Substantial changes occurred during the 1970's in attitudes toward providing motorcycle safety education and training as part of the high school driver education program. These changes came about as motorcycles were assimilated into the range of what society views as acceptable alternative transportation modes. Substantial growth occurred also in the use of mopeds as economical alternatives to automobiles. An estimated 300,000 mopeds are in use, and sales during 1977 exceeded 150,000. Most states use matching funds available through the Department of Transportation under the Highway Safety Act of 1966 to develop motorcycle safety education and training materials and to implement instructional programs. Three states (Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico) require the completion of an approved training program as a prerequisite for obtaining a motorcycle operator's license under age 18. Much of the growth in motorcycle safety education has resulted from work done by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation which sponsors or conducts teacher preparation courses in more than 60 colleges and universities each year. Critics of motorcycle safety education note that no studies have been conducted to prove the crash reduction effectiveness of educational programs. Accident investigation data, however, clearly show that many motorcycle and moped riders involved in crashes do not have the needed basic skills and knowledge to ride safely in traffic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) believes that motorcycle safety education emphasizing defensive driving tactics can have an impact on motorcycle crash involvement. NHTSA is working to develop effective educational materials and programs and is looking beyond educational needs of novice motorcyclists to define advanced rider skills and knowledge. The impact of motorcycle safety education and training should not be overestimated; travel by motorcycle is still riskier than travel by automobile.

  • Corporate Authors:

    California Association for Safety Education

    2784 West Wilberta Lane
    Anaheim, CA  United States  92804
  • Authors:
    • Buchanan, L S
    • Dunn, L W
  • Publication Date: 1978-1

Media Info

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00394073
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-026 418U
  • Files: HSL, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 31 1985 12:00AM