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Law would push more learning riders to get fully licensed to ride

The desire to learn is generally celebrated, right? Yes, unless lawmakers believe that learning might be creating an unsafe environment on their roads. This might be the case in regards to motorcycle riders with learner's permits in Pennsylvania. 

Last week, a traffic safety bill passed in the House that seeks to make it more difficult for people to get their learner's permit to drive a motorcycle in the state. Supporters of the bill basically argue that the current laws allow want-to-be riders to apply and reapply without necessarily having improved their driving knowledge. 

In order to get a learner's permit, an applicant must pay $10 and pass a written knowledge test. Passing that test serves as proof that the driver would be able to safely navigate the roads and be less likely to get into a motorcycle accident. But there is more to riding a motorcycle safely than a test. There is the actual, hands-on learning that is necessary to prepare a rider to ride responsibly.

A learner's permit is good for a year, after which case a driver has options: apply for a permit again or go for the full motorcycle driver's license. House Bill 892 addresses the riders who continue to get learner's permits instead of licenses. Its goal is to push more drivers to become skilled, knowledgable and responsible enough to be granted a full license.

If the legislation is passed, drivers will only be allowed to apply for a learner's permit three times in a five-year period. A permit, lawmakers say, isn't meant to be an ongoing way to avoid full licensure. It is meant to grant a learning period in order for a rider to become the safest rider he can be. If riders aren't testing to become fully licensed, safety critics worry that learners aren't using their permits effectively.

The prevention of motorcycle accidents comes down to various components: rider safety, education, driver safety and more. Someone who is injured in a motor vehicle accident and believes negligence contributed to the crash should speak to a personal injury attorney to learn about their potential legal options. 

Source: ABC 27, "Pa. House passes bill to limit motorcycle learner permits," Myles Snyder, June 6, 2013

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