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Old 01-17-2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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Tiered Licensing, What do you think??/

This is an interesting read from Motorcye.com

What do you think?????

Pay special attention to the part about additional insurance...

Quote:
Tiered Licensing - A Counterpoint


By Fred Rau, MO Featured Columnist, January, 2007


I recently read Gabe Ets-Hokin's editorial rant against tiered licensing, and I have to say I enjoyed it immensely. I could have almost
About Fred
written it myself, but the devil is in the "almost." While I wouldn't characterize myself as being a strong proponent of tiered licensing, and I believe most of Gabe's reasoning is valid, if given a choice between a tiered licensing system (like that in Great Britain) and our current state of affairs here in the US, I would probably have to vote against Gabe.

First of all, I agree with Gabe's contentions that, "...nobody cites any evidence to prove that there are more crashes because of the extra power..." and that, "...the best protection for a motorcyclist is to avoid crashing in the first place." So far, so good. But then he goes on to say, "But how does tiered licensing make new riders get proper training?"

Well, this is the way I see it, from studying several different European systems:

First of all, I think it is only common sense that a new rider should start out on a smaller, lightweight machine. If nothing else, simple parking lot fall-overs from an unsteady foot or improper braking or clutching are reduced, because the bike is easier to hold up. Watch any BRC course, and I think you'd have to agree. And yet, here in the USA, one of the most popular bikes purchased by first-time buyers is the 800-lb. Honda Gold Wing. Can you really make any argument that this is an intelligent move? Don't you think it is pretty obvious that a rookie is considerably more likely to get himself/herself into trouble on that Wing than on, say, a 250 Rebel?

One of the advantages of the tiered system is that it forces a new rider to stay on a lightweight machine for at least one year before moving up to a larger bike. And even better, it requires that the rider remain accident-free and citation-free for that year to qualify for the move. Finally, when the year is
Are testing standards running parallel to Gabe's pilot license training?
up, that rider is required to take more extensive training before being allowed to the next tier. This process repeats itself through several layers, or tiers, the exact number depending on what country you're in, and how big a bike you ultimately want to own and ride.

In a sense, Gabe himself already conceded this point when he said, "...we should be encouraging the power to wait. Wait until you've been trained to ride your motorcycle." That is exactly what the tiered system forces on new riders. And as much as I hate that very terminology, "forces," it seems to work.

What makes it work is our own for power and size. How many riders are content with the 250cc or 500cc machine they begin their riding career on? Very, very few. We pretty much all go through a natural progression, stepping up in size and power with each new purchase. Or at least, that's the way it used to be. But now, the trend is changing. Men and women in their 50s and 60s, who have never ridden, are buying Gold Wings and Electra Glides as their first mount. And 18 - 20-year-olds, with the ink still wet on their motorcycle endorsements, are riding out of dealerships on Hayabusas and ZX-14s. Both scenarios are almost sure-fire recipes for disaster, and you and I pay the toll in increased insurance costs and increased government regulation.

So what is tiered licensing except more government regulation? You're right -- it is -- but it is far less intrusive regulation than what we're going to end up with if we don't start bringing those appalling accident stats down. Already, in several states, legislation is pending that would simply require that each and every rider purchase supplemental "catastrophic" insurance before being allowed to ride. Insurance experts estimate the cost would be approximately $3,000 per year for each of us. I don't know about you, but I'd have to hang up my helmet at that point. I think I'd rather see tiered licensing.

Do I think that tiered licensing is the answer to all of our problems? The answer isn't just "no," it's ", no!" As Gabe so rightly pointed out, the answer to the problem is more and better training, practice and testing procedures. The only reason I even slightly favor the tiered system is because it mandates these very things.

The first motorcycle training and testing program I ever went through was called the "MOST," for "Motorcycle Operator Standards Training," I think. Later, that was followed with the "MOST II." Both of these were fairly difficult courses to pass. Which is exactly why, I believe, the MSF got rid of them. Back then, in the courses I took, about 30 percent of the riders failed their first attempt at the course. I didn't pass until my third try, after lots of private coaching and practice. But you've got to remember that the MSF is owned and operated by the motorcycle manufacturers, and losing out on nearly a third of their potential customers didn't sit well with them. That's why -- again, in my opinion -- over the years we have watched motorcycle training and testing in this country get watered down over and over; now we have a system that over 98 percent of those signing up can get their motorcycle endorsement on the first try. Never mind that they have barely learned the basics of throttle, clutch and braking -- they're ready, in the MSF's opinion, to buy any bike they want and head out on the Interstate.

So, the real answer isn't tiered licensing, it's more and better training and testing. But if the industry continues to insist on trying to give licenses to anyone who wants one, whether they can show any expertise at handling a bike or not, then tiered licensing may be our only hope, as repugnant as that sounds -- even to me.

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Old 01-17-2007, 02:35 PM   #2
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I'd be for it. They say driving/riding is a privilege, not a right. You can still by anything you want, doesn't mean you have a right to put it on the road.


just my .02
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:40 PM   #3
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well, I think its a good idea and all, but i wouldnt support it... because darwin has to come in to play some how...

I mean we cant force people to do everything by the book and be "safe" or else we will be faced with some serious over population..

Everyone knows the risk when they buy a bike.. if they think that they wont die on their brand new zx14, even though its their first bike... then hey.. thats their choice... we need to stop protecting everyone from making mistakes.. the information is out there.. they just need to read and LEARN SOMETHING!
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:45 PM   #4
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In Germany they have strict tiered licensing and I think it would be a good idea here too. Over there, you have to adhere to age and cc rules until you turn 25. All bets are off then and you can start on whatever you want and ride whatever you want.

Tiered licensing. I think it would actually help with insurance and some kids apparently have to protected from themselves. :BangHead:
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Old 01-17-2007, 02:55 PM   #5
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BS. BS BS BS. what if it was the same for cars? im sure theres been talk about tiered car license too its just bunch of blah.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longnguyen
BS. BS BS BS. what if it was the same for cars? im sure theres been talk about tiered car license too its just bunch of blah.
Couldn't hurt some kids either.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:03 PM   #7
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Well, my .02 is that if we, as a motorcycling community, dont begin regulating ourselves then the government will step in and do it for us.

This is a very good post and brings up some serious questions
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:05 PM   #8
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I think it's a good idea. But they need to hold the standard to car drivers too. Too many HS kids haulin' a$$ around here with their mustangs and camaros.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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I am looking at this from a primarily selfish point of veiw. If I have to stop riding because someone else screws it up for me, and I have to pay some redicluous insurance premium just to ride, I am going to be .....

I am not necessarily worried about these people's well being, I am more concerned with the rest of us picking up the rather large tab for thier poor judgement...

I know that sounds cold, but let's be realistic who could afford to pay???
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:05 PM   #10
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that.. every 15 year old should get a busa for their bday..
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:07 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denhou1974
I think it's a good idea. But they need to hold the standard to car drivers too. Too many HS kids haulin' a$$ around here with their mustangs and camaros.

they should make vehicles that kids drive governed in both acceleration and top speed..

65mph tops

and 0-65 in like 20 seconds.. .. sounds good for those kids..
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clayton9698
they should make vehicles that kids drive governed in both acceleration and top speed..

65mph tops

and 0-65 in like 20 seconds.. .. sounds good for those kids..
I'm just saying - Our standards need to be higher in this country.

A 16 year old doesn't need a 150HP bike or a 300HP car.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:10 PM   #13
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we already get jacked by other riders/drivers/theives so in a sense we are already paying for it but they just want to unload all burden onto us and off of them.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:11 PM   #14
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More state and government control? F*CK THAT!
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denhou1974
I'm just saying - Our standards need to be higher in this country.

A 16 year old doesn't need a 150HP bike or a 300HP car.
i wasnt bsimg on that one. im serious. kids me off.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:15 PM   #16
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Quote:
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i wasnt bsimg on that one. im serious. kids me off.
Bad drivers p!ss me off period. I think if it was harder to get a license then the people who actually DO know how to drive could have more freedoms out on the road. And we would all be safer.

Not picking on tennagers but if don't have at least a few years of experience driving on the roads you definately don't need to be out there on a liter bike.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:16 PM   #17
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I think its all apart of growing up
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denhou1974
Not picking on tennagers but if don't have at least a few years of experience driving on the roads you definately don't need to be out there on a liter bike.
Teenagers forget the general driving experience needed. Just because you know how to race a bike on the track doesn't mean you know how be a defensive driver and anticipate hazards and potentially dangerous situations in traffic or even know how to drive/ride in traffic period.
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:28 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denhou1974
Bad drivers p!ss me off period. I think if it was harder to get a license then the people who actually DO know how to drive could have more freedoms out on the road. And we would all be safer.

Not picking on tennagers but if don't have at least a few years of experience driving on the roads you definately don't need to be out there on a liter bike.


and i think you should be able to take a test to be approved to drive over the speed limit... something like a "20 over club".. I know I safely pilot my lincoln rocket ship through all the roads i know (hwy 6 from houston - stephenville 300 miles, 45 north to dallas, 290 to austin, ya get the point) at 100mph.. and not endanger anyone.. I have gotten several 100mph+ tickets and never even been close to a crash even though i drive fast everywhere.. for people like that, that can control a vehicle at any speed, we should be able to take a test so that we can drive faster and not get in trouble.

now for people that suck at driving.. they should have a "No Freeway Driving" endorsement... ms. (ya its normally women) I wanna go 45 with no traffic on an open freeway and drive BESIDE not behind or infront of the 18 wheeler so we just block the whole road.. you my friend need to be taken off of our freeways and left behind.. if you need to go to dallas ****ing fly there and stay outa my way!!!
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Old 01-17-2007, 03:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Mr Whoopie Wrote:
More state and government control? F*CK THAT!
It's going to happen one way or another, this way would be cheaper....

Remember, All traffic laws are basically written by insurance companies anyway.
Where do you think seatbelt and helmet laws come from, the government because they don't want you to get hurt, or insurance companies because they don't want to pay out if you do??? It's all about the greenbacks.
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