DMV Recognized for Promoting Motorcycle Safety

November 29, 2005

Dover — The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a division of DelDOT, has been recognized by a national safety organization for having one of the best programs in the nation in helping promote motorcycle safety. As part of an enhanced motorcycle certification process, Delaware riders can take voluntary Motorcycle Rider Education Program courses through the DMV.

Delaware, Idaho and Oregon top the list of 10 states identified as having "promising practices" that promote motorcycle safety, according to a study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) that was conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The study, entitled "Promising Practices in Motorcycle Rider Education and Licensing," assigns scores to each of the 47 states that offer state-legislated motorcycle education programs.

States were put into three categories of promising practices — "low," "medium," and "high" — based on their level of implementation of high-quality rider training and comprehensive licensing. Delaware was rated in the "high" category, with 23 points, which tied it with Idaho for second place. Garnering the most points was Oregon with 24 points. Others in the top 10 are: Nevada, New Mexico, Maryland, Ohio, Hawaii, Washington, and Minnesota.

"We're proud of the program we have, but we're always looking for ways to improve," said DMV Director Michael Shahan. "In light of recent fatalities involving motorcycles, we are encouraging riders even more to take the education courses we offer. Also, we have made our program more accessible statewide with new motorcycle training areas and more instructors in Dover and Georgetown."

The promising-practices framework used in the study was based upon scientific research in three areas: program administration, rider education, and licensing. The practices reviewed included: integrating rider education programs and licensing agencies; focusing on unlicensed riders for education programs; and rider education programs training examiners, providing guidance on licensing standards, and writing or reviewing the state motorcycle operator's manual.

Other practices included: offering ongoing professional development for instructors; conducting quality control evaluations of equipment, training locations, and instructors; distributing promotional material about rider training opportunities and promoting public awareness campaigns; and using mobile training sites to provide training to students in rural areas.

Delaware's motorcycle endorsement and rider program has trained tens of thousands of riders over the years, including 1,243 enrollees as of October 25 of this year. Any person who operates a motorcycle, motorbike or other 2-wheeled, motor-driven vehicle on the highway shall have a driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Persons over the age of 18 must pass a written examination and road skills test to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. The written and road test examinations are waived for those who complete the approved Motorcycle Rider Education Program, also offered by the DMV.

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