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June 4, 2008
Contact: Don Cookson

Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap Announces New Motorcycle Safety Programs Now Available

Augusta- Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Driver/Rider Education program now has available a series of educational programs designed specifically for motorcyclists, regardless of their level of experience behind the handlebars. “Having ridden a motorcycle for several years myself, I am keenly aware of the dangers that motorcyclists face every time they ride. We’re excited about making three great nationally recognized programs available to motorcycle clubs and groups statewide. They are a tremendously effective way to reinforce key aspects of safe motorcycle operation for riders of all experience levels.”

The three available programs are entitled Riding Straight, Group Riding and Seasoned Rider. Riding Straight provides information on the dangers of impaired riding and has an interactive exercise to demonstrate the negative effects. Group Riding provides information on how to ride safely in small or large groups. Seasoned Rider is geared toward experienced riders, or those returning to the sport after a number of years, providing information on the effects of aging on a rider’s ability. “We are eager to see Maine motorcyclists take advantage of these programs,” said Dunlap, noting that “the Bureau of Motor Vehicles’ Driver/Rider Education program stands ready to assist any motorcycle organizations in their efforts to make Maine’s roads a safer place.”

All three programs are available for loan of up to 15 days, and require a deposit that is refunded when the program is returned. No formal instructor license is necessary; anyone can administer these programs effectively simply by following the prescribed methods detailed in the provided leader guide.

The educational programs were purchased from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation through a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Motorcycle Safety Grant coordinated through the Bureau of Highway Safety. The stated goal of the grant is to improve motorcycle safety through new rider training, encouraging helmet use, understanding the dangers of riding while impaired and the effects of aging on one’s riding ability.

Anyone interested in borrowing the programs or in any motorcycle rider education course may contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles Driver/Rider Education program at 624-9156 or email .