2009-05-07 / Local & State

Rendell Proclaims May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Safety courses build riders' skills, confidence

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by proclamation of Gov. Edward G. Rendell, and the Department of Transportation is reminding motorcyclists to fine-tune their skills through free motorcycle safety courses.

"Motorcycling requires continued skill-building and practice to ensure safety on the roadways," said PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler, P.E. "These courses offer all riders the opportunity to learn or review valuable safety techniques, which may help decrease their chances of becoming involved in otherwise avoidable crashes."

Through a contract with the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, PennDOT has operated the Motorcycle Safety Program since 1984. Pennsylvania riders who hold a Class M (motorcycle) permit or license can take either the basic rider course (BRC) or experienced rider course (ERC). Courses are run from March through October at 70 sites across the state. Motorcycle permit holders who successfully complete the course will be issued a motorcycle license.

The BRC is a 15-hour course consisting of five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience on a riding range under the watchful eyes of certified rider coaches. This comprehensive safety and skills overview provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders who have not ridden for some time the opportunity to polish their skills. Motorcycles and helmets are provided for students taking the basic course.

The ERC is a 6-hour course offering the experienced rider a chance to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their skills on a riding range under the guidance of certified rider coaches. Students taking the ERC must provide their own motorcycle and helmet.

Visit www.pamsp.com for more information on the Motorcycle Safety Program and to enroll in a course. Information about obtaining a motorcycle license and motorcycle safety tips, are available under the Motorcycle Information Center on PennDOT's Driver and Vehicle Services Web site at www.dmv.state.pa.us.

Return to top