MSF Tests Efficacy of Repeat Safety Courses

Last month the Motorcycle Safety Foundation announced it was testing the effectiveness of rider safety after riders retake the same MSF cour...

Last month the Motorcycle Safety Foundation announced it was testing the effectiveness of rider safety after riders retake the same MSF course multiple times...

Their hope is to find out if riders can avoid more crashes if they take the same MSF course over and over again...
"The MSF's rider education and training system used in this study is built upon the principle of safety training renewal," said Dean Thompson, MSF director, communications. "We believe a rider's decision-making and crash-avoidance skills can benefit from being refreshed over time. It is important for riders to regularly refresh their knowledge, skills and risk management strategies.
Let me say this first: Safe riding and crash avoidance is something a rider does while on the road, not in the classroom. Certainly MSF courses will teach the techniques. But these techniques are no good if the rider doesn't employ them.

That's why riders make mistakes. It's not because they didn't know the proper techniques, it's because they forgot to employ them. When you're on the road, there's just so much going on, you can only think about one thing at a time. And if you make a mistake, it's not because you're a bad rider, but because you're human.

There is a misconception among many new motorcycle owners that MSF courses and motorcycle endorsements are forms of "graduation" that give them credibility as riders. The fact is that even endorsed riders and even MSF instructors get involved in accidents, either by their own fault, or by someone else's. It's because someone failed to employ the techniques they learned.

I'm sure the MSF will conclude that repeated safety courses will lead to fewer motorcycle accidents. This will naturally prompt states to adopt laws requiring motorcyclists to retake MSF courses every year. It will also open the door for courthouses to order MSF training everytime a biker is ticketed with a traffic violation.

That in turn will create an even bigger misconception that the MSF course is the panacea for all of our riding mistakes.


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  1. I'll tell you and the MSF what if they want me to re-take a BRC or ERC on a regular basis they best get it mandated that EVERY cager have to take driver's education on a regular basis as well.

  2. AMEN! This is along the same veins as helmets saving lives, although I will say, IMHO, that baby boomers buying Harleys after 40 years of not being in the saddle, SHOULD take a safety course along with getting thier license. Years ago I was follwed by a DPS officer while I rode my bike for the first time, to demonstrate I knew how to drive. I don't see the harm in requiring a safety course for new riders.



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