Safety advocate gets famous

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Author David Hough at Whistler
Steve Thornton

A motorcycle journalist whose career has been dedicated to improving safety has been rewarded with an induction into the American Motorcyclist Association’s Hall of Fame for 2009.

David Hough is the author of some well-known books on riding techniques and a tireless advocate for the development of safe riding skills. AMA president Rob Dingman said many new riders are "introduced to proper riding through the books and columns of David Hough," and Hall of Fame Induction Committee chairman Don Rosene said Hough’s books "should be a mandatory read for every motorcyclist, from novice to expert."

Hough wrote a popular column, "Proficient Motorcycling," and has published several books on riding technique, including Street Strategies: A Survival Guide for Motorcyclists, and Proficient Motorcycling: The Ultimate Guide to Riding Well.

"Teaching this idea of safety has been my mission for years," said Hough. "Very few journalists write about riding skills. They write about machines. The secret to riding quickly is don’t crash, because crashing ruins your time. It doesn’t matter if you want to go out for a putt-putt joy ride or go fast on the racetrack. I think it would be great if all motorcycle organizations, associations and publications would have riding skill seminars and columns on how to manage the risks of riding and how to become a more skillful rider."

Hough addressed a small Canadian audience at Whistler, B.C., in September 2007 during a symposium on motorcycle safety. "If you look at the raw statistics, there is a crisis," he said then, "and it appears to be this: that motorcyclists don’t have the right skills."

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