Washington, D.C. – Oregon, Delaware, and Idaho 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. Alaska, Arkansas, and Mississippi were not included because they did not have state-legislated 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. Ten states were rated in the “high” category, 29 in the “medium” category, and eight in the “low category.”
The states in the “high” category of promising practices were: Oregon, Delaware, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Maryland, Ohio, Hawaii, Washington, and Minnesota. The states with scores in the “low” category were Kansas, Arizona, Kentucky, New Jersey, West Virginia, Wyoming, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.
“This study is the first one to develop a research-based model of promising practices for rider education and licensing and to use the model to identify states that have implemented high-quality rider training and comprehensive licensing,” said Stéphane Baldi of AIR, who served as project director for the study.
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.
According to the NHTSA, deaths and injuries related to motorcycle crashes are increasingly accounting for a larger portion of overall motor vehicle traffic crashes, which were the leading causes of death for people between the ages of three and 33 in 2002.
This research was supported (in part) by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation, under Contract No. DTNH22-02-C-05046. The opinions, findings and recommendations contained herein are those of the authors, and do not necessarily represent those of NHTSA.