Harrisburg, PA – As a long winter loosens its grip on Pennsylvania and the promise of warmer weather brings an influx of motorcyclists to Pennsylvania roadways, PennDOT recommends riders mitigate the chances of being involved in a crash by taking 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. “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.”
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.
Developed by PennDOT’s new program coordinator, Total Control Training Incorporated, PAMSP offers four revamped training syllabuses and one new clinic tailored not just to hone a rider’s knowledge, but to test their ability to physically manipulate a motorcycle properly. All training clinics are conducted under the supervision of certified instructors at one of numerous riding ranges located throughout the state. The training is free for Pennsylvania residents with a motorcycle license or permit.
For would-be riders who are still not sure if they want to ride, PAMSP offers a new, 4-hour Introduction to Riding Clinic (ITR). This non-licensing clinic teaches fundamental skills for operating a two-or-three wheeled motorcycle and progresses from classroom to street skills and strategies. Students are provided with a motorcycle and helmet.
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.
Motorcycle learner’s permit holders who successfully complete the BRC, IRC or the 3WC will be issued a motorcycle license. Those who successfully pass their skills test on a three-wheeled motorcycle will be issued a motorcycle license with a “9” restriction, meaning they are prohibited from operating a two-wheeled motorcycle.
Rounding out the PAMSP offerings is the Advanced Riding Clinic (ARC), a one-day clinic for experienced riders who want to enhance their safety skills through attitude and awareness. The clinic is designed to enhance a rider’s ability to avoid a crash through honing their decision-making abilities, riding strategies, risk management and rider behavior and choices.
In addition to the benefit of improving riding skills, motorcyclists taking PAMSP courses may receive an additional benefit in the form of insurance savings.
“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.
Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, stressing the importance of all motorists sharing the road and riders practicing motorcycle safety.
MEDIA CONTACT: Alexis Campbell, 717-787-0485
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