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Roadracing World Action Fund

 
HOW OUR AIR FENCE* CRUSADE STARTED
2001
This is the story of how hundreds of competitors, mechanics, businessmen, companies, fans, friends and loved ones involved in motorcycle road racing came together for a worthy cause--to reduce the risk of serious injury faced by our racers.

Some donated $5000, some donated $20. They donated in their own names, they donated as "anonymous," they donated in memory of riders who have died because they hit bare walls or fences or barriers or embankments with nothing positioned in front to absorb energy. They sent checks, called in credit card numbers, handed us cash at races.

The response demonstrated that rider safety is a major issue to everybody involved in motorcycle road racing.

Our quest to fund Airfence--think of it as a giant pre-inflated air bag positioned in front of hard objects around a racetrack--began with an editorial on roadracingworld.com, posted April 17, 2001. For three years we had been talking about the need for more Airfence, lots of Airfence (generically, soft barriers, but commonly referred to as Airfence regardless of brand). There was a lot of talk, but no action, no sense of urgency for race officials and trustees to act on improving safety.

We can help save lives and injuries.

There was a lack of will among officials; there was a lack of knowledge within the motorcycle racing community and the general public concerning the benefits of soft barriers. More importantly, attitudes needed to change. This must happen. Not one more unnecessary injury should occur as long as we have something like this that can prevent it.

So we took off on our own, starting the quest for soft barriers with the editorial. The donations poured in, and within a month after we started, 15 new sections of Alpina Air Module were deployed at Road Atlanta for the May 17-20 AMA National. Another 20 new Airfence Safety Systems Airfence/Air Module sections arrived for the June 7-10 AMA National at Road America.

It didn't stop there. By the end of 2001, with contributions over $150,000 and growing, the need to create an organization to manage this new "air fence" fund was great. So the Roadracing World Action Fund was created as a non-profit organization under section 501( c )3, expanding its scope to a wider range of motorcycle racing safety issues and education, but with the emphasis remaining on soft barriers, demonstrating its use and effectiveness.

Under the non-profit status, all soft barriers purchased by the Roadracing World Action Fund must remain the property of the fund. Soft barriers can then be used for demonstration at various race tracks to educate the public on its effectiveness in helping to prevent crash injuries.

*Trademark of Airfence Safety Systems

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