Transportation Secretary Mary Peters Rides With Us?

Our Transportation Secretary is a woman. Good. She is also a biker. Very good. She seeks to educate riders and lower motorcycle deaths. Excellent. "Our nation’s greatest traffic highway safety challenge is motorcycle fatalities," says Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, noting that biking deaths are rising while other vehicle fatalities are declining”. The federal government has just unveiled a broad program to cut motorcycle death rates that have doubled in the past 10 years as aging baby boomers hit the open road. The Department of Transportation’s initiative includes a national training standard for beginning riders and added training for police officers who enforce traffic laws. "We have a significantly disproportionate representation of motorcycle fatalities," Peters says. Motorcycles represent 2.5% of all registered vehicles but 11.3% of traffic deaths. Another trend: The share of motorcyclists ages 50 and older who die in wrecks has grown from 14% to 24% since 1997”. Helmet laws have been repealed or modified in many states the DOT’s new effort does not call for new helmet laws. Instead, the initiative focuses on: •Training. DOT will develop national standards for entry-level motorcycle riders to achieve what Peters calls a baseline of competency. •Enforcement. DOT will create a training program to teach police officers about specific efforts to reduce crashes. •Education. Public service announcements will feature Peters on the importance of helmets and other protective gear. A "Share the Road" campaign will remind drivers to be alert for motorcyclists. Department Of Transportation.

10 Responses to “Transportation Secretary Mary Peters Rides With Us?”

  1. 1 Nicker Nov 13th, 2007 at 2:29 pm

    Beats the Hell out-a Joan Claybrook.

    “Do-gooder, St. Joan” wanted to legislate all 2-wheelers off the road…!


  2. 2 Rogue Nov 14th, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Though Mary Peters is definately better than Claybrook she is still in favor of making some laws Mandatory.
    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is trying to get her to make Rider Training Mandatory and other factions are trying to make not only helmets but other protective clothing mandatory.
    Though I feel schooling and protective clothing are good items I want to decide if I need them and not have someone mandate them.
    It should be noted that MSF is funded by the motorcycle manufactuers and that MSF charges for the courses they teach as does the Harley factory.
    Now to my way of thinking this is the only industry that makes a product and wants to make it mandatory to go to school to learn how to use it and then also pay them to do so.
    It should be noted that money is in every motorcycle registeration and license endorsement that is to be used for education. Where is that money and why is there not Free Schooling for those that want it.
    If these programs are about safety and saving lives and Not Making Money they should be Free.
    People that take these courses are in most states are Not Required to Take a State Test for their endorcement. This is definately wrong. Some of those that have taken the course still can not pass the state test. Testing by the state should still be required for all people who attend one of the schools.
    People at AMA, MRF, Abate and other Freedom Fighters do fell that because she and her husband do ride she will be able to better understand the situation.
    But then there is Big Money and Lobbiest pushing for those that want to make a profit from Rider Education and other Safet programs.
    We will continue to watch the situation and let everyone know as things happen.
    Remember that YOU are The One Who Makes A Difference By Contacting Your Legislator about these and other issues that affect our lifestyle.

  3. 3 Nicker Nov 15th, 2007 at 12:20 am


    Since the Department of Education can’t matriculate school children with basic 3R capabilities or graduate teachers who don’t know basic American History…..
    I wouldn’t expect the Department of Transportation to
    “…develop a national standards for entry-level motorcycle riders to achieve a baseline of competency…”

    From my perspective the Government isn’t the solution.

    And so, expecting DOT to certify motorcycle aftermarket products (like small enclosed disk brakes) is just as unrealistic…. IMHO


  4. 4 dragon Nov 15th, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    how about a mandatory driving for people in cage’s

  5. 5 Nicker Nov 15th, 2007 at 6:37 pm

    Cyril may have a different perspective,

    But, as i recall, Germany has some very comprehensive driver testing.

    And at one time the after market components were so restricted that it was difficult to even change the wheels on your car.

    If we’re not careful we could end up there.

    “…be careful what you wish for, you may end up getting it….”


  6. 6 Cyril Nov 15th, 2007 at 7:13 pm

    Nicker. I am not German. I am French born and naturalized American citizen. And yes, in all Europe the laws are extremely tough and restrictive.

  7. 7 Nicker Nov 16th, 2007 at 2:07 am

    Right Cyril,

    I was looking for a more Euro-centric view, figured you would have that.

    I’m also a naturalized US citizen, but i got into Hot rods & MC work here in the US and haven’t much experience outside this country (beyond hearing horror stories about how hard it used to be to create custom rides in Germany).

    My point was that we have so much more freedom to be creative here. So i shudder every time some one starts talking about how the government (DOT) needs to test & control parts.

    That’s too high a price to pay for “safety.”
    Be a smart consumer, caveat emptor.

    IMHO anyway.


  8. 8 MoToLady Nov 6th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I have a different perspective than most of you, it seems. I do believe that new riders, young riders (under 25 yrs) and re-entry riders should take a basic rider course. I work for a non profit motorcycle safety training program and we do not profit off the proceeds of the course. When you factor in insurance, equipment and supplies, and staff—we barely break even. We do this because we are passionate about riders learning to ride safely and to watch out for careless drivers. We feel it should be mandatory for those groups in particular because having the basic safe riding skills affords them a better chance of survival if they are involved in an accident.

    I understand your concern about the motorcycle industry and I too take issue with the MSF and the money they take in. We are certified with the MSF and the supplies and equipment charges are outrageous. We would love to lower our prices to make it more affordable but we can’t because the MSF takes a bite out of our budget. I find it interesting that with all the money they receive from the motorcycle industry that they are not more receptive to providing materials and supplies at a cheaper rate. Instead of complaining about making the courses mandatory, concentrate on encouraging young riders, new riders, and re-entry riders to take the course. We work hard to help save the lives of motorcyclists simply because we care—not because we are trying to get rich. So please don’t generalize!!


  9. 9 Mike Greenwald Nov 6th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    MoTo Lady,
    Why are you aligned with MSF?

  10. 10 car insurers Apr 8th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I dont usually comment, but after reading through so much info I had to say thanks

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Cyril Huze