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Motorcycle requirements are much too restrictive

It is time for New York State to change its unrealistic motorcycle licensing requirements, both for the convenience of the motorist as well as public safety.

New York imposes onerous restrictions on motorcycle learner’s permit holders. They may only operate under the “general supervision” of a motorcycle license holder, at least 21 years old, who must be within one quarter mile at all times.

At the road test site the applicant has to provide his own automobile and licensed motorcycle operator. Because of these restrictions a significant number of motorcyclists drive indefinitely without the required license, or in violation of the permit restrictions. This is likely a significant factor in the increased number of police motorcycle pursuits, although since the majority of the pursuits involve sport bikes, speeding violations are obviously a major factor.

On June 5, an 18-year-old Clarence youth, driving a sport bike, died while attempting to elude police at high speeds. Law enforcement said he had only permit to operate a motorcycle and not a license.

New York’s requirements should match those of Pennsylvania, which allows a motorcycle learner’s permit holder to drive without supervision under two conditions: no driving between sunset and sunrise and no passengers are allowed.

David R. Markus

Depew