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Maine rollerski safety bill

Tue, Jan  19, 2010 - By Patrick Cote, NENSA Executive Director

Last Tuesday, there was an initial hearing for a bill to provide for safe roller-skiing in Maine. Four supporters spoke, and there will be another public hearing on today, Tuesday, January 19th. 

The bill would help ensure the safety of roller-skiers on Maine roads.  Skiing in the direction of traffic is the safest way to ski, but current law is not clear that skiing should go in the direction of traffic.  The bill would clarify that.

Based on questions from committee members, this bill could go either way.  The committee chair testified in support.  He sponsored the Bicycle Rules of the Road bill a couple years ago, and talked about this as the logical next step.  But there were also a number of questions about whether roller-skiing is safe. It is very important legislators hear directly from parents, athletes and coaches about the safety measures that skiers take.  Parents are particularly important; nothing is more important to you than the safety of your children.

One of the great things about the Maine Legislature is how much input citizens have in the process.  A bill with citizens calling on behalf of it is much more likely to succeed than one that has only other legislators talking about it.  Here are the steps you can take:

  1. Is your Senator or Representative on the Transportation Committee, or do you know them (The list is below and attached)?  Can you call them?  Calling is much more effective than emailing, and both calling and emailing is the best of all.
  2. Call your own Representative and Senator.  Here is a web page that will list your Rep with a link to their contact information:   http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm 
  3. Can you email any Maine skiers you can think of who might contact their representative.

It is critical that legislators hear from you and as many people as possible.  Please send this email along to friends, and copy saferollerskiing@gmail.com on your email.  We want to be sure sure that we contact every committee member.

The Transportation Committee:

Remember: Emails are fine, but it is phone calls and voicemails that will most effectively communicate support of a bill!

Rep Ken Theriault Frenchville, Madawaska, New Canada, Perham, Portage Lake, St. Agatha, Stockholm and Westmanland, plus the unorganized territory of Square Lake 728-4526 kent23@myfairpoint.net

Rep Douglas Thomas Athens, Charleston, Dexter, Garland, Harmony and Ripley 277-3017 277-3017 firewood@tds.net

Rep Kimberley Rosen Bucksport and Orrington 469-3779 944-9179 469-3779 Kurlykim40@aol.com

Rep Edward Mazurek Part of Owl's Head and Rockland 594-5647 542-0017 EdMazurek1@aol.com

Rep Bill Browne Part of Augusta, Vassalboro and Windsor 622-3096 314-4787 wpbrowne@gmail.com

Rep Richard Cebra Casco, Naples and part of Poland 693-4951 RepRich.Cebra@legislature.maine.gov

Rep Charles Harlow Part of Portland 797-3775 charlow1@maine.rr.com Rep Ann Peoples Part of Westbrook 856-7264 287-1400 annpeoples116@msn.com

Rep George Hogan Old Orchard Beach 934-0492 RepGeorge.Hogan@legislature.maine.gov

Sen Gooley Walter Franklin 778-2368 wgooley@hciwireless.net

Sen Damon Dennis Hancock 667-9629 http://www.mainesenate.org/damon/email.htm

Sen Perry Joseph Penobscot 942-5585 http://www.mainesenate.org/perry/email.htm