With the increasing popularity of motorcycling in Pennsylvania, Gov.Tom Corbett has signed a proclamation commemorating May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“More people are traveling Pennsylvania roadways on their motorcycles, but it’s important that riders and motorists alike are sharing the road safely,” Corbett said. “If car, truck and motorcycle operators follow simple steps like looking out for each other and obeying speed limits, we can work together to reduce the number of crashes and highway deaths we see each year.”
Last year in Pennsylvania there were 854,493 licensed motorcyclists, a 13 percent increase from a decade ago, and 409,017 registered motorcycles, 54 percent higher than a decade ago. PennDOT data shows there were nearly 4,000 crashes involving motorcycles statewide last year, resulting in 210 fatalities. This marks an increase from 2011 when there more than 3,600 crashes involving motorcycles and 199 fatalities in those crashes.
Motorcycle safety was emphasized with Corbett’s signing of Act 84 of 2012, which requires motorcycle permit holders under 18 years old to take and successfully complete the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program’s (PAMSP) Basic Rider Course (BRC) in order to receive their license.
The 15-hour BRC consists of five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience. The course provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective gear. The 15 hours of training count toward the required 65 hours of training a permit holder under 18 must complete in order to receive their license.
The PAMSP offers a variety of training to help develop safe riding skills for all motorcyclists, no matter how experienced or inexperienced the rider. The courses include: the six-hour Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2); the eight-hour Advanced Rider Course (ARC); and the 12-hour 3-Wheeled Motorcycle Basic Rider Course (3WBRC).
To help promote safety and communication among the members of the motorcycling community, PennDOT offers an interactive website designed specifically for motorcyclists: www.livefreeridealive.com. The website challenges riders to take personal responsibility for their own safety and offers an open forum for riders to share experiences. They can also promise to be safe riders by taking the “Be One Less” pledge.
For more information on motorcycle rider training or to schedule a course, visit www.pamsp.com or call 1-800-845-9533, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and noon.