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Following deadly 2012, motorcycle rider training begins in April

Published 5:46am Monday, March 25, 2013 Updated 7:50am Monday, March 25, 2013

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) is urging riders of all skill levels to take a training course, following a deadly year for motorcyclists. In 2012, 53 riders were killed, a 26 percent increase from 2011. Motorcycle rider training is an affordable option that teaches crash-avoidance techniques and hones critical riding skills.

A complete course listing is available online at motorcyclesafety.org.

“After a deadly year, it’s up to both riders and drivers to reduce these tragedies,” says Bill Shaffer of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center. “Riders must shoulder the responsibility for protecting themselves and the first step is to take a rider training course.”

Courses are available at 30 campuses throughout Minnesota, including: Duluth, Grand Marais, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, St, Cloud and Twin Cities area.

Without proper training, new riders are more likely to be involved in a crash. Experienced riders also benefit from additional training to hone their crash-avoidance skills, including countersteering and emergency braking.

To promote rider training, MMSC is launching a “Ride Better. Ride Smarter. Ride Longer” rider training campaign to demonstrate the skills learned and honed through training which provide riders the means to be safer on the road.

The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center provides on-cycle and classroom rider training courses, develops awareness campaigns and informational materials, and coordinates third-party skills testing for motorcycle license endorsement through the Basic Rider Course and evening testing at select DVS Exam Stations.

Motorcycle safety is a component of Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), the state’s primary road safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.

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