TOPEKA, Kan. – Chris Bortz, traffic safety manager at the Kansas Department of Transportation, reminded motorcycle riders that with the arrival of spring weather, the best way to “Share the Road” with other drivers is to be properly licensed and trained.
“While motorcycle fatalities have declined slightly in the last couple of years, a statistic that has remained constant is that about 50% of motorcyclist fatalities each year involve riders who are not properly licensed,” Bortz stated.
To address this problem, Julie Earnest from the Kansas Department of Revenue Division of Vehicles, talked about the options for getting a Class M endorsement. The rider can either go to the Division of Vehicles or attend an approved motorcycle driver education course.
Steve Christenberry, a certified Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) RiderCoach, said training can help riders improve their skills, no matter what level of experience they may have. “Researchers examined more than 900 crashes to identify contributing factors,” he stated, “and the MSF used those findings as a base for developing curriculum that focuses repeated practice on those basic skills…with a goal of gaining ‘muscle memory’ so the skills are automatically employed by the rider.”
Christenberry also reminded the audience of ABATE’s 30th annual Capital Classic Motorcycle Show, March 14-16, 2014, and encouraged enthusiasts to enjoy the show.
Marshall Madill, president of the Topeka Chapter of the Christian Motorcyclist Association (CMA), emphasized that another way to save lives is to wear a helmet.
Madill, who survived a 65 MPH crash with a deer last summer, concluded by stating, “Because I was wearing my helmet, I got to ‘decide to ride’ again.”
Madill and Rod Falley, also a member of ABATE and CMA, rode through a demonstration of the DMV course to show the skills needed to pass the requirements for getting a Class M endorsement.
For more information about motorcycle training and safety please visit the Kansas Traffic Safety Resource Office at www.ktsro.org/motorcycle-safety-resources