The second straight year of declining motorcycle fatalities reported Wednesday by the Governors Highway Safety Association is promising, but much more can be done, according to the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Tim Buche (MSF President and CEO) says: “This is certainly welcome news but more gains in motorcycle safety are possible. Industry surveys find that fewer than 50 percent of the riders on the road have taken formal rider education.
“We continue to strongly urge governors and all policymakers to implement improved, expanded rider training programs for new, experienced and returning riders. We also want to encourage every effort to make all motorists more aware of, and more safe around, the increasing number of motorcyclists among them in everyday traffic.”
The news release issued by the governors association stated that motorcycle fatalities “declined in 2010 by at least 2 percent,” according to preliminary data. That projection was based on research from all 50 states.
Buche said that the MSF wants to see an increase in better trained, more competent motorcyclists who apply good strategies to their riding, and use appropriate, high-visibility safety gear.
Tim Buche says: “We can go much further with motorcycle safety through effective countermeasures that are readily available. Legislators can raise the bar for what we accept as basic motorcycle skills and knowledge and increase focus on informed rider choices.
“Motorcyclists can choose to make better decisions about their riding habits and what they wear, starting with a good helmet made to Department of Transportation standards. Car and truck drivers can look for motorcyclists and focus on driving without any distractions from a variety of things, starting with their cell phones and mobile devices.”
Addressing various safety needs, the MSF recently released more comprehensive training programs designed to improve rider skills and judgment, risk management and situational awareness.
The new MSF Essential CORESM Curriculum offers advanced hands-on exercises that can greatly improve rider skills and strategies.
The MSF also promotes safety awareness initiatives aimed at other motorists, including forcardrivers.com. And, engaging in its own research effort, the MSF recently partnered with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute on the innovative MSF 100 Motorcyclists Naturalistic Study. Video cameras and data acquisition sensors will be used to track 100 riders over several months and create a comprehensive picture of the many factors adding to both crashes and near-crashes.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been recognized worldwide since 1973.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory and Yamaha. For safety information or to enroll in the RiderCourseSM nearest you, visit msf-usa.org or call (800) 446-9227.