A new Pennsylvania law allows 16- and 17-year-olds motorcyclists to complete a riding course. Taking the course allows those riders to get their licenses earlier. Motorcyclist James Maniscalco celebrates the law as it educates more teens on motorcycle safety.
It’s no secret: motorcycling is an often dangerous and sometimes fatal mode of transportation. Everyone knows the horror stories about gruesome motorcycle accidents. When we see a motorcyclist without a helmet or protective gear, we shudder at the possible accident. A new Pennsylvania law addresses this issue to protect the lives of more citizens on the road.
The law, put into affect on August 31, requires more training for 16- and 17-year-old cyclists. Those teenagers desirous for their cycling license are now required to take a basic course about riding. This will help further educate those youngsters about motorcycle and road safety.
Enacted with the pen of Governor Tom Corbett, the law requires the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. In essence, it’s a 15-hour course aimed at basic motorcycle education. At the end of the training, teens can take the motorcycle license test. They can only do so if they’ve achieved every other learner’s permit specifications.
Fifteen hours of classroom and educational time comprise the course. Classroom time takes up five hours. A motorcycle course practice area takes up the remaining ten hours. In both segments, students learn about general safety and driving responsibilities.
If teens decide to not take the course, they would have to record more on-the-road hours. The course is designed to get licenses in the hands of educated drivers faster. In effect, the course will appeal to young riders who don’t wish to wait. In taking the course to attain their license, they become more educated about safety and riding.
In 1999, a similar regulation was enacted, aimed at teenage automobile drivers. Since the law turned effective, improvements in crashes have resulted. In 2011, 16-year-old driver crashes decreased by 69% since 1999. Fatal crashes among 16-year-olds decreased by almost 52%. With 17-year-olds, crashes dropped by 43% and fatal crashes by 41%.
PennDot, the organization behind the law, has not released any statistics on motorcycles crashes as of yet. James Maniscalco looks forward to likely improvements in crashes and fatal accidents due to teenage motorcyclists.
James Maniscalco has a vast experience with riding and working on motorcycles. His approach is educated and knowledgeable. In everything, he ensures he rides safely and responsibly.