TRENTON – Two bills, sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden, to promote motorcycle safety was approved by the Senate Transportation Committee today.
“As temperatures around the state heat up, so will the number of motorcycles on our roads,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “Across the country there has been an increase in motorcycle riding but unfortunately, that increase has been accompanied by a growing number of motorcycle-related fatalities. By increasing awareness and providing safety courses we can drastically reduce the number of motorcycle accidents in New Jersey.”
The first measure, Joint Resolution 64, would designate May as “Motorcycle Awareness Month” in New Jersey.
“‘Motorcycle Awareness Month’ will encourage all motorists to drive safely on the State’s roads by making them aware of the laws and added precautions that are needed when operating motorcycles,” said Senator Madden.
The second measure, S-2589, would allow motorcycle dealers to provide motorcycle safety education course. The bill would also allow the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to impose a course certification fee at each location where the course is offered.
According to Senator Madden, “New Jersey’s Motorcycle Safety Education Program was developed by the national Motorcycle Safety Foundation to improve the safety of all motorcyclists and is provided in two levels.”
Senator Madden stated that the first level is a Basic Rider Course (BRC) designed for both new and experienced riders. Passing the BRC would be a substitute for having to take the MVC road test.
Senator Madden also noted that the second level is the Experienced Rider Course (ERC), and if completed successfully, riders would have two points removed from their driving record and would receive a defensive driving course credit for their insurance company.
According to Senator Madden, students taking the Motorcycle Safety Education courses must have a New Jersey Motorcycle Operators Learner’s Permit, validated for practice driving, or a valid New Jersey Motorcycle Operators License or motorcycle endorsement on their vehicle operator’s license.
The measures now head to the full Senate for consideration.