SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 10, 2013

Letter: Local rider’s death spurred safety movement

To the editor:

On May 2, 13 years ago, Nelson Selig of Essex was killed while riding his motorcycle on Route 133 in Ipswich, when a 19-year-old drifted into Nelson’s lane, hitting his motorcycle head-on.

We offer our condolences to his family and friends, and thank them for allowing us to use their tragedy to help other families of riders through Nelson’s Ride and other Survivor’s Fund events.

Nelson’s tragic death 14 years ago also spurred a grass-roots movement of motorcycle awareness within the local riding community that we believe has saved lives and reduced accidents.

Nelly’s Bill was enacted four years later and put a motorcycle awareness module into the auto driver’s training course curriculum. Statistics from 1998-2000 showed 28 percent of motorcycle fatalities in Massachusetts occurred before May, so another bill was passed proclaiming the last week of March through the end of April as the commonwealth’s Motorcycle Awareness Period. The state’s motorcycle awareness program was pulled from the Governor’s Highway Safety Bureau and transferred to the Registry of Motor Vehicles, which adopted “Check Twice, Save a Life, Motorcycles Are Everywhere” as the state’s awareness motto.

An audit of the state’s motorcycle safety fund revealed more than $400,000 in unspent funds, and $300,000 was reallotted. While most of the country saw increased deaths with increased motorcycle registrations, motorcycle fatalities in Massachusetts remained level or lessened.

Nelson left behind a mom and longtime stepdad, two sisters, a wife and two young children. He was a local clam digger who wanted more for his kids. Friends and local riders rallied and put together Nelson’s Ride in August 2000 to raise money for his kids’ educational fund. A second and a third ride were done in 2001 and 2002. After the third ride, his family thanked the riding community, then did an unselfish act, asking that the ride continue in Nelson’s memory, but funds raised go to other local families of riders killed or seriously injured in motorcycle accidents. That has been happening since 2004.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate
Helium