Bill Would Add Motorcycle License Requirement in Alabama

1_test_paperLegislators in Alabama, the only State in the Union that doesn’t require adults to take a test to obtain a motorcycle license, are considering a bill to change that distinction.

In Alabama, anyone 16 and older with a regular driver’s license can also drive a motorcycle in the state, said Capt. Guy Rush, chief examiner of the Driver License Division for the Alabama Department of Public Safety.  Rush said an oversight in the 1990s led to the gap in the law and DPS is supporting legislation to remedy that mistake.

The Alabama Senate has already passed a bill requiring a Class M endorsement, however a similar bill in the House of Representatives failed during the first half of this legislative session.

The Senate bill originally required all motorcycle operators to pass a knowledge test for the class M endorsement, however, the bill was amended to limit the testing to only those under 19 years of age.

Rush said he supports a mandatory skills test but observers say that’s not likely to happen anytime soon.

As of 2010, 40 states required a skills test for a motorcycle license, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As for the Class M endorsement on the license, many Alabama drivers already have the designation and might not even know it. Rush said when new driver’s license classes were assigned in 1995 those who already had licenses were “grandfathered” and given the M endorsement.

Those who don’t have the Class M endorsement are only legal driving a motorcycle as long as they are riding in Alabama, Rush said.

When lawmakers return April 2nd, they will have only 15 meeting days to reconcile the two bills and present a measure to the Governor for his signature.

Political insiders say the bill is likely to reach Gov. Bentley’s desk who is expected to sign it into law.

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Thumbs Nose at Congress and Discriminates Against Motorcycles

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation has learned from a source at the US Department of Transportation

Troopers in Georgia to set up "motorcycle only checkpoints"

that they have funded the motorcycle only roadside checkpoints.

NHTSA decided to fund the program despite being asked by Congress not to fund the program until the merits were explained. In a letter sent by James Sensenbrenner, along with ten other Members of the House of Representatives last month, Sensenbrenner and his colleagues specifically asked NHTSA to respond to the letter before funding the program, they did not. Read the letter here.

The recipient of the money for the demo project was the Georgia Department of Public Safety, which oversees the day-to-day operation of the Georgia State Patrol.  The Georgia State Patrol will conduct a series of roadside motorcycle safety checks in accordance with what was outlined in the Request for Applications.  The amount of NHTSA funding is $70,000.00.

“Not only is this an injustice to the motorcyclists of America its a complete waste of taxpayer money.” said Jeff Hennie, Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs for the MRF.

The MRF will keep you informed on this issue and any actions you can take to defend your freedoms, at stake in Washington.