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That's excellent, having someone high up inthe NHTSA with a positive opinion about bikes and an appreciation of the importance of good rider training can only benifit us, Light years away from the old Joan Claybrook days when they actively hated us, and wanted to outlaw bikes altogether, Making rider training and stepped licenses mandatory is going to make riding safer for newbies and lower the accident rates, that will lessen the negative publicity we recieve and let the do-gooders move on to something that will really make a differance in highway deaths and injuries, like going after drunks, cellphone talkers and aggressive driving, which according to the WSP is the number 1, 2, and 3 causes of deaths and injuries on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Opps, mandatory has two A's.



In truth, I do think that having NHTSA officials take an MSF course is a good idea; as long as they don't introduce any unnessesary legislation. I just thought there wasn't nearly enough sarcasm on these boards.

 

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Here are steps I propose:

-600 and no more then 110 rwhp

-1000 cc and no more then 160 rwhp

-1450 cc ( so stroked and overbored Haybusa fits in) and no more then 13 psi of boost.

Get real this is America stepped license will never happen here.

Also I've seen those reports about cellphone users and 3-4 times higher risk of crash blah,blah.They are B.S. and based on what?

I drive semi in Chicagoland and it seems to me that at any give moment 80 % of road users is on the phone but number of accidents have been pretty much the same over last few years.
 

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Funny thing, countries with strict rider/driver training and licensing standards (including stepped licenses), tough vehicle standards, manditory helmet laws etc seem to be great places to ride motorcycles. The public accepts them, police don't hassle them, you can walk into any cafe in full leathers or cordura without being treated like a freak. Wonder if there is any connection?



Most of these countries also ban cell phone use in cars and are real tough on drunk driving.



Cheers

Bob
 

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Training is good

We need better driver and rider education and training in the US. I feel like the drivers that share the road with me do not have adequate mental and PHYSICAL training. I am in favor of more manditory training for all motorists.

Ideally this training would have increased focus on learning the physical skills of driving and riding well. I took the MSF course and I believe that it gave me a solid foundation.
 

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Ever try to scrape chewing gum off your shoes, or gas or brake pedal or maybe your kids get it on their shoes, then put their feet on the seats? they should outlaw that crap here too. and chewing tobacco
 

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As I think chewing gum is one of the most disgusting habits of modern mankind, I'd suport that one as well ;-)



Philosophically, I tend to agree with you, but the fact is that society, in one way or another, tends to be revolted by wholesale slaughter on the highway and will try crack down somehow. May take the form of "no motorcycles" and "no leathers" signs at the local roadside cafe, excessive enforcement of repressinve speedlimits, parents' unwillingness to let their children ride bikes, or the attempts of some to totally ban motorcycles.



Or, as in western Europe, strict rider/cycle standards, with widespread social acceptance, courtesy from most auto drivers, and a great deal more freedom to ride as aggressively as I want.



Its a trade-off. Which freedoms do I value more? The "right" to ride without training or skills, drunk, without a helmet or other protective gear, or the right to ride as quickly as conditions permit (outside populated areas or course) with nobody trying to run me off he road, or trying to restrict where I can ride (if I can ride a motorcycle at all).
 

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But seriously, my point was that the only country where there seems to have been any suggestion at all about banning motorcycles is the US (even here, that concern sems to be little more than clinical paranoia).



 

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Re: Training is good

I totally agree.

When I returned to the US after living in Europe for 5 years, I have several close calls before my "paranoia" instincts reactivated. In Europe, car drivers are all highly skilled, and are trained and conditioned to watch for, and share the road with, motorcycles and bicycles (as well as pedestrians).

To get a license there, you have to demonstrate skills in all sorts of situations, high speed, panic breaking, etc. Because they can assure a higher skill level, they then give drivers/riders much more freedom to actually operate thier vehicle based on their own judgement.
 

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How timely, I just finished reading an article in today's Arizona Republic ( Phoenix, AZ ) In which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that their research has shown that fatal motorcycle crashes have risen 50% since 2001. they still don't know what the causes are, but point out the increase in motorcycle sales, increase in engine displacement, alcohol use and the age average in riders today ( 29.3 to 36.3) Also mentioned is the weakened helmet laws in Arkansas, Texas, Kentucky, Louisiana and Florida, which have had a dramatic increase in fatalities with the exeption of Florida.

Instead of studying the causes, which would cost $2 to $3 million, the agency unveiled a motorcycle safety program. It will study rider training, drunken riding and helmets, their use and how drivers share the road with motorcycles.

I personally believe that training, helmet use and alcohol use are the biggest problems.

I'll explain: I have been working in the industry since the late 80's, and I see coming into our shop the results of lots of accidents, so I personally get to deal with crash victims, police officers and insurance adjusters and we get to ask lots of questions, plus the fact that we know the habits of many of our long time costumers. My conclusion is that lack of training and too powerful a bike in young riders is a big problem, alcohol use is also a major factor and last but not least is lack of helmet use. Now I would be the first to oppose mandatory helmet use but think that riding without one is plain stupidity. Lack of training is plain stupidity, it is there, it saves you the trouble of taking the motor vehicle department test and it will save your live. As far as drinking and driving, stupid is as stupid does. I have also noticed that many crashers don't have a motorcycle endorsment on their licenses, then again pointing at lack of formal training. So lets train and then train some more, take safety schools, go to track days, anything that makes a better rider will keep you alive. By the way, I have been riding since 1965.
 

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Re: Training is good

Excellent Point"To get a license there, you have to demonstrate skills in all sorts of situations, high speed, panic breaking, etc. " To get a drivers license in WA state is a joke although much better than MO. The written test in MO was laughable. The driving test in WA and MO was drive around the block than park. What a joke. The driving test in Colorado when I was teenager was much tougher. To get a motorcycle license was tougher in WA and is part of the MSF class i.e. pass the MSF test you waive the driving portion of the WA test. The WA written test is laughable. The MSF written test was more applicable but could be tougher.
 

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I actually think that state of Washington has better idea, that is if you take a MSF class and pass itm, you can waive the state driving test. Also one way to increase the participation in MSF training is to make the state driving test tougher. Some guys I know from other states say they just drove around the parking lot in front of an examiner i.e. no test etc. to get their motorcycle endorsement in their home states like Texas and GA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Apparently you didn't read the post you responded too. I thought I mentioned sarcasm..... Also, I said *unnecessary* legislation. Driving tests certainly make sense. In fact I believe they should be much harder.

Like many others here, I just worry about ignorant bike laws from those ignorant of them. Hence, having NHTSA people take the MSF course is *potentially* good; as long as they don't twist that around somehow and use it against us. The govt. has history of doing this, and not just with issues related to riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Re: Training is good

In Germany the average licence costs over $8,000 (yes, that's U.S. $)and the average age of new drivers is over 25. Lane discipline is excellent (think autobahn) and thier punishments/fines for motor violations are severe. No distracted driving of any kind is allowed, and obscene gestures or words get the highest fines of all. They take driving very seriously. Add this to the cost of autos, gas, ect. and only those with money can afford to drive.

More interesting that the vast majority of drivers started out on motorcycles. This is because you can ride at a younger age than you can drive and it's much cheaper to get a bike licence. This leads to more awareness and appreciation for riders. I thought I read somewhere that some European country even requires bike experience to get a car licence.

I'm not saying that the U.S. should make is as expensive or difficult to get a licence as Europe. I just wish that tests were harder and people here would take driving more seriously.

Oh and I do think that encouraging riding as one's first road use is a great idea. Good riders make even better drivers IMHO.
 
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