(WBRE/WYOU-TV) Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, stressing the importance of all motorists sharing the road and riders practicing motorcycle safety.
A Motorcycle Safety day will be held on Wednesday, May 2 at Electric City Harley Davidson, located on the Scranton-Carbondale Highway in Dickson City. The event is sponsored by PennDOT, Electric City Harley-Davidson, Lackawanna Highway Safety and Eileen Miller, Driver Safety Advocate. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Safety information will be available.
The promise of warmer weather is bringing an influx of motorcyclists to Pennsylvania roadways, PennDOT recommends riders by to take advantage of a revamped line of free motorcycle training through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP).
“Riders of all skill levels can practice and refine riding techniques from time to time while learning valuable skills and safety lessons through Pennsylvania’s free motorcycle safety clinics,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards in a prepared release. “The short amount of time spent in training translates into many safe miles of riding by helping riders sharpen reflexes and hone the split-second decision making required to safely operate a motorcycle.”
According to PennDOT, Motorcycle crashes decreased from 3,450 in 2016 to 3,187 in 2017, resulting in a corresponding drop in fatalities – from 191 in 2016 to 185 in 2017. There were nearly 378,000 registered motorcycles and nearly 846,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania in 2017. The number of registered motorcycles dipped by nearly 19,000 and licensed motorcyclists dropped by more than 11,000 from 2016 to 2017.
The 16-hour Beginner Riding Clinic (BRC) 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. Basic riding skills, shifting, stopping, swerving, turning and mental skills for hazard avoidance highlight the training. Students are provided with a motorcycle and helmet.
The eight-hour Intermediate Riding Clinic (IRC) allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. The IRC is based on motorcycle crash research and focuses on cornering, braking and swerving skills. The eight-hour 3-Wheel Riding Clinic teaches riders skills and safety strategies like those taught in BRC, except on a 3-wheeled motorcycle. Both courses require students to provide their own motorcycle and protective gear and provide proof of insurance, current registration and inspection for their motorcycle.
“Many insurers offer discounts for motorcyclists who have completed safety courses approved by PennDOT,” said Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Jessica Altman. “Some insurers also offer discounts for riders who have memberships in certain associations, have a safe driving record or own a motorcycle with certain safety features, such as factory installed anti-lock braking systems, which help maintain control during sudden stops.”
For more information or to enroll in a clinic, visit www.pamsp.com or call 1-800-845-9533. Potential riders who want a convenient way to study for their knowledge test can download the PA Motorcycle Practice Test app by visiting www.pa.gov and searching the mobile apps for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Practice Test by clicking on the Apps link at the bottom of the page.