May 20, 2024

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Applications open for Springfield Police Department’s first-ever motorcycle safety course

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – You can now apply to participate in the Springfield Police Department’s new motorcycle safety training course.

The first session is set for Saturday, March 28. There are three more sessions available as well on April 18, May 23, and Sept. 12. The one-day, hands-on training course is meant for bikers with some experience to hone in on their safety techniques.

Lt. Robert Byrne with the Springfield Police Department said the course will cover a variety of topics.

“Safe motorcycle operations as far as braking and avoiding, threshold braking, maneuvering and safe acceleration,” he said. “Just extra safety tips beyond basic motorcycle operation to hopefully make the roadways that much safer.”

The program is free for motorcyclists. It is paid for by SPD in conjunction with a grant awarded by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Springfield police created the program after seeing an increase in motorcycle crashes and fatalities. KY3 previously reported there were 13 fatal motorcycle crashes in Springfield. That marks a notable increase compared to reported numbers in previous years; three fatal motorcycle crashes in 2019, eight in 2018, four in 2017, and seven in 2016.

“We are just hoping that this will maybe equip some motorists to where we do see a future reduction in our crashes,” Lt. Byrne said.

Lt. Byrne said, to his knowledge, this program is the first of its kind in the state.

“There are other states and other departments throughout the country that have programs of this nature,” said Byrne. “They’ve indicated to our officers that it’s been well received, but also that it has helped to have a positive impact on roadway safety. “

While motorcycle helmets are not required out on the highways in Missouri anymore, they are required when taking this course.

The police department said in a news release motorcyclists must have these qualifications and safety equipment to participate:

  • A valid motorcycle endorsement (not a permit)
  • A motorcycle (250cc or greater, no three-wheel variety) all motorcycles must have legal exhaust and legal handlebars (i.e., no “ape hangers”). All motorcycles must be street legal and subject to inspection.
  • Motorcycle insurance
  • A legal DOT approved Helmet
  • Eye protection
  • Footwear that covers your ankles
  • Proper motorcycle attire
  • Optional equipment but not required – armored or padded motorcycle gear
  • Signed liability waiver

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