New Motorcycle Test for Missouri Bikers
Getting a motorcycle license in Missouri will be more difficult than in the past, according to Lake News Online. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has instituted several changes to its motorcycle-testing program, which took effect on September 1, 2011.
New Test Suggested by Motorcycle Safety Foundation
The Highway Patrol is now testing hopeful license applicants according to the latest version of skills testing designed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. "I was very discouraged by the lack of motorcycle skills and safety I witnessed when attending rallies or charity rides," noted one MSF instructor. "It seemed like every year there were several serious accidents whenever groups got together to ride in large numbers." The MSF suggested new tests for riders, which have been adopted to a large part in Missouri.
A Weekend of Training
Training courses are available to assist riders in learning the skills necessary to pass the test. However, this is not your standard automobile road test. Applicants spend an entire weekend in classroom sessions and on the course demonstrating their skills. "There is a series of exercises they complete and do, " said the instructor. "They start with clutch control, very basic, and work their way up to advanced skills [like] starting and braking and S-curves." If the applicants complete the course, they are given a card they can take to the license-testing site, which excuses them from any further testing. The rigor of the course is such that some students will fail it.
Highway Patrol Recommendations
The Missouri Highway Patrol also made recommendations for the new test, including a new "swerve test" procedure. The newer standards are meant to accommodate the designs of new motorcycles as well as three-wheel models. It was unclear whether the newer procedure had already been implemented or was scheduled to be in the future. "Our mission of traffic safety includes all vehicles," said Missouri State Highway Patrol Colonel Ron Replogle. "It is our goal to reduce motorcycle crashes and fatalities through an updated, more comprehensive testing standard. I am sure the motoring public will benefit from this new testing program."