Wisconsin scooter safety class slow to catch on

Publish Date: 
Aug 8, 2012

MADISON, Wis. – Despite efforts to promote the first scooter safety course in Wisconsin, attendance is small and not growing in line with ridership, program managers say.

The course, offered at Madison Area Technical College, costs $245 per rider. Riders spend 16 hours over a weekend learning how to corner gently, brake safely and avoid hazards, including hapless pedestrians or wildlife that may dart into their path.

This was the first scooter safety class in the state when it was first offered in 2010. But last weekend, just eight of 12 seats in the class were filled. The college will put about 1,100 people through two-wheel rider safety courses this year, but only about 70 of them will be on scooters or mopeds, program director Jason Herheim told the Wisconsin State Journal.

The scooter courses were a response to increasing ridership and accidents on two-wheel, step-through vehicles over the last decade. Scooters are registered as motorcycles, not counted separately in the state. But data for mopeds show that 23,339 were registered in 2001; byt 2010 the number had grown to 51,391. Over the same period, moped accidents increased from 56 to 245, and six of the 2010 crashes were fatal.

Madison, a college town, was logical place to launch the class, Herheim said. "It seemed like an easy fit with the number of scooters in Madison." 

Posted by Holly Wagner