Adequate, Dedicated Funding Source
The five promising-practices programs all have stable sources of State funding, though the administrators recognize that this funding is always at the discretion of lawmakers. Simply because money should be allocated to a program does not necessarily mean it will be delivered. As one administrator summarized, “Whether I actually get the money to spend is another story.” Across the programs, the three main sources of program support are (1) motorcycle registration fees, (2) motorcycle endorsement and driver’s license fees, and (3) rider training course tuition. In Delaware, where funds from all three sources support rider training, the total amount of funding currently meets the program’s needs. Other promising-practices States have had to stretch their funding and devise novel financing strategies to keep up with the demand for training.
In Idaho, the STAR (Skills Training Advantage for Riders) program has been growing by 28 percent a year, but support from the State lags behind at 57 percent a year. In an attempt to broaden its revenue stream, the program worked with the State Department of Licensing to introduce a specialty Idaho STAR license plate for cars and trucks. A percentage of the funds collected by the State through the sale of the license plates will go directly to Idaho STAR. The program promotes the license plate in its classes and among its network of dealers and other rider education advocates.
Team Oregon is a self-sustaining program and is seeking a means of ensuring its financial solvency. The program recently began selling advertising space in the back of the workbook used for the novice rider course to dealers and other businesses and hopes to generate up to $20,000 a year, which will go toward paying for the printing costs of the workbooks as well as for outreach and information efforts. Federal grants are another source of funds for safety and awareness campaigns. The administrator in one State explained how he has become adept at targeting Federal money:
“I work in the traffic safety office, so we get all the Federal 402 and [other
The Maryland Motorcycle Safety Program recently introduced a tuition increase to cover the costs of providing training. Additionally, the State also began contracting with community colleges in the State to provide classes and allows the colleges to set their own tuition, which may be higher than at State-sponsored sites. The State administrators hope that the freedom the colleges have to set their own fees will help the rider education program recover many of its expenses.