A bill sponsored by Sen. Patty Ritchie designed to improve motorcycle safety by including awareness training in mandatory, pre-licensing courses has passed unanimously in the state Senate.
“This is just one more step towards making our highways safer for both motorcyclists and those traveling on four wheels,” said the Republican from Heuvelton.
“By teaching people how to properly share the road, we can cut down on accidents and help save lives.”
The measure, S.7138, was prompted by a recent uptick in motorcycle related accidents in our region, including accidents that claimed the lives of four motorcyclists already in Oswego this year—more than any full year since 2008.
According to recent data from the state Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 152 fatalities from 5,150 motorcycle accidents in 2009.
The bipartisan bill, co-sponsored by Senator Kevin Parker of Brooklyn, amends Vehicle and Traffic Law to create a motorcycle safety and awareness component to the required five-hour driving course. Specific requirements would be set by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
In recent years, more New Yorkers are choosing to get around on motorcycles. In Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties, the number of registered motorcycles increased 16 percent from 2007 to 2010, to 13,500 on the road.