rest.  Evening comes and on your way back from the restroom you collapse, unable to breathe.  Ambulance comes, takes you to hospital, spend several hours while they try to decide what is wrong and what to do with you.  10 days in the hospital with a silver dollar sized blood clot in each lung.  Friday night you get to go home.  Spend Saturday in pain and try to rest. Get up Sunday and cannot breathe again, head back to hospital ER, we already know what is wrong and evidentially the blood thinners are not working.  Spend 14 hours in the ER and gee, get to ride in the ambulance (no siren this time) to main hospital.  Spend 3 more days there, getting poked and prodded and they send you home with a different blood thinner, one you have to inject yourself twice a day and a case of pneumonia too!  You get home and spend the next 13 months going through rehab to bet back about 60% range of motion and that’s all you get, you are told you are lucky to be walking at all let alone riding those dangerous motorcycles.

Now it is January 2006, you get to go to the hospital voluntarily this time for a 3 hour surgery to remove all the screws and plates from your leg.  These are a great visual for the awareness classes by the way (the surgeon let us have the hardware that was removed).

Fast forward to 2009, almost 5 years from the accident.  Knee is so bad the orthopedist cannot believe you can even walk.  Very painful, can’t walk as much or as far as you would like.  Haven’t ridden in 7 months as this is of course your left leg and it is just too painful to push bike off kickstand.  So you decide you have to do something, can’t live like this much longer, cannot put up with pain, swelling  and lack of mobility and NO RIDING.  April 6, 2009 1-1 ½ hours surgery to replace knee, doctor not sure what he will find going is so you are prepared for the worst.  Doctor does find a small surprise, a hole in the bone, he has to fix this before he can do joint replacement.  Surgery takes around 2 hours, spend 2 nights in hospital with rehab twice a day and get to go home Wednesday.  Now the rehab starts again.  THIS SUCKS!  I DID NOTHING WRONG!   I fought like hell to get away from the jerk, but he still hit me and gave me this gift that keeps on giving.  I hope and pray you will never know this first hand but IT CAN HAPPEN TO YOU!  The answer, TEACH AWARENESS and stop the slaughter

Stay tuned for updates. Terry

February 2010




                                          REGIONS ON AWARENESS IN 2009:  OVER $33,000.

Region 1:  0 (they are working on getting back into the schools)

Region 4:  just getting started again, looking forward to 2010

Region 7:  Sanilac/Shady Shores 626    Tuscola/ Huron 467 total 1093

Region 11:  396

Region 13:  no report, but I know they were working on a bike to take to classes once they get up and running again.

Region 14: 1126

Region 15:  See total for region 18 as they have been working together this year

Just Jim Pigeon:  460

Region 18:  708

Region 19:  0

Region 20:  1907

Region 21:   3060 Public Service Announcements that ran all summer.

Great work in 2009 everybody, see you in 2010!.

Now for some updates on the awareness program. I have the following regions reporting their totals for 2008:

Region 1- 75 students

Region 7- 548 students

Region 11- 442 students

Region 12- 0 students **

Region 13- 150 students

Region 14- 1075 students

Region 15- 507 students

Region18- 1239 students

Region 19- 150 students

Region 20-1454 students

Region 21- 0 students**




Author: Marlene Krauss-Region 7 “Awareness Team”

The Definition of being aware: Conscious, informed, alert, vigilant, watchful.  How do we make motorists aware of motorcycles?

    Before the 1st of May, newspaper articles are sent urging motorists to start seeing motorcycles with info on safe driving tips.  Also included is info on our AWARENESS PROGRAM.  This year we have sent articles to 12 newspapers in our region’s 3 counties

    We urge all our members to purchase awareness yard signs and have them available at monthly meetings.  This year we purchased 10 large awareness banners for Region 7 and have them posted on the main highways throughout Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties.  This is more cost affective for us in a rural area.  They can easily be moved and reused for many years and stay up for the entire riding season, reminding motorists to “LOOK TWICE”

    Private lighted signs at businesses have put the message out for us “LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE”, usually short term in the month of May.

     In addition to teaching motorcycle awareness to drivers education students, we have spoke in front of senior citizen groups, and the general public at fairs and festivals.  At the homecare agency I work for we have a mandatory safe driving in-service yearly.  I’ve included motorcycle awareness in this in-service since this type of work requires many miles on the road and many possible distractions when driving.

     The posters “SHARE THE ROAD” and yellow flyers “START SEEING MOTORCYCLES” are free from OSHP of Michigan and have been distributed to gas stations, auto parts stores, tire stores, libraries etc… for the general public to see and make them aware.

     We need to find more avenues to get the word out about motorcycle awareness.  Only about 20% of schools offer drivers ed today, down from 90% in the 1980’s. Not all privatized drivers ed companies are receptive to our FREE awareness program.  The message for parents: spell out the dangers of inattention while driving to their kids and encourage them to consciously be alert, vigilant and to watch for motorcycles.

Karen Sheridan, Region 7

These two are the winners of the awareness article challenge.  I had hoped for more, but was glad to get 3 responses.  These two hit the nail on the head as to what I was looking for as far as the awareness program goes.  I would like to thank Marlene and Karen for all the work they do in Region 7.  I would also like to give an honorable mention to Terrible Ted in Region 4 for his suggestions which I will use in a future article.  He had some good suggestions for us motorcyclists out there. 

Now I just have to figure out how to divide up a decal between these two.  Perhaps I will cut it horizontally and one will get the “look twice, save a life” and the other will get “motorcycles are everywhere”.  Maybe vertically and one will get “look twice Motorcycles” and the other will get “save a life Are everywhere” You know you will have to park next to each other for the saying to make sense. Better yet I will bite the bullet and buy 2 decals and you can each have the complete saying on your vehicle.


ABATE                                TOGETHER                              

WILL                                   EDUCATING                          

ASSUME                             ALL




EDUCATIONAL  Author: Marlene Krause-Region 7 “Awareness Team”               



Ted Fisher here in ABATE Region 4.  I am a 500,000 mile bike and I have seen some bikers who have gone down.  Some didn’t make it.  I saw a group of 6-8 bikers go down all taken out by one van.  All were riding side by side.  Here is something I made up:  “Riding side by side is like you are trying to commit suicide!  Be smart from the start!  The road Rash you save might be your own, please ride staggered!!!”

Another suggestion he had for us riders is to always keep to the right side of the road when coming over a hill.  Especially when you can’t see what’s coming over the other side.  His first cousin Paul Jones was almost killed by a little old lady who was passing on a hill.  He died early in life and Ted thinks she helped as he was in bad shape for as long as he lived after the accident.

Terrible Ted, Leatherneck Semper-Fi

Thanks again Ted and thank you for your service to our country.  You were obviously in the Marine Corp.

A.B.A.T.E. of Michigan Inc.
P.O. Box 99
Constantine, Mi 49042