By Chris Genovese, “the Marketing Guy”

Steve Kantor told me early in the interviewing process that I’d be joining American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE). My incomparable predecessor, Paul “Flyboy” Fedorsak, had done it before me and served as Legislative Coordinator for our chapter here in Buffalo/Erie; and Steve himself had been an active member for over a dozen years. So, it was obvious to me right away that advocating for the rights of bikers as members of ABATE (as well as the Motorcycle Riders Foundation and American Motorcyclist Association), was a big part of what we do here to support the riding community at the KGLF.

Looking back now, three years on, I’m very proud of what we’ve done with our advocacy. From the firm’s “Look Before You Left” campaign to our various ABATE letter writing campaigns, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a lot of legislators and we’ve supported and opposed a lot of legislation in that time. Now, as I begin my second year as the Legislative Coordinator for ABATE of NY’s largest chapter (Buffalo/Erie), I’ve also taken on the board position of Legislative Coordinator for the whole state of New York.

It’s keeping me busy, and while I’m also keeping our members and supporters updated as the editor of our monthly newsletter, I figured that now might be a good time to tell the riders and readers of this blog what we’re fighting for (and against) on your behalf.

ABATE of NY Buffalo/Erie Logo

ABATE focuses on state level legislation, and we’re actively supporting and promoting several bills that address various issues affecting motorcyclists in New York, such as:

1.      S4704 – Motorcycle Profiling Training for Police: ABATE endorses S4704, a bill that provides training for local police to combat motorcycle profiling. This initiative seeks to educate law enforcement officers about the unfair targeting and discrimination faced by motorcyclists, promoting fair treatment for all riders on our roads.

2.      A1987/S1388 – “Look for Motorcycles” Signs: ABATE supports A1987/S1388, which proposes the installation of “Look for Motorcycles” signs on state highways. This measure is essential in raising awareness among all road users about the presence of motorcycles, enhancing road safety for riders and passengers.

3.      S5707/A3932 – Greater Accountability for Reckless Drivers: ABATE supports S5707/A3932, a bill aimed at holding reckless drivers accountable for their negligence. This legislation also seeks to update the written test for a driver’s license, ensuring that drivers are well-informed about sharing the road with motorcyclists, school buses, emergency vehicles and other vulnerable road users.

4.      S07603 – Removal of Cable Guide Rails: ABATE supports S07603, a bill focused on studying the removal of existing cable guide rails, which would be replaced by safer alternatives. This measure aligns with ABATE’s commitment to enhancing road safety for motorcyclists.

In addition to actively supporting positive legislative initiatives, ABATE of NY opposes certain bills that could adversely affect the motorcycle riding community, such as:

1.      A2690 – Prohibiting Children Under 12 from Riding on a Motorcycle: ABATE opposes A2690, which aims to prohibit children under 12 from riding on a motorcycle. The organization believes that responsible parenting and proper safety measures should determine when a child is ready to ride, rather than imposing a blanket prohibition.

2.      S2773 – Prohibiting Sale of Dirt Bikes and ATVs in New York City: ABATE strongly opposes S2773, a bill seeking to prohibit the sale of dirt bikes and ATVs in NYC. While we applaud efforts to keep city streets safe from illegal and dangerous riding of dirt bikes and other off road and unregistered vehicles, we believe that banning sales is not the solution and will only hurt law abiding owners and buyers of these vehicles within the city.

As mentioned, we, and many of our fellow ABATE members are also members and supporters of both the MRF and the AMA. As such, our local ABATE chapter has also supported and opposed various federal legislative initiatives. For example, we’ve written and sent letters in support of H.R. 906, the REPAIR Act, which recognizes the importance of empowering consumers with the ability to maintain and repair their own vehicles. This bill aims to break the monopoly held by manufacturers over repair information and tools, ensuring that individuals and independent repair shops have access to the necessary resources to fix their motorcycles and other vehicles.

Additionally, we have recently advocated for H.R. 1435, the Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act, emphasizing the significance of preserving consumers’ access to affordable vehicles equipped with safe and reliable internal combustion engines.

At ABATE, we are “Dedicated to the Freedom of the Road,” and in Buffalo/Erie we’re proud to be a part of New York state’s largest chapter. We’re always on the lookout for more folks that would like to join us in our advocacy for riders. As you’d expect, many of us are riders, but you do not have to be a rider; just a supporter. Join us for one of our monthly meetings, which begin at 7:30 pm on the third Thursday of each month at the Matthew Glab American Legion Post at 1965 Abbott Road in Lackawanna. Please also feel free to reach out to me anytime via email at [email protected] or via a direct message through our Meta social accounts on Facebook or Instagram: @theKantorGulloLawFirm.

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