New state motorcycle law requires training course
By Denise Coffey
Killingly - posted Tue., Feb. 1, 2011
There is a new motorcycle law in Connecticut. As of Jan. 1, 2011, all applicants for motorcycle licenses must successfully complete the Connecticut Rider Education Program (CONREP) administered by the State Department of Transportation or a motorcycle training course conducted by an organization approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
CONREP offers motorcycle safety training courses at various sites throughout the state. These courses were developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. Its Basic Rider Course (BRC) costs $200 and consists of two and a half days of combined classroom and riding. Motorcycle and helmet are provided. Quinebaug Valley Community College will be hosting a course in March.
Participants who would like to use their own street legal motorcycle or scooter (250 CC or under) during the course must be pre-approved. Successful completion of this course fulfills the requirements of the State-approved novice rider course for licensing, leaving only the “written” test to be taken.
Instructor Adriane Cropley had to complete a 100-hour training program before receiving national certification from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and certification from the CONREP. “The course teaches a rider how to be more aware of risk and how to manage that risk,” she said.
Rider education is required for licensing in only six states: Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Oregon, Rhode Island and Texas. Seventeen other states require education programs only for younger riders.
Currently, discussions between the DMV, DOT, community colleges, and private driver’s education schools are underway as to how the state will meet the demand for these mandatory courses. A federal grant secured by the DOT will cover the cost of running the course through 2011, with additional funding coming from student fees.
A study by the University of Southern California found that two thirds of motorcycle fatalities were due to motorcycle rider error. The study also found that more than 90 percent of riders involved in accidents were self-taught or learned from family or friends.
Many insurance companies offer discounts on motorcycle premiums to students who have successfully completed a Rider Course.