Peoria-based Arizona Motorcycle Safety & Awareness Foundation is celebrating its 10th anniversary, by recalling its many local and national achievements.
AMSAF’s motorcycle scholarship program is the first in the nation to offer discounted motorcycle training.
“We developed a concept to provide motorcycle training to first and long-time riders so they can learn how to ride safely and defensively for a very reasonable fee,” said Mick Degn, the foundation’s executive director.
“To date, we have helped more than 4,153 individuals receive scholarships to learn and/or hone their skills while receiving their endorsement and saving on insurance costs. Our team of committed businesses and individuals has helped save many lives.”
However, the foundation didn’t stop there.
The roadways and beyond
In 2020, the nonprofit expanded its efforts to include promoting the Share the Road campaign to reduce distracted driving. Last year alone, there were more than 3,100 crashes and fatalities on Arizona roads. And, with people from the West Coast moving to the state in droves, ever-increasing challenges continue to emerge — especially with regard to the number of crashes and fatalities statewide.
“Share the Road is a statewide public awareness effort aimed at focusing Arizona motorists on the critical need to be undistracted when driving and to provide scholarships, statewide, to train motorcyclists how to ride more defensively,” Degn said.
“This multipronged movement, which is geared to reduce the number of rider and driver crashes and fatalities on Arizona roads, is supported and promoted by the Arizona governor, the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Dignity Health (Chandler Regional Medical Center), Arizona Trauma Association, Law Tigers, Rosenbluth Family Charitable Foundation and other interested businesses and organizations.
In January, Arizona implemented a hands-off law to penalize people using cellphones. And, because riders and drivers share the state’s roadways, the foundation began serving as a voice for the rampant problem with distracted driving.
The foundation’s role model program continues to expand awareness with the long-term goal of reducing distracted driving and providing reduced-cost motorcycle training.
In addition to its scholarship and reduced distracted driving leadership efforts, the foundation has worked with the state of Arizona and major businesses to develop and promote a helmet assistance program that will help individuals garner a high-quality, full-face or modular helmet for a major savings. The program is growing in popularity and support continues to increase, with 557 people already enjoying true helmet safety.
Growth for change
The foundation was awarded the 2019 Motorcycle Safety Foundation award for Extraordinary Contributions to Motorcyclist Safety. And the nonprofit offers a membership program, the Visionary award for great community leadership, and a major annual event known as Riding for the Long Haul.
Degn said the one thing that has assisted in the 10-year-old organization’s growth is its strong core of leaders, volunteers, business and civic leaders who see the need for change and the foundation’s role in outreach to the public.
“We are blessed to have been so successful to date and look forward to garnering even more corporate and personal support as we work diligently to save lives on our roadways,” Degn added.
AMSAF’s mission is to promote safety and awareness and reduce crashes and fatalities.
—Executive Editor Christina Fuoco-Karasinski can be reached at christina@