Motorcyclists urged to use extra precaution
In Louisiana, 5.49 percent of all traffic fatalities were involving motorcycles.
According to statistics from the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission (LHSC), in 2012 motorcyclists were involved in over 2,100 crashes across the state resulting in 75 fatalities.
Louisiana State Police (LSP) are urging motorcyclists of all ages and experience levels to take extra precautions while riding and ensure that they are properly prepared and trained for a variety of riding conditions.
According to LSP, through participation in certified training programs, riders are educated on safe riding practices such as being visible, dressing for safety, applying effective riding strategies, and knowing the capabilities and limitations of their bike. Motorcyclists are taught how to apply these safety practices to not only avoid being involved in a crash but to greatly reduce the chance of injury should a crash occur.
The Louisiana Department of Public Safety (DPS) sponsors motorcycle operator training courses that, when completed successfully, facilitate the process for obtaining the required endorsement on a motorcycle operator’s driver’s license.
In order to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license, state law requires motorcycle operators to pass tests specifically designed for operating a two-wheel motorized vehicle. However, persons who successfully complete an approved motorcycle safety-training course, such as those offered by the DPS, can obtain the necessary license endorsement without taking additional tests.
According to LHSC, better-trained operators, safer roads, the state helmet law and increased awareness of motorcycles by drivers of other vehicles are among the factors contributing to a recent decline in motorcycle deaths in Louisiana.
The courses for beginners are 15 hours long, are conducted over two or three days and cost $25 plus $75 for use of a DPS safety training motorcycle. The courses emphasize the special skills and mental attitude necessary for navigating safely in traffic. More information about the DPS courses is available at http://www.lahighwaysafety.org or by calling (225) 925-6113, ext. 224.
Motorcycle riders can find more information on helmet guidelines and rider safety courses by visiting http://lahighwaysafety.org/motorcycle.html.
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