Law changes taking effect Jan. 1 or later will require motorcyclists to have more training and tougher penalties for failing to get it.
The Oregon Department of Transportation explained the changes made by the 2009 legislature.
Some of the laws go into effect Jan 1, 2010; others are phased in over several years. Most of the laws are related to motorcycle endorsements for Oregon driver licenses and motorcycle rider training.
Senate Bill 124: Beginning Jan. 1, 2010, the law increases the penalty for riding without a motorcycle endorsement from a Class B (minimum $360) to a Class A (minimum $720) violation. The law also requires a court to suspend the fine if the rider completes ODOT-approved motorcycle training and receives a motorcycle endorsement within 120 days of sentencing.
Senate Bill 546: Requires all new motorcycle riders to complete an ODOT-approved motorcycle safety course before they can be issued a motorcycle endorsement by DMV. The law has a five year phase-in period based on the age of the rider.
ODOT-approved motorcycle safety courses are provided by the Team Oregon Motorcycle Safety Program.
Since 1997, Oregon law has required all riders under 21 to complete a Team Oregon Basic Rider Training course as part of the endorsement process. Under the new law, mandatory training will be phased in for all new motorcycle riders regardless of age.
Beginning Jan 1, 2011, new motorcycle riders under the age of 31 must complete the course as part of the endorsement process unless they have a valid motorcycle-endorsed license from another state.
Additional age groups will be phased in as follows:
• Jan. 1, 2012 – All new riders under age 41.
• Jan. 1, 2013 – All new riders under age 51.
• Jan. 1, 2014 – All new riders under age 61.
• Jan. 1, 2015 – All new riders no matter what age.
As of Jan. 1, 2010, Senate Bill 546 increases the motorcycle endorsement fee for new applicants from $77 to $87. The new law also adds two questions to the DMV regular driver license knowledge test pertaining to the safe operation of cars and trucks around motorcycles.
House Bill 2370: As of Jan 1, 2010, it requires insurance companies to provide a discount on motorcycle insurance to riders who complete an ODOT-approved rider education course. The amount of discount is not specified.
ODOT said motorcycle crashes in Oregon have almost doubled from 2002 (443) to 2008 (873). In contrast, during the same time period, the total number of crashes in Oregon for all vehicles decreased 13 percent.
For the Democrat-Herald