The organization is surprisingly effective at working the legislative system. They are called ABATE, which means either A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments or American Bikers Aiming Towards Education.
They go by both and they roared onto the grounds of the state Capitol with a mission to make the roads safer. First, they remember their fellow bikers who didn’t make the trip this year.
ABATE President Dan Fish says their goal is to make the road safer by stiffening the 80 dollar fines for people who injure others with a car. "What's a life worth? How does that one accident affect families for the rest of their lives. Their sons. Their daughters."
Just the announcement brought tears and condolences for these women from Ft. Myers. Nikita Turner lost her biker grandfather in December.
"Dale was riding a red motorcycle with the lights on, helmet on and a flag and the guy didn't see him.”
"Dale has been in my life since birth. He cut my umbilical cord. I just wasn't ready to lose him."
"To their credit these bikers were among the first to seek a ban on texting while driving."
Darrin Brooks from Naples told reporters, “and the reason for that is obvious. People are texting. Their eyes aren't on the road, so they're not looking to see what they're doing."
And one inside the state's Capitol, it was clear that this group of lobbyists would not be lost in the crowd of suits and shinny shoes.
Even though death might occur in a vehicle-bike or pedestrian accident, the usual charge is simply failure to yield the right of way. This is the second year the group has sought tougher penalties when injuries are involved.