The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Motorcycle Safety Program

January 2003










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NHTSA recognizes that there is an increasing demand for rider education and training courses and that some States have difficulty meeting this demand. Currently, 47 States have legislated rider education and training programs to provide education and training for those who seek it. Some States do mandate training for motorcyclists under a certain age (generally 18). However, many report that waiting times to complete a course range from 6 months to a year and there are also wide differences in program content and administration from State to State.

The agency works with MSF and the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) to provide assistance to States in developing, implementing, administering, and evaluating State motorcycle rider education programs. Through its regional offices, NHTSA will encourage each State to conduct a motorcycle safety program assessment (MSPA) and use the results to better understand how existing State and Federal resources are being distributed, as well as to identify and address inefficiencies in funding and delivery of its comprehensive motorcycle safety program. To further maximize resources, NHTSA worked with the SMSA to develop a forecasting methodology to enable State rider education and training programs to set goals to meet the increasing training demand, identify resources needed to meet that demand, and develop an action plan to serve as a blueprint for reaching rider education and training goals. This effort, in combination with the MSFs efforts to offer modified curricula to meet the needs of individual motorcyclists, should allow State rider education and training programs to increase capacity and address lengthy waiting lists. To complement these efforts, NHTSA's regional offices will work more closely with State rider education and training programs and State highway safety offices to foster partnerships with the private sector to identify and develop potential training sites to expand the availability of training to meet current and future demand. Nevertheless, like novice drivers who pay to receive driver's education to prepare them to operate a motor vehicle safely, motorcyclists also must be willing to consider paying for rider education and training.

NHTSA's Rider Education and Training Program:

    arrow Coordinate the Enhancement of State Motorcycle Safety Activities. NHTSA's regional offices will facilitate the development of interdisciplinary working groups within each State to fully develop Statewide comprehensive motorcycle safety programs. Working groups representing highway safety, motorcycle rider education and training, licensing, law enforcement, research, health care, roadway and rider groups will be formed to discuss and plan future motorcycle safety efforts at the State level to positively impact the rising trend in motorcyclist fatalities. Targeted completion date Ongoing

    arrow Examine State Rider Education and Training Programs. To better understand how State rider education and training programs are administered, NHTSA has begun a study to review the policies and practices of each State's rider education and training program. Once completed, those States that have been identified as having the most efficient and effective program components will be highlighted and offered as models to be adopted by other States where possible. Identifying cost effective and efficient policies and practices is important in this era of competing financial resources, and will allow State rider education and training programs to maximize limited funding while continuing to meet increasing demand. Targeted completion date September 2004

    arrow Link Rider Education Data with Crash Outcome Data. The agency will support the Crash Outcome Data Evaluation States (CODES) Data Network as it links State rider training databases with existing CODES databases to collect and analyze data that provide a better understanding of the link between a rider's training history and crash involvement. Data analysis will include, but not be limited to, training status, injuries received and treatment/rehabilitation costs, emergency response data, and other variables important to analyze crash scenarios. Targeted completion date December 2005