Alarmed by accident stats, Wisconsin offers safety courses for older riders

Publish Date: 
May 29, 2012

Wisconsin transportation officials are urging older riders to take refresher courses in motorcycle safety because of statistics that show older riders are increasingly involved in accidents.

"The skills involved in operating a motorcycle are perishable. It's not unlike the requirements for flying an airplane where you have to update those skills routinely to stay sharp," Greg Patzer, manager of the Wisconsin Motorcycle Safety Program, told the Wausau Daily Herald. "We're seeing the need for the experienced riders to do that. Training should be a lifelong learning experience."

The state’s Department of Transportation has rolled out specialized courses to help older riders brush up, plus a course for trike riders. There’s an intermediate course as well as one for beginners, and an advanced course is in trials in Madison.

The state’s motorcycle fatalities declined 22.7 percent from 2007 to last year, when 85 riders died, a majority of those riders were experienced and 92 percent of them were not wearing helmets. About a third of the fatal crashes each year are related to alcohol.

Posted by Holly Wagner

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