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Great day for motorcycle safety


gottabmw

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The 2009 session of the Oregon Legislature has been extremely productive if you appreciate motorcycle safety. Thanks to my motorcycle-riding state senator wife, three bills relating to motorcycles have passed both chambers and will go to the governor for his signature.

 

1) Requires insurance companies doing business in Oregon to offer discounts on motorcycle insurance to riders who've passed the Team Oregon Basic Rider Training course.

 

2) Doubles the fine for riding without a motorcycle endorsement from $360 to $720. The violation can be waved if the violator takes the Team Oregon Basic Rider Training course.

 

3) And the big one: requires all riders getting a motorcycle endorsement on their Oregon driver's license, for the first time, to take, and pass, the Team Oregon Basic Rider Training course. The requirements in SB 546 will apply effective January 1, 2010 for all first-time motorcycle endorsement applicants:

 

- on or after January 1, 2011, to persons who are under 31 years of age;

- on or after January 1, 2012, to persons who are under 41 years of age;

- on or after January 1, 2013, to persons who are under 51 years of age;

- on or after January 1, 2014, to persons who are under 61 years of age;

- on or after January 1, 2015, to all persons.

 

All three laws are incentive for obtaining formal motorcycle training. While no amount of rider training will keep some nincompoop from turning left in front of motorcycles or some drunk person from getting on a bike, these laws will contribute greatly to rider safety, most likely translating to decreased injury and death.

 

This is, for me, a particularly proud and satisfying moment. I'm not only proud of my wife for shepherding the legislation through the process, but because these laws were my idea. Maybe not world-wide original, but I thought: "What if everyone who rides was trained? Certainly, fewer motorcyclists would die on the highways."

 

I presented my idea to the Governor's Advisory Committee on Motorcycle Safety and they were immediately interested. It took two years of my urging, building coalitions amongst stakeholders, public testimony and drafting the bills to make it come to fruition.

 

I think it's good legislation. It gradually implements the law, has a very small fiscal impact and isn't an onus on any of the riders who've been riding for years.

 

In a generation or so, all riders getting motorcycle endorsements in Oregon will be trained riders. That can only be a good thing!

 

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Does Oregon require all first time applicants for driver's licenses to attend a training course, regardless of their age, or can they simply walk into any DMV office and take the test?

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Does Oregon require all first time applicants for driver's licenses to attend a training course, regardless of their age, or can they simply walk into any DMV office and take the test?

Exactly. I think it's more of a great day for discrimination than motorcycle safety.

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The training bill also requires the DMV to include two motorcycle-related questions on the driver's license written test. That's two more than before.

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What about reciprocity?

If I'm licensed in another state and move to Oregon, do I have to take the Oregon test to be mc licensed?

Do I have to pass the course and then be tested?

What about CDL's, autos?

I have those too.

What happens at renewal?

Do you get retested, retrained, both, or neither when your license is renewed?

I know by studying data that there are spikes and dips in motorcycle accidents that are months, then years apart.

Once you train and test, are you good for life?

So a noob trains, tests, license, rides 2,00 mile in next 20 years and is automatically renewed?

How about a licensed Oregonian who moves to anothe r state and returns?

Start over?

Please expound and elucidate.

Congrats to both of you for wanting to make a difference.

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Congratulations on your work. I applaud you.

 

The fact that it is now harder for Oregonians to qualify for a riders license is a double edged sword. Does this mean that allowing poorly educated drivers out there will continue?

 

I'm all for making it harder to qualify for both designations. I just don't think it's logical to put the burden on the guy riding 400lbs vs the guy driving 2000lbs.

 

Hire Skip Barber Inc to put together a drivers program, make anyone who wants to drive pay for it on a sliding scale based on income (of parents)and have the insurance companies provide the difference. No, I'm not a socialist, but it could all be set up in a way that the insurance co's easily saw the benefit.

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CoarsegoldKid

I'm with Kathy. Having Oregon MC riders better riders is a good thing. Next you can do the same for all drivers.

 

 

I'd add one more thing-automatic one year suspension of license for drunk drivers, jail time for causing an accident while drunk, prison for injuring/killing someone while drunk.

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No. The law is ONLY for first time applicants in Oregon and they'll not have to do it again.

 

This law is gentle in its approach and implementation. We couldn't have gotten the support we did if it would be a burden to existing licensed motorcyclists. Originally, all the motorcycle groups were against the concept of this bill, simply because of that dirty word "mandatory." Once they learned it was applicable to only to first-time applicants, they either endorsed it or remained neutral.

 

To some others here: I would love to require training for car drivers. Certainly the roads would be safer, but you have to pick your fights. We did manage to require the DMV to include motorcycle-related questions on the written portion of the driver's license test.

 

Hey, this law isn't perfect and won't solve all the issues regarding motorcycle safety but it's going to help.

 

By the way, the only motorcycle safety course sanctioned by the State of Oregon is Team Oregon. They'll have the sole rights to train riders for state sanctioned licensing and testing. The reason for this is their superior training program. Other training organizations have applied, and the state listens, but they've come up short on curriculum and refuse to upgrade to Oregon's standards. Team Oregon is non-profit so it's not like they're getting some financial benefit. In fact, they wanted the five-year phase-in so they could have time to meet the increased demand. They figure they will employ up to 160 more instructors by the time the bill is completely phased in.

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I don't know. Yes I like the idea of safer, more well trained riders, but I'm not necessarily a fan of achieving that through more laws. I don't intend this as a diss or anything, that's just my opinion.

 

I'm going through the process of stepping a new, teenage driver through the process of obtaining a driver's license in California. And let me tell you, it's easier to qualify for a kidney transplant than it is to get license as a new driver. The restrictions placed on them are, in my opinion, cumbersome to the point that they hinder progress and training.

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So I'm wondering what data you used to demonstrate that the additional requirements would result in a lower accident rate?

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I applaud your efforts. I personally think all motor vehicle licensure should be tougher to get and to maintain. I have felt for years that drivers should have to "re-qualify" for their driver's license at least every ten years, including a written and road test.

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I have mixed emotions about this.

 

While I am a big fan of Team Oregon's instruction I am not a big fan of passing more and more laws attempting to control the behavior of those who will ignore the law anyway.

 

Will mandating the expense of taking the training encourage that segment of the population to ride without the required endorsement?

 

Does the new law increase the penalty for riding without the endorsement enough to encourage the expense of taking the training?

 

And how do you mandate a discount on behalf of the insurance companies? Do they just raise their rates overall and back them back down in the form of a discount?

 

I am concerned this will end up being another instance where it makes us feel good but in the end impacts those who would otherwise have taken the training and purchased insurance regardless of the new law more than those who would not have.

 

Just my 2 cents worth.

 

Ewell

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And how do you mandate a discount on behalf of the insurance companies? Do they just raise their rates overall and back them back down in the form of a discount?

Yes.

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While the devil maybe in the details, I think you and your wife are to be commended for moving this issue (untrained riders and their propensity for crashing) forward. It's obvious you've invested a great deal of time and energy in this (much more than my three beer tirade on "wild *ss teenagers on crotch rockets").

Again, sincere congratulations.

 

Wooster

 

male deer infatuated with female is a doe nut

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Francois_Dumas

Although compared to most European procedures this is still grossly inadequate, it is a start.... and that's good. :thumbsup:

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I've never been one to think that additional laws will make for a better world but I have to agree with you and your wife. I thank you both for your efforts.

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Thank You

First, thank you for your efforts. Team Oregon is without a doubt one of the most aggressive and forward-thinking of all the State Motorcycle Safety Administrations. I'm no fan of big government. However, as a lifelong motorcyclist I understand that the safety issues we face are unique for a variety of reasons, ranging from our smaller physical size, to the uniqueness of balancing a two-wheeler, to the dynamics of how they handle.

 

Starting with their training-range accident rates (which are reportedly lower than those states which use the MSF curriculum), to their post-training safety data, they are doing a heck of a job. It's no wonder more and more states are looking at the Team Oregon curriculum.

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russell_bynum

I don't like #1 at all. Let the businesses run the business and the state run the state.

 

I'm still confused about a transfer. I've got my MC license in CA. If I move to Oregon, and apply for a MC license there, do I have to take the class?

 

And I don't understand the gradual roll-out. What's the benefit of that? Since you're grandfathering in everyone who already has a MC license, what is the reasoning behind rolling it out to people who don't have a MC license gradually?

 

 

Don't get me wrong...I think this is an area that we need to improve, and I've heard nothing but good things about Team Oregon's program. Mostly I think this is a step in the right direction, except for #1, which is a leap in the wrong direction.

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As for #1, State's regulate businesses all the time. It's merely another incentive for people to seek training.

 

You would not have to take the class if you come from another state with that state's motorcycle endorsement.

 

The gradual roll-out was done for Team Oregon's benefit. It would have been too much of a burden to initiate the program all at once. It was modeled after a similar boat licensing plan.

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russell_bynum
As for #1, State's regulate businesses all the time. It's merely another incentive for people to seek training.

 

Yup, and I'm usually opposed to those efforts.

 

All that's going to happen is they'll raise rates and then the "discount" will get you back where you started.

 

You would not have to take the class if you come from another state with that state's motorcycle endorsement.

 

The gradual roll-out was done for Team Oregon's benefit. It would have been too much of a burden to initiate the program all at once. It was modeled after a similar boat licensing plan.

 

Ah, OK, that makes sense.

 

I don't like the state forcing insurance companies to give discounts, but otherwise, this looks like a real step in the right direction. Hopefully it'll have the desired impact on rider safety.

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beemerman2k

Great job! You have my heartfelt "thanks" on behalf of the untold number of lives that will be saved by you and your wife's efforts.

 

Well done, forget the knockers.

Ian

 

:eek:

 

Ahh, you wanna rephrase that one? I think something got lost in the translation :rofl:

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I agree with this for the most part, so kudos to you both. Francois is right, the licencsure proceedures here in the states are pretty lacking. In most of Europe no driving under 18, expensive "provisional" licences for new drivers, and required training is huge and mandates real skill. Alot of places you go on a pretty lenghty road test, on real roads for your bike licence. It is a step in the right direction.

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Good gnus for safety. Bad gnus for eastern oregon cyclists with day jobs. The state needs to offer the classes to eastern Oregon towns and offer courses on week ends so the 78% of working folk who still have jobs can attend. Class offerings are not currently conducive to residents east of the Cascades who now must take multiple unpaid work days to meet the west side centric OR Dept of Transportation training schedule.

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Russel - It was a pleasant surprise to me that the insurance companies gave no resistance. Of course, if they (when they?) raise rates to cover the cost, that will satisfy them. But motorcycle insurance has to be a very, very small piece of their pie. The amount needed to balance their loss here has to be extremely miniscule. Personally, I'd welcome a minor increase in my insurance cost if the MC safety bill saved even one life. Wouldn't you?

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russell_bynum
Personally, I'd welcome a minor increase in my insurance cost if the MC safety bill saved even one life. Wouldn't you?

 

No, because there's no correlation between me paying artificially higher rates and any lives being saved.

 

If the training works (which, by all indications, it does), insurance companies will recognize that and offer discounts on their own, just like many companies do today with the MSF classes. Those that don't will lose out through the free market (i.e.people will buy their insurance from someone who does give the discount). Mandating the rate increase doesn't solve any problems.

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Mister Tee
No, because there's no correlation between me paying artificially higher rates and any lives being saved.

 

If the training works (which, by all indications, it does), insurance companies will recognize that and offer discounts on their own, just like many companies do today with the MSF classes. Those that don't will lose out through the free market (i.e.people will buy their insurance from someone who does give the discount). Mandating the rate increase doesn't solve any problems.

 

I am in agreement with that.

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Tim Wilson
Personally, I'd welcome a minor increase in my insurance cost if the MC safety bill saved even one life. Wouldn't you?

 

No, because there's no correlation between me paying artificially higher rates and any lives being saved.

 

If the training works (which, by all indications, it does), insurance companies will recognize that and offer discounts on their own, just like many companies do today with the MSF classes. Those that don't will lose out through the free market (i.e.people will buy their insurance from someone who does give the discount). Mandating the rate increase doesn't solve any problems.

 

Many, perhaps, but not all. Even State Farm, which is arguably one of the largest insurance companies, offers NO discount for MSF training (at least not for me where I live).

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russell_bynum
Personally, I'd welcome a minor increase in my insurance cost if the MC safety bill saved even one life. Wouldn't you?

 

No, because there's no correlation between me paying artificially higher rates and any lives being saved.

 

If the training works (which, by all indications, it does), insurance companies will recognize that and offer discounts on their own, just like many companies do today with the MSF classes. Those that don't will lose out through the free market (i.e.people will buy their insurance from someone who does give the discount). Mandating the rate increase doesn't solve any problems.

 

Many, perhaps, but not all. Even State Farm, which is arguably one of the largest insurance companies, offers NO discount for MSF training (at least not for me where I live).

 

So....take your business elsewhere.

 

That was my whole point.

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Perhaps the reason many companies don't provide MSF training discounts is that MSF training doesn't have a significant effect on claims rates?

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