Pennsylvania Promotes Motorcycle Safety Amid Rising Crash and Fatality Rates

PennDOT's Free Motorcycle Safety TrainingCredit: Commonwealth Media Services

LANCASTER, PA — On Saturday, members of the Shapiro Administration spotlighted the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) at an event in Lancaster. In honor of Armed Forces Day, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association (CVMA) and the In Country Vietnam Motorcycle Club (CVMC) joined forces to tackle the Intermediate Rider Course.

“The lessons learned through our motorcycle safety courses provide riders with important training to mitigate crashes and reinforce the message for all motorists and riders to share the road safely,” said PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll. “Drivers and riders alike can help lower fatalities and injuries from avoidable crashes by staying aware while driving or riding, obeying speed limits, and being responsible while operating any vehicle.”

Through PAMSP, Pennsylvania residents holding a motorcycle permit can earn their motorcycle license or refresh their skills via several training courses. These include the Basic Rider Course (BRC), Intermediate Rider Course (IRC), Advanced Rider Course (ARC), and the 3-Wheeled Motorcycle Basic Rider Course (3WBRC). Successful completion of a basic or intermediate course waives the need for a skills test at a PennDOT Driver License Center, automatically granting the permit holder their motorcycle license. For those completing the 3-wheel basic course, the license is restricted to 3-wheel motorcycles only.

“We are grateful to PennDOT for hosting the motorcycle safety courses and giving veterans the opportunity to refresh their driving skills,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Pennsylvania’s adjutant general and head of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA).

PennDOT collaborates with several third-party motorcycle training providers to offer these safety classes free of charge to residents with a motorcycle permit or license. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact training providers directly for class availability as additional courses may be offered, along with walk-in or waiting list opportunities when registered individuals do not show up.

Classes are available at multiple training sites throughout Pennsylvania. Schedules are coordinated by each training provider for their respective locations. More information is available on the PennDOT website under the PAMSP section. PennDOT expects more training sites to become available during the riding season, and customers are advised to check the website for updated class offerings.

The Pennsylvania Insurance Department (PID) reminds motorcyclists that insurance is mandatory to drive a motorcycle in the state. The motorcycle insurance market in Pennsylvania is competitive, with many insurers offering discounts to motorcyclists who have completed safety courses, maintain memberships in certain associations, or have safe driving records. Insurers also commonly offer discounts for bundling multiple policies, such as combining car or motorcycle insurance with homeowner’s coverage. Riders are encouraged to discuss discount options with their insurers.

Enhancing Motorcycle Safety: PAMSP’s Vital Role in Saving Lives

In 2023, there were 3,448 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways, resulting in 238 fatalities. This marks an increase from 2022, which saw 3,328 crashes and 217 fatalities.

The rise in motorcycle crashes and fatalities underscores the importance of safety programs like PAMSP. These courses equip riders with vital skills and knowledge to navigate roads safely, reducing the risk of accidents. By promoting awareness and responsible riding practices, PennDOT aims to enhance road safety for all users.

Motorcycle safety is critical not just for reducing crash statistics but also for preserving lives and fostering safer communities. As motorcycle popularity rises, so does the need for effective training and awareness initiatives. Programs like PAMSP play a pivotal role in ensuring that riders are well-prepared to handle the unique challenges posed by motorcycle travel.

In conclusion, the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program offers essential training that can save lives. With the increasing number of motorcycle-related crashes and fatalities, these educational efforts are more important than ever. By providing free safety courses and emphasizing responsible riding, PennDOT is working to create safer roads for everyone.

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