6:54pm

Mon April 23, 2012
The Commonwealth

Motorcycle Test to Feature New Rider Skills

The Kentucky State Police Driver Testing Branch will begin using a new rider skills test for motorcycle operator’s license applicants on May 1. Developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation, the new test is designed to better determine if operators possess sufficient safety skills for riding motorcycles in traffic. The new test expands Kentucky’s current motorcycle skill test from two to four exercises, which must be completed on a closed course and evaluated by a KSP driver’s license examiner, according to a state police press release.

The exercises include: left turn/normal stop; cone weave/right turn from a stop; quick stop and obstacle swerve. The changes apply to both two-wheel and three-wheel motorcycles tests.

Updates regarding the new test have been made to the Kentucky Driver’s Manual, which is available online at kentuckystatepolice.org under the Driver Testing Branch link. A video about the new test will be available at YouTube.com in the near future.

MSF Director James G. Heideman, Ph.D. and Wayne Steele, of the Kentucky Motorcycle Program at Eastern Kentucky University, were instrumental in instituting the new test in Kentucky.

MSF is a national, not-for-profit organization which has provided technical assistance to state training and licensing program for more than 30 years in the area of motorcycle safety and testing.

“Our implementation of this new test highlights Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May,” KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer said. “It comes at a critical time since statistics show a significant increase in motorcycle-related crashes in Kentucky this year. Hopefully, the new test will help motorcycle operators get off to a safe start with sound, fundamental riding skills that will make Kentucky’s roads and highways a safer place for everyone.”

KSP will offer a free, three-hour, classroom-based, motorcycle safety seminar taught by a certified MSF RiderCoach on May 17 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. To register for the seminar, visit the KSP website at http://www.kentuckystatepolice.org/pdf/registrationform_2012.pdf .

The agency will also host its fifth annual Motorcycle Safety Day awareness program on June 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event includes safety exhibits, motorcycle vendors, a news conference and a police-escorted ride through scenic rural areas. To register for the program, visit the KSP website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org.

Both events will be held at KSP headquarters, 919 Versailles Rd. in Frankfort.