Drivers Encouraged To “Share The Road”
With Motorcycle Safety Demonstration
In recognition of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness month, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) joined with Central Jersey Rider Training and other state-approved motorcycle safety training providers to spread the word about classes available to riders of all skill levels through the New Jersey Motorcycle Safety Education Program. In addition to these programs, the MVC was promoting a public awareness campaign that encourages drivers to “Share the Road” with motorcycles.
MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez was on hand at Mercer County Community College, which is home to one of the state’s 19 training locations, to speak about the importance of checking your mirrors and looking out for motorcycles. “New Jersey has more than 150,000 registered motorcycles on the road, and more than 316,000 residents have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license,” he said. “Whether you are enjoying our great state on two wheels or four, we need everyone to keep safety and responsibility at the forefront. That’s why these courses, and the “Share the Road” campaign are so important.”
In an effort to support the motorcycle safety course providers, Chief Administrator Martinez announced that the MVC would be distributing 300 new, U.S. Department of Transportation-approved motorcycle helmets to training providers for students to use. The purchase of these helmets was made possible by the Motorcycle Safety Education Fund, which is supported by a legislatively mandated surcharge on motorcycle license endorsements.
Central Jersey Rider Training is one of twelve motorcycle safety training providers offering courses on a statewide basis as a part of the New Jersey Motorcycle Safety Education Program, which is administered by the MVC. Residents under the age of 18 must pass the Basic Rider Course in order to receive a motorcycle endorsement on their license, and residents of any age looking to receive the endorsement can take the same course in lieu of receiving a motorcycle permit from the MVC. Additionally, Basic Rider Course 2 is available to more experienced riders who are looking to sharpen their skills. More than 8,500 residents – both new and seasoned riders – took part in one of these programs during 2015. This is an increase of 1,000 riders from the previous year.
“The Motorcycle Safety Foundation rider training courses provide the basis for lifelong rider skill development,” said Tom Wright, President of Central Jersey Rider Training. “We teach our students to practice every ride.”
While the MVC is working hard to promote the Motorcycle Safety Education Program, the “Share the Road” campaign is intended to remind motorists to be alert for motorcycles, which can be more difficult to see than larger vehicles. The campaign features ads on NJ Transit buses, as well as an interactive website, www.njridesafe.org, which contains links to a number of motorcycle-related resources, including information on MVC-approved not-for-profit and for-profit Motorcycle Safety Education Program providers.
In 2015, there were 50 fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents – an 18% decrease from 2014 and the lowest amount of recorded fatalities since 1999. While the results are encouraging, Chief Administrator Martinez remained guarded against complacency. “While this may seem like positive news, 50 is still too many lives lost on our roadways. These riders are your dads, your moms, your brothers, your sisters and your children. We must continue to work towards our goal of zero traffic fatalities.”
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission