How and why the Skilled Motorcyclist Association started
The Skilled Motorcyclist Association – Responsible, Trained and Educated Riders, Inc., (SMARTER) was formed in February 2007 by a group of motorcyclists who ride a wide variety of brands and styles of bikes and who share an interest in the value of research, education, and skill training related to proficient motorcycle riding and risk-reduction measures.
The voice heard most often as representing motorcyclists is the voice of state motorcycle rights organizations (SMROs), like ABATE. These organizations often claim to represent all motorcyclists; however, the SMROs are really minority biker groups that represent only a small number of the actual citizens who ride motorcycles. SMARTER is an organization that expresses the voice of other motorcyclists.
SMARTER's focus from our incorporation in February 2007 until February 2010 was primarily on providing information in opposition to efforts to repeal Michigan's mandatory helmet law. SMARTER is, however, a national organization and our efforts to provide information to motorcyclists and to the general public has continued to broaden.
The SMARTER website has gained a reputation as the number one spot for accessing motorcyclist safety research information. We have been recognized as an important national resource by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and the Centers for Disease Control National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
In October 2010, SMARTER revised its incorporation papers filed with the State of Michigan to more accurately reflect its evolving purposes, as reflected in our current mission statement. Our application for tax-exempt status as a 501(c)(3) public charity was approved by the Internal Revenue Service effective December 28, 2012.
We are serving as a resource to a growing number of individuals and associations across the United States.