To help foster the growth and development of the Motorcycle Safety Education Program within the state of Kentucky by promoting available training courses for riders; educating drivers on improvement efforts; advising on licensing improvement efforts; raising overall public awareness of motorcycles; and educating the public specifically on motorcycle safety.
The commission aims to inform the public about specific situations that increase the likelihood of motorcycle-related accidents and provide memorable messages that promote actions all motorists can take to prevent accidents. In response to the growing number of motorcycle-related fatalities, the Governor’s Commission on Motorcycle Education and Safety launched “Look Twice, Save A Life.”
Motorcycling can be a thrilling and challenging experience. The safe operation of a motorcycle requires practiced skill, knowledge, and a respectful understanding of the limitations imposed by the operator, the machine, and the environment. This is why the commission also believes in the benefit of rider education courses.
The Kentucky Motorcycle Safety Education Commission was established in 2000. The commission advises the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet on the administration and continued expansion of the state’s motorcycle safety education program and acts as a communication channel between relevant state agencies, motorcyclists and the general public.
Over the last decade, the state of Kentucky has seen significant increases in the number of motorcycle registrations. In 2002, registrations totaled 60,803. Currently, that number has increased more than 50-percent with registrations totaling 94,242. In addition, the total number of licensed drivers who have a motorcycle permit or license is over 184,000. Not only did registrations increase, so did the number of motorcycle-related accidents. In 2007, the state totaled 2,094 accidents.
These numbers simply reinforce the need for Kentucky’s Motorcycle Safety Education program. Drivers are comfortable interacting with other cars on the road, but not motorcycles. For example, drivers have a difficult time seeing motorcycles because of the smaller size. Drivers also have trouble assessing the speed of and distance between their own vehicle and a motorcycle.
By raising public awareness, the state of Kentucky could see a drastic decrease in the number of motorcycle-related injuries and fatalities.
The commission has been specifically charged to make recommendations in four broad areas:
Motorcycle Rider Training
Motorcycle Rider Testing and Licensing
Public Information and Education Programs
The Kentucky Motorcycle Safety Education Program is the mechanism by which the state maintains and enhances motorcycle safety and education, which in turn become strong components of the commission’s recommendations. The commission will make recommendations on such issues as the goals and objectives of the training and education programs, the effectiveness of contractors employed by the state, the subjects of public education programs, the use of Motorcycle Safety Education Fund monies, including review of proposed budgets, legislation that may be needed to improve safety, curricula for education programs (the curricula of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation training course are an exception), and new laws and policies that would enhance motorcycle safety and education. This does not preclude the commission from providing recommendations on other issues that affect motorcyclists in Kentucky.
The recommendations of the commission will be forwarded, in writing, to the Commissioner of the Department of Vehicle Regulation. The recommendations will be evaluated by interested parties, including the governor’s office and various state agencies, with involvement/responsibility regarding motorcycle issues.
Governor Beshear proclaimed May 2008 "Motorcycle Awareness Month"
(view proclamation here).
To learn more about the laws pertaining to Kentucky's motorcycle safety and education program and commission, view the resources below:
To learn more about the laws pertaining to safety awareness and education, view the resources below: