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Friday, May 1, 2009


Safety Courses Build Riders’ Skills, Confidence

HARRISBURG – May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month by proclamation of Governor 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 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


Anonymous said...

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in a state where you don't have to where a helmet?? Yeah, they're concerned about people's safety. What's next? Skydiving safety awareness month except you're allowed to jump without a parachute. Start the "it's my right to wear one or not comments." The thing you don't understand is that some people are too stupid to make that decision and you may be one of them. Not to mention the poor EMT that has to scrape your brains off the road.

Solomon's words for the wise said...

I guess some of you don't understand the purpose behind the helmet law in PA. It is obviously about money. When motorcyclists were required to wear a helmet, they were catastrophically injured in a crash and the state had to pay out millions for their care. When they wreck without a helmet, they likely will be killed, and only run up the cost of a funeral, which will not be borne by the state. It's all about money.

NoMo Joe said...

I ride motorcycles ad ATV's and I ALWAYS wear a helmet. The state gives us a choice and I choose the helmet. Besides...those beetles and bumble bees really hurt when they smack your bare skin.....

Anonymous said...

I ski slow and wear a helmet. Kids have to wear helmets when riding bicycles. I guess when you grow up you just get smarter..NOT! Driving a motorcycle without a helmet around winding roads with lot's of wildlife lurking in the bushes is just plain stupidity. Like my father in law always said, "the cemetaries have lot's of room."

Anonymous said...

Ya'll make me laugh. We wear ours but by choice and certainly will not be-little the ones that do not. I think there is a hell of a lot more money being spent on the druggies and boozers.

Anonymous said...

why cant people just leve us bikers alone and let us ride!!! lets worry about more important stuff alright!!

Anonymous said...

It is a choice!Maybe riding w/o a helmet is a poor choice,but we don't have many left anymore!Leave it alone!60 kids ride a school bus w/o a seatbelt too!! Ride free!! Brad Jones

Anonymous said...

why do some people feel they have the right to make people do what they think is best for them.

It's very anti-american.

This country was founded on choice.

To say some people are to stupid to make the decision just shows your arrogance, Mr Stalin.

Leave them alone and butt out of their lives.

Anonymous said...

I thought Northern PA was full of republicans... I must have been mistaken.

So we WANT our government to dictate what we can and cannot do? We want them to set laws that tells us how to live our lives?

Frankly, I think the helmet law repeal was exactly what we needed. If people aren't smart enough to wear a helmet, then they deserve what they get. That simple.

The seat belt law is also an infringment on my personal rights, as far as I'm concerned. Granted, I won't drive or ride without one, but the fact that the State can not only tell me I have to wear one but that I'll be fined if I don't is insane.

(this, of course, does not apply to children as in theory they aren't mature enough to realize that they need to worry about safty)