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 Helmet laws have been repealed or modified in many states the DOT’s new effort does not call for new helmet laws.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.