Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. Safety Courses Don’t Reduce Motorcycle Accidents

Riders training not preventing collisions? A motorcycle safety study to be released this week by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (a U.S. non-profit organization funded by auto insurers in 1959) found that young riders taking safety courses before getting their motorcycle licenses doesn’t reduce their likelihood of crashing.

The safety research group, funded by the insurance industry, says insurance collision claims for riders younger than 21 are 10% higher in states that require them to take training courses, compared with states that do not require such courses. The Insurance Institute says the difference “isn’t statistically significant,” but goes against the long-held idea that injuries and deaths can be drastically reduced by safety courses.

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30 Responses to “Insurance Institute For Highway Safety. Safety Courses Don’t Reduce Motorcycle Accidents”


  1. 1 golfish Mar 31st, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t hear of a motorcycle down accident on the radio..I blaim cell phones.

  2. 2 WT Mar 31st, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    It’s easy for anyone to pay to take a class to “learn” how to ride.

    It’s not easy to learn from experience.

    These classes give people a misguided sense of confidence. I’ve rode with several people who have taken riders safety courses and with instructors who teach them.

    There are people that take the common sense from the class, grow by using it and are great riders. Then there are others that never really “get” it. Those are the riders that I’m scared of. They are always very unsure of what they are doing and why they are doing it. There is a big difference in sticking someone on a Blast and then on a XL or FLH.

    I am by far not the greatest rider out there, but I truly believe that I am safe and confident when riding. Like so many I cut my teeth riding in farm fields on old street bikes/dirt bikes we got from the local junkyard. It’s tough to teach that.

  3. 3 Stephen Kerner Mar 31st, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Without details of the classes, it would be easy to assume classes don’t help. However, here in Maine, a new rider is required to take a safety class, you have a choice of taking a 2 day hands on class using the MSF curriculum or a worthless 8 hour lecture. Most take the 8 hour class, get their permit, and wing it on the road. Just a hunch, but I would venture to say that the MSF class reduces accidents while the lecture only doesn’t. The MSF class costs $200-300 and many dealers offer the lectures for free or almost free. You get what you pay for.

  4. 4 Rogue Apr 1st, 2010 at 6:30 am

    One of the problems I have with this is takes away from a parent or other responsible party from teaching someone how to ride.
    I am a past certified motorcycle safety instructor, have over 58 years of riding experience and a lot of miles.
    My children were taight by me and other motorcyclist how to ride and when it came time to go to be tested they had no problem passing.
    Now my grandchildren will have to pay around $300.00 to take a course in Florida. We do not know what this fee will be in years to come.
    Currently with the way the law is in Florida, Everyone who does not have a license at the time it went into effect must pay.
    There should be some FREEDOM of CHOICE here and everyone given a opportunity to pass a state test.
    I am Not Against anyone taking one of these courses for what ever reason they decide to .
    But I Am Opposed To Making These Courses Mandatory.

  5. 5 Rogue Apr 1st, 2010 at 8:33 am

    The Following was sent to me from a similar discussion on another site. It makes some good points.

    Rogue, I brought this up a few years ago and even confronted the head of Florida training school which pissed him off. There are no nationally peer reviewed (normal scientific methodology) studies demonstrating the efficacy of rider training courses. The head of Florida Riding Program admits it.

    There are however a number of studies that demonstrate that it in fact may crash rates.

    One was done with Thailand (no training) riders versus Los Angeles Riders (training). Los Angeles faired worse than Thailand.

    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation is nothing but a front organization for Industry. Allthough they state they are non profit, their by laws stipulate they must make a profit.

    IT’s a shell game and as you say, just another added tax.

    Were this to face a court case it would fail re constitutionality. discriminates, A teen with no training can get a license get behind the wheel of a 4 wheel drive pickup truck and drive through the middle of town.

    Which is more dangerous?

  6. 6 Rogue Apr 1st, 2010 at 8:37 am

    Why Is Motorcycle Safety Courses Mandatory For Motorcycles and Not Other Vehicles?????
    This would make this law prejudicial against motorcycle riders.
    Why have the Motorcycle Rights Organizations NOT FOUGHT THIS?

  7. 7 rc Apr 1st, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Stephen, the MSF is what is commonly known as a “front group” for the Motorcycle industry. IT claims to be non-profit but it isn’t according to their by-laws. Unless things have changed recently there is no nationally recognized peer reviewed study using commonly recognized scientific standards that demonstrates the MSF curriculum reduces the incidence of crashes.

    If you no one one please send me the link so that i might publish it.

    The head of the motorcycle riders program for the Florida Dept. of Highway Safety and Transportation admitted their was no scientific evidence demonstrating such and when I asked him, why then is the state of Florida mandating it’s use he got angry and would not talk to me anymore.

    Most NHTSA statistics are based on VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) Which states are required to submit yearly. For a number of years many states did not comply. South Dakota Home of the Sturgis Bike Rally reported zero VMT for motorcycles.

    NHTSA cracked down and now all states must comply. Florida did, with the caveat that their submission of Motorcycle Miles Traveled can not be construed as being accurate. This due to Florida being a major tourist state w/ a number of major Bike Rallies drawing out of state Bikers.

    Also as with cagers many motorcyclists own more than one registered motorcycle. This skews any road count compared with number of registered vehicles in any state.

    There for motorcyclists are being forced to pay $300 or more, in Florida anyway, to take a course that has little evidence of efficacy. It is feel good legislation allowing legislatures to avoid the obvious as “Gofish” has pointed out “driver distraction” I.e. “cell phones” for which their is volumes of proven scientific literature stating that cell phone users are DUI impaired, hands free or not.

    Anyone paying attention to wireless technology knows that big push is “mobile”. That is where the money is! Banning texting does nothing to prevent the driver from watching the streaming video football game on a cell phone while driving. A senators aide told me that the Florida legislature was flooded with wireless industry dollars.

    Consider also the constitutionality of requiring one segment of the population to do what is not required for another segment.

    Joe kid can get a drivers license, in Florida, with a parents signature that they “trained” him/her and then drive a 4 wheel drive pickup truck towing a boat through the middle of town???????

    Motorcyclists for the most part are like the rest of the public. They do not take the time to thoroughly investigate the issues that apply to them and do little to combat ill conceived legislation.

    Unfortunately this attitude will insure that many more lives will be lost needlessly on the “Killing fields” we refer to as “public roadways”. rc

  8. 8 Dave Blevins Apr 1st, 2010 at 8:42 am

    I’ve got to say, I’m not surprised. After riding all my adult life on the street and growing up on mini-bikes and trail bikes, I decided a few years ago to take the safety course to be able answer questions about it when folks in the shop talked about it, and I learned my insurance rate might even be reduced after completion (and it was).
    What I witnessed during the 2-day course (which included classroom, video demonstrations, and ride time), was mostly what I expected to see… some folks with a natural feel for it, and a few that I am sure had never even ridden a bicycle.
    The bikes used were 250cc and smaller and very managable, and of the 12 students in our group, 4 of them dumped their bike… one poor guy dropped his bike bike 3 different times, one of which when the bike wasn’t even running. Most of the students did well and improved during the course of study, but a couple of them really had no business getting on a motorcycle and entering traffic.
    Everyone was allowed to pass regardless of their ability after completing the course and of course paying the fee.
    I am not insulting the instructors, who were knowlegible, skilled, and patient, but if the safety course passes everyone regardless of their skill or outright inability, it should come as no surprise that completing the course does nothing to lower accident numbers.
    In my state (Kentucky) one may take a state rider test at their local DMV or opt for the safety rider course, and upon completion of either can get their rider license… in my opinion however, the state troopers who give the DMV rider tests would not pass some of the riders that the safety course will.

  9. 9 Mike Greenwald Apr 1st, 2010 at 11:14 am
  10. 10 Kodak Apr 1st, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety is a front for insurance companies. Insurance companies hate motorcycles and would prefer they just go away. The IIHS has produced some real winners like Jane Claybrook who has tried to take away all rights for bikers.

    Personally, I’ve been on the scoot for over 55 years and taken three safety courses. I use some of the information gleaned from those courses each time I ride, i.e. keep your head up, look ahead, etc. Does anyone do anything for 55+ years and not have problems? Probably not and I have some scars to prove it.

    Our ABATE Chapters in Arizona do a Motorcycle Safety Program in high schools. We have a course for drivers ed students and try to teach them to watch out for bikes. We think our program does get the student’s attention. At least we’re trying.

    Take the experienced riders course – you just might learn something.

  11. 11 Rogue Apr 1st, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Kodak
    Is Motorcycle Rider Courses Mandatory in Arizona before getting a Motorcycle License?
    Do the ABATE Chapters in Arizona charge for the courses they teach? If so how much?
    Are the courses awareness or riding?
    I do believe awareness courses are a good thing for everyone But that people should want to go to them and Not Be Forced To.
    All forms of education have a benefit. Hopefully people will have the choice to hear all versions and then make their own choice on what is best for their personal situation.

  12. 12 Kodak Apr 1st, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Rogue
    A Rider Course is not mandatory in AZ however you are issued a MC learner’s permit when you successfully pass the MSF novice course.
    ABATE does not charge for the courses and they are awareness only. As part of the class we do two ride bys for the students, one slow and one as fast as we can, and ask the students to guess the speed of each. They usually don’t have a clue with either one. We only visit schools that have drivers ed and ask the instructors if we can teach one class. Money for the program is funded by the ABATE State orginization and donations.
    To be honest we’re pretty proud of the program and plan to continue it.
    Kodak

  13. 13 TRACEY STRAIN Apr 1st, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    I HAVE BEEN IN THE AUTO COLLISON BUSINESS FOR 26 YRS , AND RIDING FOR 20 OF THEM, BUILDING CUSTOM CHOPPERS FOR THE LAST TEN YRS. AND I HAVE BEEN RAN OFF THE ROAD BY A CAR THAT RAN A STOP SIGN . I WILL DARE TO SAY 9 OUT OF TEN TIMES IT IS NOT THE BIKE IT IS THE CAR AND THE ADDITUDE OF THE DRIVER , IT SEEMS NO ONE CAN JUST DRIVE ANY MORE THEY ALL THINK THEY NEED TO BE MULITY TASKING INSTEED OF DRIVING !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WETHER IT BE TEXTING ,TALKING, PUTTING ON MAKUP OR A NUMBER OF THEM AT ONCE. THEY NEED TO MAKE IT ILLEAGAL TO HAVE THE PHONE IN THE CAR…..

  14. 14 Lyle Apr 1st, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    It’s no surprize. The age braket studied just has too little experience. Especially if they got their lisence through a safety class. Here, (MN and ND) you can take a course in a parking lot on little 250cc bikes and at the end of the course get your MC license issued. This MC license will legally allow you to ride a Haybusa or a Harley bagger, both of which are significantly different than the 250 you took the course on. Why aren’t there graduated MC licenses just like 4 wheeled vehicles? After all, I can’t drive a bus or a semi truck with my standard auto license.

  15. 15 Rogue Apr 1st, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Kodak
    So a person must take a MSF Course to get a learners permit is that correct?
    Is there a fee to take the MSF course?
    What happens after you get the learners permit?
    Are you later tested at the State Dept of Motor Vehicles?

    It sounds like what you and ABATE of AZ are doing is trying to help and make people aware of motorcycles on the road. That is a Good Thing.
    I hope you continue in what you are doing. I am sure it will help.

  16. 16 Rogue Apr 1st, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    LYLE
    Be careful what you ask for because you may get it.
    There is already talk of having those with motorcycle licenses being required to go back after 5 years and take one of the MSF better biking courses. Of course you would have to pay to do this.
    There is also a discussion about tiered licensing as you mention. It would mean all new riders would be limited on CC size for the first year of riding and then have to take a school for each upgrade in CC size after that.
    The proposals do not include testing at state department of motor vehicle departments just attending a MSF class and paying them some money. Hopefully some of those who attend will actually participate But that is usually not a big requirement.

  17. 17 Thorsblood Apr 1st, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    I got my cycle endorsement in 1976. No training course involved. Basically a figure 8 around the Secretary of state parking lot. I have went through a lot of bikes and miles since then, and have not crashed once. While I can’t say I might not pick something useful up out of a course, I don’t want to take one, and I sure as hell don’t want the government making me. I fact I would just as soon the government just stay completely out of my business. Like RC I have searched the world wide web trying to find ONE study that supported those rider courses preventing crashes and saving lives. No luck. Found a few that indicated taking a course INCREASED the likelihood of a crash. How to explain that? Who knows. I figure overconfidence and higher mileage could be it. However I have never met anyone who took a course and did not say it was the best thing since sliced bread. ABATE of Michigan has worked hard to protect the state funds for teaching these Basic Rider courses at 25 bucks. As opposed to the private MSF course (same course) that is getting 300 bucks. MSF is definitely a FOR profit organization easily determined by doing some digging. Buddying up to NHTSA and looking to get all states to mandate their costly training. Now I see they pulled out of the BIG CRASH CAUSATION study, and are going to undertake some private investigation into crash causation. Jeez, I wonder if the results will favor their desire to see mandatory rider courses across the country? http://www.examiner.com/x-378-Motorcycle-Examiner~y2010m4d1-Motorcycle-crash-study-will-proceed-without-MSF-money

  18. 18 Red Rob Apr 2nd, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Everytime I turn someone is trying to mandate something. The intentions might be good, but they are not thought out. Mandating classes will not reduce accidents, they might reduce stupid errors that are made by most beginners, but whose tracking that. I know I never called the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when I forgot to put my feet down or let the clutch out to fast.
    Awareness of your surrondings while your on the rode is the key to reducing accidents, thats for motorcyclists and cagers.
    I think Abate in AZ might be onto something with doing the ride bys during a drivers ed class. I hope it is working well for them.

    What’s next? Are there going to be a mandated class teaching people how not walk across the train tracks? People can’t seem to do that without getting hit by a train.

  19. 19 Banshee Apr 2nd, 2010 at 8:37 am

    People often ask why before I go from my Harley to Ducati. I change into full protective riding gear made for riding a racing bike. Well, there are a couple of quick reasons, after 37+ years of riding Harley’s’ that has become reflex riding. The bike I have now, I have had for 21 years. So I know her inside and out and how she is going to react in almost any situation. So Jeans , t-shirts, boots and I am ready to go.

    Now the Ducati, is a whole different ride. I have had it for 6 years now and I am still learning how it reacts in emergency events. Which way she is going to slide. how much throttle to bring her around and all those little things that can save my life. So I put on the proper clothes, boots, jacket and full face to remind myself to the core that I am not on my Harley and not to respond like I am.

    Now explain again to me? How you think teaching me to ride a tiny, underpowered dirt bike in a parking lot is preparing me to go out and buy and ride any other kind of bike? I rode dirt bikes when I was 6 years old and I do not care to have a refresher course nor do I use a single piece of that riding skill out here on the road when riding my Harley or Ducati.

    Those that know me, know I stopped riding on runs, rallies or in groups years ago. I am sorry but most of you scare me. You take a course, then head out and buy the biggest bike you can afford. And instead of taking the time to ride alone and learn your bike, you want to pile into the middle of a group of others riders just like you.

    And let me quickly mention here for those that do not know me. I am a Female Biker. And nothing pisses me off more than seeing the girlies on their new bikes in all the Harley clothes they can pile on, a set of high heel boots and unable to back their own bike into a parking spot. I ride for the ride, not the fashion show or to make a point or pretend to be anything. I am exactly what I am.

    I took the safety course both beginners and advance and like Rogue went all the way through and got the instructor’s certificate. I never taught because other than the government making money and a so-called rights group getting grants. I saw no advantage to teaching grownups how to ride a dirt bike or spend 8 hours teaching them to ride something off the showroom floor. 8 hours is a blink of an eye in riding experience and I do not see how in any manner that is giving any new rider the experience they need to pile in a group. In fact, I feel it gives them over-confidence and causes more accidents then it prevents.

  20. 20 Rogue Apr 2nd, 2010 at 9:18 am

    MSF Wants Money BUT NOT To Spend On Studies Especiially If They Do Not Control Results!

    http://wbx.me/l/?u=http%3A%2F%2Ffeedproxy.google.com%2F%7Er%2FMotorcycleExaminers%2F%7E3%2FP5_9u5p0RTM%2Fx-378-Motorcycle-Examiner%7Ey2010m4d1-Motorcycle-crash-study-will-proceed-without-MSF-mone Motorcycle crash study will proceed without MSF money April 1, 2:55 PMMotorcycle Examiner Ken Bingenheimer

    Phoenix police detectives look over the scene of a multi-motorcycle and trash truck accident on the Carefree Highway Thursday, March 25, 2010 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) A previously announced motorcycle crash study conducted by Dr. Samir Ahmed, of Oklahoma State University, will proceed despite a final decision by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) not to help fund it. A Congressional appropriation of $3 million will pay for the study, which the MSF said would not study enough crashes to produce sufficiently valid results.

    The MSF announced yesterday that it would be working with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to perform another, “naturalistic” motorcycle safety study.

    According to Dr. Ahmed, without the funding from the MSF, his study will be limited to one location rather than the three originally planned. He expects data collection to begin in May.

    That one site is likely to be in Southern California where the pilot study for the effort was conducted. Accident investigators there have been trained and, said Dr. Ahmed, there is no money to train other investigators.

    Dr. Ahmed said that shortly before the MSF announced it would be involved with the VTTI study, he was contacted by MSF President Tim Buche with news that the organization’s previous decision on not funding the OSU study would stand. The OSU researcher questioned whether the VTTI study would produce data of the quality that he expects his to produce.

    “The MSF shortchanged riders, and they played games for a long time,” he said, referring to the MSF’s questioning of his results as the purported reason for not supporting his study, when they presumably were already intending to pursue the other one.

    Still, he said, “We are ready to collect data.” The remaining hurdles delaying the start of the study “should be resolved very quickly.”

  21. 21 rc Apr 2nd, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Kodak

    The questions re: MOTORCYCLE AWARENESS days that many ABATE’s and other organizations provide in schools.

    It is understood that these “motorcycle awareness” days sound good and feel good BUT:

    Are ABATE’s doing this receiving “safety grant money”?

    If so then that is part of my tax dollars. So I would like to know:

    What Certifications or Qualifications do the presenters have in teaching and/or communication skills?

    What studies have been done demonstrating efficacy of these programs?

    Short term impact? Long term Impact? Is one ABATE chapter having a higher success rate than another? If so why?

    What is the Drivers Ed. Teachers attitude re motorcycles?

    What methodology has been used to demonstrate program/curriculum success? failures?

    Have the kids being taught seen an instructor with a motorcycle in a drinking environment?

    Where is the data? The Science? Other than an emotional, “well at least we are doing something”.

    Remember D.A.R.E., “Drug Abuse Resistance Education”?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_Abuse_Resistance_Education

    The darling of awareness/prevention programs?

    “The instructors of the D.A.R.E. curriculum are local police officers who must undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. For high school instructors, 40 hours of additional training are prescribed.[2][3] ”

    In 2001, the Surgeon General of the United States placed the D.A.R.E. program in the category of “Does Not Work”[9]

    The U.S. General Accountability Office concluded in 2003 that the program was sometimes counterproductive in some populations, with those who graduate from D.A.R.E. later having higher rates of drug use

    In March 2007, the D.A.R.E. program was placed on a list of treatments that have the potential to cause harm in clients in the APS journal, Perspectives on Psychological Science.[25]

    Psychologists at the University of Kentucky concluded that “continued enthusiasm [for D.A.R.E.] shows Americans’ stubborn resistance to apply science to drug policy.”[28]

    Of course D.A.R.E. stipulates that the problem is there are not enough D.A.R.E. programs?????

    Sound familiar?

    As a person who has designed and implemented various prevention, awareness, and treatment programs. I could make this very long as to how and why these programs fail.

    But then I would have done the work for those who have no idea what the hell they are doing but should.

    What role does alcohol play in single rider crashes? How does any ABATE address that?

    While most ABATE’s want “stiffer penalties” and the right to ride w/o a helmet, what major push have they made towards distracted driving?

    The President/lobbyist of ABATE of Florida stated clearly that there are times when he must use his cell phone while driving???????

    The Leader of an organization that seeks state money for “Safety Education” placing personal desire over science and safety??????

    Is there not an equation being developed here? Not just relating to motorcycle safety as the epidemic of “failing to legislate on the facts” has infected the whole country!

    But what the hell, it feels good….

    rc
    http://www.bigbendbikersforfreedom.com/

  22. 22 Rogue Apr 2nd, 2010 at 9:22 am

    This Is Where The MSF Wants To Go With Their Program. And YES They Will Want To Make It Mandatory and Force You To Pay For It.

    MSF:

    http://www.examiner.com/x-378-Motorcycle-Examiner~y2010m4d1-MSF-expands-motorcycle-rider-training-programs-raises-the-bar-on-minimum-competency MSF expands motorcycle rider training programs, raises the bar on minimum competency April 1, 10:04 AM

    Beginning motorcycle riders in training (Photo: Ken Bingenheimer) The days of motorcycle rider training conducted entirely in parking lots are at an end. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) announced yesterday that it is revamping its training curriculum to focus on three CORE curricula labeled Essential CORE, Expanded CORE, and Recommended CORE.

    Dr. Ray Ochs, Director, MSF Training Systems, said, “Each MSF CORE was created to encompass the knowledge, skill, attitudes and habits linked with high-quality riding, but the Recommended CORE is the most comprehensive. These three COREs provide a solid foundation for a lifetime of safety and better riding judgment, and also extend training over a longer period for a much more rounded approach to personal development and the techniques of risk management. Riding skills are perishable and require renewal and commitment over time.

    “We’re especially excited to announce the new Street RiderCourses, as there’s no substitute for being in real traffic,” he added.

    While some of the new courses are available now at some locations, full roll-out of the training will first require MSF-certified trainers to complete their own train-the-trainer classes. Prospective students should check with their local training site or with a state program administrator’s office. The courses will be announced as they are released for public enrollment on the MSF Web site at http://www.msf-usa.org. All of them are slated to be ready for implementation this year.

    The MSF recommends its Essential CORE Curriculum as the minimum training for every beginning rider. This curriculum includes the long-standing Basic Rider Course (BRC), a new Street Rider Course (SRC), and a Basic Bike-Bonding Rider Course. The BRC is conducted entirely in a parking lot on small training cycles provided by the trainer. In the SRC the student may ride a training bike or their own, and goes beyond the traditional closed riding range. The bike-bonding course is specifically intended to help students learn to handle their own motorcycles.

    The MSF breaks out the three CORE curricula in this manner.

    Essential CORE

    Basic RiderCourse: The recommended first ride aboard a smaller, training-size motorcycle on a closed range.

    Street RiderCourse 1: The recommended first public-road ride for students with their own motorcycles (or training motorcycles), and the first MSF course taken beyond traditional, closed riding ranges. In a standard SRC 1, three students are linked by radios to one specially certified MSF RiderCoach.

    Basic Bike-Bonding RiderCourse: Skill drills to help students handle their own motorcycles.

    Expanded CORE

    Basic RiderCourse

    Street Smart – Rider Perception: A host-an-event kit with a compact disc containing perception tests relating to real-world situations.

    Street RiderCourse 1

    Basic Bike-Bonding RiderCourse

    Advanced RiderCourse – Sportbike Techniques: For sport and other style motorcycles, this includes three classroom hours focusing on rider awareness and risk management, and four hours of riding on a closed range with exercises that aim to develop both technique and judgment.

    Street RiderCourse 2: Adding time and mileage to that in Street RiderCourse 1, focused on improving the perceptual strategies of street riding.

    Recommended CORE

    Basic RiderCourse

    Street Smart – Rider Perception

    Street RiderCourse 1

    Basic Bike-Bonding RiderCourse

    Advanced RiderCourse – Sportbike Techniques

    Street RiderCourse 2

    KS-RiderCourseSM: Developed with Grand Prix road racing champion Kevin Schwantz, this circuit-type, fine-skills course uses a much larger riding range, permitting speeds closer to that on public roads.

    For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourse nearest you, visit http://www.msf-usa.org or call (800) 446-9227.

  23. 23 Lyle Apr 2nd, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    I’m with Banshee on this one. There’s no way running a little 250cc around some cones in a parking lot will prepare that person for riding the same bike or a larger one on the street. Why do you think truckers need a special license to drive their rigs? I’m not really for more classes, but learners should have an experience base before getting on a larger bike. Regarding the train tracks (or anything else) there’s always going to be distracted people not paying attention. Regulations won’t fix that. But making it OK for someone to ride a bike they aren’t ready for because they took a class isn’t good either.

  24. 24 rc Apr 2nd, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    RE: Motorcycle Safety Awareness programs as put on by ABATE’s and other organizations.

    My first question would be if organizations are getting grant money to provide these in school awareness classes?

    If so then we would have the following questions:

    Instructors/presenters: What credited training by a certified body have these presenters had that qualifies them as class room presenters. It’s one thing to ride a motorcycle, it’s another to teach motorcycle awareness.

    What “standardized, reviewed, and professionally recognized Awareness curriculum is being used?

    Has this program/curriculum been tested/researched as to efficacy?

    What follow-up is done to determine impact?

    What ongoing quality control methods are in use to identify program strengths and weaknesses?

    Does the student ever see the presenters with motorcycle in a drinking environment?

    If these questions can’t be answered it is nothing more than a glorified, touchy freely show and tell!

    Having designed and implemented various programming that has received state and federal funding
    for various issues including prevention and awareness In most cases there are criteria that has to be met.

    In the real world most programs such as these have been proved to be ineffective.

    Example the darling of police departments D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education). An Awareness Prevention program:

    “The instructors of the D.A.R.E. curriculum are local police officers who must undergo 80 hours of special training in areas such as child development, classroom management, teaching techniques, and communication skills. For high school instructors, 40 hours of additional training are prescribed.[2][”

    “These studies reported that D.A.R.E. did not actually decrease drug use among graduates. Some studies even indicated that there was an increased rate of drug use among D.A.R.E. graduates. In 2001, the Surgeon General of the United States placed the D.A.R.E. program in the category of “Does Not Work”[9]”

    “They tried to intimidate us.”[15] After reporter Dennis Cauchon published a story questioning the effectiveness of D.A.R.E. in USA Today, he received letters from classrooms around the country, all addressed to “Dear D.A.R.E.-basher,” and all using nearly identical language.[15]”

    “In 2001, the Surgeon General of the United States, David Satcher M.D. Ph.D., placed the D.A.R.E. program in the category of “Does Not Work.”[5] The U.S. General Accountability Office concluded in 2003 that the program was sometimes counterproductive in some populations, with those who graduate from D.A.R.E. later having higher rates of drug use (a boomerang effect).[24]”

    “In March 2007, the D.A.R.E. program was placed on a list of treatments that have the potential to cause harm in clients in the APS journal, Perspectives on Psychological Science.[25]”

    Sound familiar? We have to many people on both sides of the policy fence that are uneducated regarding the various issues they wish to promote. This hurts, does not strengthen, the movement.

    The ABATE of Florida President/lobbyist stated in a state meeting that he must use a cell phone while driving. But that he uses a hands free device. This demonstrates either a lack of knowledge, or an attitude of “the science does not apply to me” re the issue distracted driving.

    Let the legislators dismiss the research entirely as it is not politically popular. And we as advocates allow them to get away with it.

    Until we get honest re our own motives and confront those, without compromise, that would allow us to continue to die needlessly on the Killing fields we call Public Highways all our efforts are a joke and we well go the way of the dinosaurs.

    rc
    http://www.bigbendbikersforfreedom.com/

  25. 25 Rogue Apr 2nd, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    More about the MSF.

    April 1, 2:55 PMMotorcycle Examiner Ken Bingenheimer

    Phoenix police detectives look over the scene of a multi-motorcycle and trash truck accident on the Carefree Highway Thursday, March 25, 2010 in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York) A previously announced motorcycle crash study conducted by Dr. Samir Ahmed, of Oklahoma State University, will proceed despite a final decision by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) not to help fund it. A Congressional appropriation of $3 million will pay for the study, which the MSF said would not study enough crashes to produce sufficiently valid results.

    The MSF announced yesterday that it would be working with Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI) to perform another, “naturalistic” motorcycle safety study.

    According to Dr. Ahmed, without the funding from the MSF, his study will be limited to one location rather than the three originally planned. He expects data collection to begin in May.

    That one site is likely to be in Southern California where the pilot study for the effort was conducted. Accident investigators there have been trained and, said Dr. Ahmed, there is no money to train other investigators.

    Dr. Ahmed said that shortly before the MSF announced it would be involved with the VTTI study, he was contacted by MSF President Tim Buche with news that the organization’s previous decision on not funding the OSU study would stand. The OSU researcher questioned whether the VTTI study would produce data of the quality that he expects his to produce.

    “The MSF shortchanged riders, and they played games for a long time,” he said, referring to the MSF’s questioning of his results as the purported reason for not supporting his study, when they presumably were already intending to pursue the other one.

    Still, he said, “We are ready to collect data.” The remaining hurdles delaying the start of the study “should be resolved very quickly.”

  26. 26 Knucklehead Apr 3rd, 2010 at 5:33 am

    My wife took the class and 128 miles on a new Lowrider crashed. Who knows!

  27. 27 Rogue Apr 3rd, 2010 at 7:49 am

    The objet of this is to share information and hopefully everyone will use the information to make their own decision on what is best for them. The following is from the Motorcycle Riders Foundtion.

    MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
    236 Massachusetts Ave. NE | Suite 510 | Washington, DC 20002-4980
    202-546-0983 (voice) | 202-546-0986 (fax) | MailFilterGateway has detected a possible fraud attempt from “r20.rs6.net” claiming to be http://www.mrf.org

    10NR07 – MRF News Release – MRF ATTENDS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY NETWORK MEETING IN WASHINGTON – HORSEPOWER IS BAD?

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    28 March 2010

    Contact: Jeff Hennie, MRF V.P. of Government Relations & Public Affairs

    MRF ATTENDS MOTORCYCLE SAFETY NETWORK MEETING IN WASHINGTON – HORSEPOWER IS BAD?

    Recently the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held the spring meeting of the Motorcycle Safety Network. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) has been a regular participant in this meeting since its inception over five years ago. This meeting was also attended by the American Motorcyclist Association, Motorcycle Safety Foundation, Motorcycle Industry Council, Harley Davidson, American Honda, U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators, Accident Scene Management Inc, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Insurance Data Institute, and just about every transportation-related government entity. The all-day meeting covered just about every aspect of motorcycle safety.

    Early predictions by government statisticians are claiming that overall traffic fatality numbers for 2009 will be down almost 10 percent over 2008. There is no breakout for motorcycles yet, but one thing is sure to be true; simple math demonstrates that each year that we have more motorcycles on the road than the previous year, we can expect the fatality and injury numbers to rise accordingly.

    No real update was available on the federally-funded motorcycle crash study. Although the feds continue to defend the reduction of the sample size from 1200 to 300 crashes as “statistically sound,” we at the MRF call into question the end result of such a small number of samples. The recently-concluded pilot study report is due out this May.

    The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) gave a lengthy multimedia presentation on their goings on. First off, they are going global with plans to pitch or implement their training curricula in Italy, Germany, Jordan, Israel and China. The most noteworthy progress is being made in Jordan, where up until the adoption of the MSF course, only the King and his friends could ride motorcycles! The MSF had to write new sections of the class to incorporate sand and gravel roads because in some parts of the country the pavement just stops.

    Also announced at the meeting was the MSF’s plan to withhold the $3 million they were going to donate to the federal crash study and instead do their own study. They rolled out plans to partner with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to do a study using cameras and instrumentation mounted on numerous bikes for 6-18 months. The idea is to see what riders are doing to avoid crashes instead of the feds’ approach of waiting for a crash and then going to see what happened. It’s a laudable effort by the MSF, and the MRF supports them in what is likely to be the world’s first large-scale naturalistic motorcycle riding study.

    The MSF also rolled out information on a few new classes that will be available. First is the CORE class – a single afternoon class designed for returning riders, or for people who know the basics and can keep a bike up but just need a little more polish. The second is a set of actual road classes that have an instructor student ration of 3-1 or 4-2. They ride in 15-minute bursts through various locales, with a blackboard session before and after each ride.

    The insurance industry had multiple representatives to announce their publication entitled “Riding is Risky Fun,” which came out on the day of the meeting. From the incredibly biased title to the bunk statistics churned out by the insurance industry, the whole publication has little, if any, factual base. The only people who could believe the pamphlet are its authors. As expected, the insurance industry continues to pile on the garbage rhetoric of motorcycle crashes being so much more expensive than auto crashes. For instance, their hired guns insist that rider education fails to reduce motorcycle crashes, and that having ABS reduces your chances of crashing by 37 percent.

    The report largely focuses on the super sport bike, which the insurance industry has been trying to all-out ban for decades. “Horsepower is bad; cheap horsepower is even worse” was the phrase that the insurance industry kept using throughout their presentation. We here at the MRF could not disagree more. You can read the whole concocted publication on their website, MailFilterGateway has detected a possible fraud attempt from “r20.rs6.net” claiming to be http://www.iihs.org/externaldata/srdata/docs/sr4503.pdf

    The Marine Corps ended the day on positive note by rebuking the insurance industry’s notion that rider education does not work. The Corps has seen their motorcycle fatalities reduced by half over the last year, and they give all the credit to their rider education program. Hats off to the Corps for doing its best to keep our mean, green, fighting marines in shape!

    SAVE THE DATE! Don’t forget May 20th will be the MRF’s second Michael “Boz” Kerr Bikers in the Beltway Motorcycle Awareness and Lobby Day. The MRF has secure, free motorcycle parking just steps from the Nation’s Capitol. Ride to DC for what is sure to be a spectacular event.

  28. 28 Rogue Apr 3rd, 2010 at 7:58 am

    The organizations that comment on motorcycle issues ALL Have A Agenda!
    They have a right to what they believe and to share that with others.
    The problem I have is when any group or agency wants to Force Me To Abide By Their Beliefs by Passing Legislation That Forces Me To Pay Them Money.
    The schools should be available for anyone who wants or needs them. They Should Not Be Mandatory!
    Upon completion of the school All Should Be Required To Take A Test At The Department of Motor Vehicles. Hey if the schools are so good and not just a money mill they should not object to this.
    To All Please Contact Your Legislators and let them know how you feel about these issues.
    Thanks
    Rogue

  29. 29 J9 Apr 5th, 2010 at 11:44 am

    Cyril, I’m curious about one thing.. How many of these kids who are now statics, were operating sport bikes? There’s a different sense of freedom that overcomes these kids when they have soooo much power under what suddenly becomes Brass Balls .. And the “rush” they feel is too overwhelming for them to control..

    I think that first time bike owners under 21yrs. of age, should start out riding a cruiser for “X” amount of time to learn a certain responsibility that comes with operating these machines.

    They drive like morons when they’re behind the wheel of a car, so why should they treat a bike any differently?! And if you as an adult are thinking you didn’t act the same, when you were a kid, then more than likely you’re lieing to yourself. And inspite of how you feel about my comments, I don’t want to see any of these young bikers get hurt or hurt others.. I just want to see them get more experience in a control environment before releasing them into the world of 90+mph!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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