**Is Rider Training the Best Method of Improving Motorcycle Safety? **
The state motorcycle rights organizations (SMROs) think so, and they and the like-minded Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) were surprised when, at a Senate-committee hearing called to gather info on federal legislation dubbed the "MOtorcycle Safety Initiative," the head of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) pointed out that the positive effects of rider training have been limited. This may seem doubly surprising since many states training prpgrams are based on MSF models or information, and the MSF even runs a few states' training programs. MSF head Tim Buche cited the single significant study on rider training when he pointed out that the effect of initial training apparently only lasts six months. Obviously, the MSF believes in and supports rider training, but it apparently does not feel it should be the only avenue to rider safety.The rights groups tend to see rider training as a marketable alternative to safety measures, such as helmet laws, that they regard as odious. They have also been lukewarm to calls for research into the causes of accidents and injuries, perhaps because such studies are virtually certain to confirm the effectiveness of helmets and laws requiring ther use.Although the MRF released linked to below saysd that the MSF spokesman cited only one study, that study actually reached a more positive conclusion about U.S. rider training than some other studies have. One potentially positive aspect of rider training programs that hasn't been studied and would be difficult to assess is its function as a filtering mechanism. It gives people who really aren't suited to motorcycling a safe venue and some expert evaluation to discover the fact rather than in traffic.Although the only release online on this topic is from the MRF and is a bit one-sided and provides little background on the issue, it gives the reader a sense of the rift on this subject. We we plan to follow this up in the near future.
Motorcycle Rights Foundation