Idaho's Motorcycle Fatalities Drop

Jul 30, 2012

Sunday’s motorcycle crash on Bogus Basin Road near Boise was the latest in a string of wrecks over the last few weeks. Police say the rider slid on a patch of sand. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Other motorcyclists this summer haven’t been so fortunate.

Despite recent accidents, state officials say Idaho fairs better than the rest of the nation. National motorcycle fatalities for 2011 remained about the same as in 2010, according to the  Governor's Highway Safety Association. But in Idaho, fatalities are down nearly 40-percent.

Highway Safety Manager Brent Jennings of the Idaho Transportation Department credits Idaho’s education and awareness program.

“Idaho has a very strong educational program with motorcycle safety. We have a great coalition here in the state of Idaho,” Jennings says. “In fact our coalition has been featured nationwide as a coalition for others to copy and emulate.”

The coalition is known as the STAR program - Skills Training Advantage for Riders. It’s through the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education. It offers all-level classes to help motorcyclists learn to ride safely. Their reward: motorcycle endorsements on their licenses, which are required by law.

Meanwhile, only riders under the age of 18 are required by law to wear a helmet in Idaho.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio