Motorcycling News and News Releases

Motorcycling Laws and Legislation

Support for Motorcycle Helmet Laws

Motorcycle Crash Research:
Causation, Prevention, Mitigation,
Legislation, and Remediation

Motorcyclist Safety Programs

Motorcycling General Interest

Motorcyclist Safety Program Implementation

Strategic Recommendations for Reducing the Number of Motorcyclist Fatalities on Nation's Roadways

  • Countermeasures That Work: A Highway Safety Countermeasure Guide for State Highway Safety Offices, Seventh Edition, 2013  - an easy-to-read and well-documented reference for traffic-safety professionals to use to select effective, evidence-based countermeasures for traffic-safety problem areas, with an emphasis on motorcyclist safety and an excellent summary of the effectiveness of various components of motorcyclist-safety programs in chapter 5, pp. 5-1 through 5-31 (actual pages 217—247)
  • MOTORCYCLE SAFETY: Increasing Federal Funding Flexibility and Identifying Research Priorities Would Help Support States’ Safety Efforts - a 65-page Nov. 2012 United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congressional Committees
    • 02.05.13. GAO Seeks Grant Program Improvements - news release urges Congress to adopt Nov. 2012 report (below) recommendations to increase federal funding flexibility to help support states’ motorcyclist-safety efforts.
    •       MOTORCYCLE SAFETY: Increasing Federal Funding Flexibility and Identifying Research Priorities Would Help Support States’ Safety Efforts - a 65-page Nov. 2012 United States Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congressional Committees
    •              ⇒Summary of Findings - a compilation by SMARTER summarizing key findings and recommendations in the above GAO report
  • U.S. DOT Action Plan to Reduce Motorcycle Fatalities - an initiative launched October 2007 to (1) help reduce motorcycle fatalities with new national safety and training standards, (2) curb the use of counterfeit helmet labeling, (3) place a new focus on motorcycle-specific road improvements, (4) provide training for law-enforcement officers on how to spot unsafe motorcyclists, and (5) create a broad public awareness campaign on rider safety 

    In August 2005, I suffered a broken collar bone in a motorcycle crash. Had it not been for my protective gear—including my helmet—I am convinced I would have suffered severe injury, or even death.
    —Mary E. Peters, U.S. Secretary of Transportation, in her introductory letter to the Action Plan

  • NHTSA 2006 Highway Safety Program Motorcycle Safety Guidelines - a description of components that every state motorcycle-safety program should include and the criteria that the program components should meet in order to develop a comprehensive motorcycle-safety program that aims to reduce motorcycle crashes and related deaths and injuries
  • NHTSA 2006 Motorcycle Safety Program Plan - a comprehensive look at the state of motorcyclist safety, including how it is affected by external factors, with development of current and future initiatives that address new and emerging trends in crash data, while at the same time calling for motorcyclists to take responsibility for their own safety:

    Many motorcycle deaths could be prevented if motorcyclists would take responsibility for ensuring they have done everything possible to make their ride safe. This includes taking a rider training course and obtaining the license endorsement needed to legally operate a motorcycle, wearing personal protective gear including a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 218-compliant helmet, and riding unimpaired.

  • Square banner for NAMS - National Agenda for Motorcycle SafetyNational Agenda for Motorcycle Safety - the U.S. DOT and NHTSA collaborated with a multitude of disciplines and incorporated information and ideas from a wide spectrum of stakeholders to formulate recommendations for the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety, the mission of which is to determine the most promising ways to enhance and improve the safety of motorcyclists
  • Model National Standards for Entry-Level Motorcycle Rider Training - a 28-page document developed for NHTSA that establishes baseline content that all entry-level riders should be taught in motorcycle rider training classes held in the United States
  • Model National Administrative Standards for State Motorcycle Rider Training Programs - a 15-page document released by NHTSA Sept. 2014, the purpose of which is to establish "a minimum acceptable level of operation for State Motorcycle Rider Training Programs" and to encourage states "to meet or exceed the minimum standards to improve and maintain the quality of their rider training programs."
  • Report of a Gathering of Experts:  The State and Future of US Motorcycle Rider Training (Feb/Mar 2011) - experts address the question “If you wanted to improve regular rider training and reduce crashes, how would you do it?” and provide answers in the form of recommendations
  • NTSB Holds Public Motorcycle Safety Forum September 2006 - as reported in the winter 2007 Safe Cycling newsletter of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the goal of the forum, held at NTSB headquarters in Washington, D.C., with participation by MSF and the Motorcycle Industry Council, was to gather information about ongoing motorcycle safety research, initiatives, and safety countermeasures to reduce the likelihood of motorcycle accidents and fatalities
    • Opening remarks  by Deborah A. P. Hersman, member of the NTSB and chairman of the forum:

      I will end with a quote by Dr. Harry Hurt, who led a pioneering motorcycle crash causation study in the late 1970s, which continues to be referenced today. In an interview when Dr. Hurt was asked to summarize his advice regarding motorcycle safety in one sentence, he replied, “There is no magic bullet other than getting smart.” I believe this simple statement captures the goal of this public forum. We want to take advantage of the tremendous expertise we have in this room to gather information about ongoing motorcycle safety research and initiatives, as well as safety countermeasures that could reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities.

  • 11.14.13 Statement of Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety - regarding the need for lifesaving laws and regulations to stop preventable losses:

    In 2012, there were 4,957 motorcycle rider deaths, representing a 7.1 percent increase over 2011. According to NHTSA, ten times as many motorcycle riders died not wearing a helmet in states without an all-rider helmet law compared to states with this essential law.

  • 04.24.13 Statement of Henry Jasny, Vice President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety - regarding the report issued by the Governors Highway Safety Association that showed an increase by about 9% in traffic fatalities of motorcyclists for 2012 compared to 2011
  • GHSA Motorcyclist Safety Recommendations - a survey of state safety programs and access to crash statistics, along with six recommendations as excerpted from the association's Highway Safety Policies & Priorities 
  • Making the Case for Saying Motorcyclist Safety: Personalizing the Tragedy of Motorcycle Traffic Crashes - SMARTER's advocacy for using the terms "motorcyclist" or "motorcycle rider" when appropriate to draw much-needed attention to the loss of human life in roadway crashes
  • Insurance Institute for Highway Safety - motorcyclist safety research topics and resources including fatality facts, general Q&A, an overview of state laws, as well as informative videos about the consequences of riding without a helmet and why ABS brakes make motorcycles safer
  • National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) - featured speaker at the 2012 SMSA members' business meeting, Christopher A. Hart, Vice Chairman of the NTSB,  encouraged program administrators to continue efforts to reduce motorcyclist crashes by developing new relationships with law enforcement agencies to detect impaired riders, who represent 28 percent of riders involved in fatal crashes on the nation's roadways
  • Michigan Governmental Agency Recommendations - SMARTER explains origins of agency  recommendations to maintain helmet laws and enforce the use of FMVSS 218 compliant helmets
  • Evaluation of Pennsylvania's Motorcycle Safety Program - a comprehensive report to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Safety Administration analyzing the effectiveness of the state's motorcyclist safety education campaigns

Historical Background of Motorcyclist Safety in the United States

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