July 25, 2014

Many motorcyclists lack proper license

Hundreds of motorcyclists killed on Wisconsin roadways over the years have not had a valid license. A review by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finds over ten years, about a third motorcycle fatalities in the state involved operators who had not completed the safety training or skills test necessary to receive a valid motorcycle license.

“I’m not really surprised, but part of the reason is that every year I go to a meeting to see what the updates are and where the numbers crunch, so as a ten-year average it’s not a big surprise,” said Jason Herheim, who directs the motorcycle safety program at Madison College.

Herheim advises all riders to take a safety course. “Even if you’ve been a motorcyclist for 20 or 30 years, and you’re an active motorcyclist, it’s a wise idea to get your skills tuned up . . . just like you should with your equipment,” he said. “It could save your life.”

State Department of Transportation records show that two of the worst years were 2007 and 2012, when 47 and 43 percent of motorcyclist fatalities were riders who did not have a valid cycle license.

 

“Being a responsible road user, it seems to be to my benefit, to my family’s benefit, that the person who’s riding a motorcycle next to them has a clue, so that person is at least shown basic control skills,” Herheim said.