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FHWA motorcycle crash causation study chief engineer resigns

By Press Release

Dr. Samir Ahmed, chief engineer for the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) motorcycle crash causation study citing, has resigned.

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has learned that the chief engineer of the FHWA motorcycle crash causation study has removed himself from the project, citing “serious reservations about the value of the study.”

In an e-mail sent on Tuesday, September 11 2012 by Ahmed, 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 the study with the existing FHWA involvement. My expectations of the study are very low.”

Dr. Samir Ahmed, PhD, PE, was in charge of conduction and then evaluating the FHWA’s motorcycle crash causation study. The study was mandated by Congress in the SAFETEA-LU bill (PL 109-59). The study was supposed to collect data from 1200 crashes, however when the cost of the study more than doubled, it became necessary to shrink the size of the project. The FHWA is now estimating that the number of crashes to be investigated is down to less than 120—just 10 percent of the original number.

The mandate directed the FHWA to work with the Oklahoma State University Transportation Systems Engineering School, a leading research center for all-things transportation. The MRF has had some serious questions about this study since its conception, although 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 MRF.

The full results of the study should be out sometime next year.

 

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