North Carolina Changes Laws To Decrease Motorcycle Accidents
While the number of traffic accidents has plummeted in recent years across the country, North Carolina is struggling against a significant rise in motorcycle injuries and accidents. In fact, there has already been a 20 percent increase in motorcycle accidents in North Carolina already this year, with 78 deaths since the beginning of the year. In 2009, 65 people died in motorcycle and moped accidents during the same time span. Altogether, 82 people died in motorbike crashes last year in the state.
The answer to the problem, according AAA Carolinas and State lawmakers, is to make it more difficult for motorcycle riders to get a license – and to close a loophole that allows bike riders to indefinitely keep their motorcycle license without ever taking a road test.
Currently, motorcycle riders only have to pass a written test and a vision test in order to get an 18-month learner’s permit that can be extended indefinitely. The new motorcycle laws will only allow riders to get a 12-month permit and one six-month extension. After that point, riders will have to pass a road test to get their motorcycle license.
While North Carolina has recently also changed their motorcycle laws to require a safety course for riders under the age of 18, many traffic safety advocates believe that the course requirement needs to be extended to all riders. Currently, most motorcycle fatalities in the state involve those in the 20s and those in their 50s.