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(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Majority Leader Joseph Cryan and Assembly Democrats Thomas P. Giblin, Gordon Johnson and Annette Quijano to establish new motorcycle safety and training regulations was signed into law Monday by the governor.
The bill (A-576) enact several new motorcycle safety provisions for new motorcyclists, along with improved training and education requirements.
“We want everyone to be as safe as possible on the roads and highways of New Jersey,” said Cryan (D-Union). “With this law, we’re taking a step toward ensuring the safety of all of our motorists, but especially new and inexperienced motorcycle drivers. These are all common sense changes designed to make us all safer out there on the roads.”
“Statistics show that motorcycle crashes lead to higher fatality rates, and that inexperience, youthful exuberance and a lack of proper training all contribute to that unfortunate reality,” said Giblin (D-Essex/Passaic). “This law simply aims to make motorcycles safer in New Jersey, especially for our young riders.”
“Among all riders, motorcycle operators in the 20 to 29 age group have had the largest percentage of fatal crashes,” said Johnson (D-Bergen). “This law will help change that by making certain our young riders have the education, knowledge and training to keep everyone safer.”
“All this law does is require training and education for new motorcycle riders,” said Quijano (D-Union). “It should go a long way toward ensuring that our roadways are safer, and not just for motorcycle riders, but for everyone.”
The law:
· Creates a restriction on the size of a motorcycle a person is licensed to operate to better prevent new motorcycle drivers from operating motorcycles with engine sizes too powerful for that driver’s skill level.
· Creates a new category of low-speed motorcycles to address the increased use of small motorcycles. It prohibits low-speed motorcycles from being operated upon limited-access interstate highways or public roads or highways with posted speed limits in excess of 35 miles per hour in this state.
· Prohibits a holder of a motorcycle examination permit from operating a motorcycle in the dark, carrying passengers and operating a motorcycle on the state’s toll roads or on limited access highways.
· Requires all applicants for a motorcycle examination permit under the age of 18 years to successfully complete a motorcycle safety education course as a condition for obtaining a motorcycle license or endorsement.
· Expands the authority of the chief administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission to waive requirements for a motorcycle license or endorsement for holders of an examination permit who have completed a motorcycle safety education course by allowing a waiver of the written portion of the examination as well as the road test.
· Makes it optional, rather than mandatory as under former law, for the chief administrator to collect a waiver fee from any provider of a motorcycle safety education course for each student holding an examination permit who, having successfully completed the course, has qualified for waiver of the road test portion of the motorcycle license examination.
· Authorizes the chief administrator to approve private entities to offer a motorcycle safety education course and contract with a public or private entity to implement and administer the course.