Good news for motorcyclists. A bill (S. 7138) just passed the NY State Senate that would require “motorcycle awareness” training as part of the Department of Motor Vehicle’s mandatory 5-hour course that all new drivers are required to take. The training would educate new drivers on how to be aware of, and share the road with, motorcyclists.
The bill, which is expected to also pass in the Assembly, be signed by the Governor, and thus to become law, was prompted by a recent upswing in motorcycle accidents in upstate New York. Oswego County has been especially hit hard – motorcycle collisions have claimed four lives in Oswego already this season, a new record.
Why the upswing in motorcycle accidents? In recent years, with the high cost of gas, more New Yorkers are giving up their four wheels for two. In Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence Counties alone, for example, the number of registered motorcycles has increased 16 percent since 2007. More motorcycles usually means more motorcycle accidents. (Paradoxically, if there were many more motorcycles on the road, we would probably see FEWER motorcycle accidents. Read why here).