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Motorcycle Safety & Enforcement. International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training & National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Bill Sullivan NHTSA Law Enforcement Liaison 913-208-5714 Technology and Motorcycle Safety.

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Motorcycle Safety & Enforcement

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    motorcycle safety enforcement

    Motorcycle Safety & Enforcement

    International Association of Directors of Law Enforcement Standards and Training &

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

    Bill Sullivan NHTSA Law Enforcement

    the motorcyclist
    “The Motorcyclist”

    Describe in your own words the following:

    “What are the characteristics of a motorcyclist?”

    What words describe a motorcyclist and motorcycle?


    Course Purpose

    • To understand why the enforcement of motorcycle laws, support of national motorcycle safety enforcement efforts and best practices are critical to reduce motorcycle fatalities and injuries.
    • Training Objectives:
    • Educate law enforcement officials about motorcycle safety issues and resources.
    • Understand that the enforcement of motorcycle laws has a direct correlation with reducing the number of motorcycle fatalities and injuries.
    • Understand the critical areas of enforcement of motorcycle laws.
    course overview
    Course overview

    This training will look at situations unique to the enforcement of motorcycle laws such as the following:

    • Motorcycle equipment required
    • Motorcycle licensing and speeding issues
    • Officer and motorcyclist safety
    • Strategies for traffic stops
    • Strategies to avoid pursuit situations
    • Detection of impaired motorcyclists
    • Detection of non-compliant helmets
    • Latest on enforcement & public relations campaigns
    course goals
    Course goals

    Understand critical areas of Enforcement

    • Motorcycle Laws
    • DUI Detection
    • Licensing
    • Personal Protections Equipment – Helmets
    • Speeding
    national statistics
    National Statistics

    Injuries & Fatalities

    *According to US DOT, Motorcycle fatalities have more than doubled since 1998, increasing 110 percent.

    They Were down 16% in 2009 (4,465)

    Registration trends

    *Motorcycles account for 3 percent of all registered vehicles; however motorcycle fatalities represent 14 percent of highway fatalities in the United States.

    Unlicensed motorcycle drivers

    *1 out 4 motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were not properly licensed.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, Motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2009). Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes. DOT HS 811 363

    national statistics1
    National Statistics

    DUI is a factor in fatalities

    *Alcohol is a significant factor in far too many motorcycle fatal crashes.

    In 2008, 29 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle operators had BAC levels of .08 or higher, and

    64 percent of those killed in single-vehicle crashes on weekend nights have a BAC of .08 or higher.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2009). Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes. DOT HS 811 363

    national statistics2
    National Statistics

    Helmet Use Nationally - Helmet Laws from State to State

    • 20 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico require helmet use by all;
    • Other States have “partial helmet” laws based on age, or no laws requiring helmet use.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, Motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159

    national view
    National View

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159

    enforcement issues
    Enforcement Issues
    • Limited training on motorcycle laws
    • Often specialized training
    • Motorcycle enforcement appeals to riders
    • What enforcement issues with motorcycle and riders do you look for?
    motorcycle risks
    Motorcycle Risks

    Motorcyclists Are at Risk from Other Drivers.

    • Drivers of all types of vehicles need to be alert of motorcycles.
    • Motorcycles are small and may be difficult for motorists to see.
    • Motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles.
    • Due to the smaller profile it can be difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle.


    (Continued on next slide.)

    motorcycle risks1
    Motorcycle Risks

    Motorcyclists Are at Risk from Other Drivers.

    • After a crash, the drivers of other vehicles involved often say they never saw the motorcyclist and were unable to respond in time.
    • In the event of a crash, a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable and in much greater danger physically than are other vehicle drivers.
    • In fact, per vehicle mile traveled, NHTSA estimates that in 2008, motorcyclists were about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in a traffic crash.
    • Motorcyclists however do pose the greatest risk to themselves.*


    motorcycle fatalities
    Motorcycle Fatalities

    Motorcyclist Deaths Rising or Falling.

    • In 2009, motorcycle rider fatalities decreased for the 1st year, following an 11 year increase.
    • During 2009, 4,462 motorcyclists lost their lives in fatal highway crashes.
    • That means motorcycle riders were involved in more than one out of eight of all U.S. road fatalities during 2009.
    • 47 % of all fatalities in motorcycle crashes in 2008 involved another vehicle in addition to the motorcycle in the crash.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2009). Highlights of 2009 Motor Vehicle Crashes. DOT HS 811 363

    state statistics
    State Statistics
    • Registrations are up
    • Helmet use estimate
    • Unlicensed motorcycle drivers
    • Fatalities
    • DUI
    • Enforcement issues
    motorcycle awareness
    Motorcycle Awareness


    module 2

    MODULE 2


    ama psa

    Distracted video – courtesy of AMA PSA



    classes of street motorcycles officers may encounter
    Classes of Street Motorcycles officers may encounter:
    • Sport Bikes
    • Street Bikes
    • Cruiser Class
    • Scooters
    motorcycle laws
    Motorcycle Laws

    Endorse your sport – PSA – courtesy of Washington State Patrol

    module 3

    MODULE 3


    motorcycle moving violations
    Motorcycle Moving Violations
    • Motorcycle operators must obey the same rules of the road as all other drivers (with a few exceptions)
    • Enforce these as you would any other violation
    • KSA 8-1593: Rights and duties of persons riding motorcycles.Every person operating a motorcycle shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of any other vehicle under this act, except as provided in K.S.A. 8-1594 to 8-1598, inclusive, of this article and except as to those provisions of this act which by their nature can have no application.

    Motor Vehicles—Every vehicle, other than a motorized bicycle, which is self-propelled.

    Motorcycle—Any motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor.

    Motor-Driven Cycles—Means every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor which produces not to exceed 5 brake horsepower, and every bicycle with motor attached.

    definitions cont
    Definitions Cont.

    Motorized Bicycle—Means every device having two tandem wheels or three wheels which may be propelled by either human power or helper motor, or by both, and which has:

    (a) A motor which produces not more than 3.5 brake horsepower;

    (b) a cylinder capacity of not more than 130 cubic centimeters;

    (c) an automatic transmission; and

    (d) the capability of a maximum design speed of no more than 30 miles per hour

    except a low power cycle.

    If under 18 must wear a DOT helmet

    See KSA 8-1592a for more regulations

    Low Power Cycle—Every vehicle and every bicycle and tricycle with not to exceed

    one brake horsepower provided by battery in addition to human power.

    motor driven cycles
    Motor-driven Cycles

    8-1562: Special speed limitation on motor-driven cycles. No person shall operate any motor-driven cycle at any time mentioned in K.S.A. 8-1703 at a speed greater than thirty-five (35) miles per hour unless such motor-driven cycle is equipped with a head lamp or lamps which are adequate to reveal a person or vehicle at a distance of three hundred (300) feet ahead.

    • One out of four motorcycle operators (25%) involved in fatal crashes in 2008 were operating their vehicles with invalid licenses at the time of the collision.
    • 27 % of motorcycle operators involved in fatal traffic crashes had a previous speeding conviction.

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159

    check operator s license for proper endorsement
    • Operator requirements for a motorcycle endorsement
    • Motorcyclists are required to have proper license and endorsement to operate.
    • What is your state law?
    motorcycle endorsement kansas
    Motorcycle Endorsement Kansas
    • All operators operating a MC registered in Kansas must have a class “M” endorsement (motorized bicycle can have a class c)
    • To obtain a class M you must complete a written test, vision test, and a driving test.
    • Class M Instructional Permit - can obtain at age 14, must complete vision and written test. Good for one year and can be renewed indefinitely. “The holder of the permit may operate a motorcycle at any time if accompanied by an adult who has a valid Class M license and who is riding a motorcycle in the general proximity of the permitee”
    check registration
    • All motorcycles operated on a public highway must be…
      • properly registered, and
      • insured.
    • Numbers on registration plate should match the registration certificate.
    check insurance card for proof of insurance
    • Maintenance of financial responsibility
    • Insurance required –Compulsory Liability (Minimum Limits)(25/50/10).
    check vin plate
    • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
    • Location of VIN plate
    • Check plate – VIN structure
    • Make sure not tampered with
    • VIN should match registration
    • – ID Manual
    check tires
    • Check condition of wheels, tires and rims for any unsafe conditions
    • Check tires for tread depth
    • “It is unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles having one or more tires in an unsafe condition… A pneumatic tire is in an unsafe condition if it has:
    • (1) Any part of the ply or cord exposed;
    • (2) any bump, bulge or separation;
    • (3) a tread design depth of less than 1/16 inch measured in any two or more adjacent tread grooves, exclusive of tie bars, or, for those tires with tread wear indicators worn to the level of the tread wear indicators in any two tread grooves;
    • (4) a marking "not for highway use" or "for racing purposes only" or "unsafe for highway use";
    • (5) tread of sidewall cracks, cuts or snags deep enough to expose the body cord…;
    • (7) …such other conditions as may be reasonably demonstrated to render it unsafe.

    A Lincoln penny can be used to check tire wear.

    Gauge is Lincoln’s head on penny as tread depth minimum.

    check body of motorcycle
    • Check body items of motorcycle
    • Check for any obvious defective part(s)
    • Check for parts projecting from vehicle.
    check footrests
    • Check foot rests
    • Make sure they are securely fastened
    • Are foot rests in proper location?
    • Can an operator ride side-saddle?
    ready for passengers
    • If carrying passenger, check if equipped
    • Is it designed to carry more than 1 person?
    • Must be equipped with foot rests and seat for passengers (KSA 8-1597)
    • Where can a passenger ride?
    check handlebars
    • Check handlebar height
    • What does your state specify for height?


    • Check registration plate as it must be secure.
    • Mounted horizontally or Is vertical mount permitted?
    • The plate must be clean and clearly visible.
    • Is plate in required position?
    • Plate illuminated by white plate light?
    • White plate light - visible at night to the rear.

    Plates lit


    the top and

    bottom of a tail lamp.


    No plate lamp




    • Examples of rear plate lighting and height
    • Plates must be secure.
    • Plates must be mounted at specific height requirements
    • Plates are to be conspicuously displayed at the rear.
    check lights ksa 8 17
    • When are headlights required?
    • What distance must headlamp illuminate?
    • Do the high and low beams work?
    • Are turn signal lights/tail lights required?
    headlamp front light
    Motorcycle modulating headlamps are permitted

    Motorcycle headlamp modulation systems are allowed under FMVSS 108.

    No ticket for this.

    Do not mistake for wig-wag emergency lights.

    check windshield
    • If equipped, check windscreen/windshield
    • It should not obstruct or obscure the rider’s line of vision
    • Is it secure?
    check mirrors
    • Check for rear view mirror(s) required
    • KS Law-One on left side required
    • It must permit a clear view to the rear.
    check exhaust system
    • Exhaust must be original equipment manufacturer (OEM) or equivalent
    • Many states prohibit altered pipes and straight pipes.
    • Some States have noise restrictions on exhaust pipes.
    • What is Kansas Law?

    Exhaust tube

    Fiberglass baffling

    Muffler body



    OEM Exhaust with baffle tube


    OEM Exhaust

    Aftermarket Exhaust

    check horn

    Check operation of the horn

    • The horn is located on the left handlebar.
    • It must work and be audible under normal conditions.
    kansas helmet law
    Kansas Helmet Law

    Statute 8-1598: Operation of motorcycles; equipment required for operators and riders. (a) No person under the age of 18 years shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle or a motorized bicycle, unless wearing a helmet which complies with minimum guidelines established by the national highway traffic safety administration pursuant to the national traffic and motor vehicle safety act of 1966 for helmets designed for use by motorcyclists and other motor vehicle users.

    No helmet required 18 or older

    remember to check the motorcycle helmet
    • Helmets that are compliant - meet DOT Standard FMVSS No. 218
    • Helmets that are non-compliant
    compliant vs non compliant
    Compliant vs. Non-Compliant
    • Generally 3 pounds or more.
    • Inner liner made of thick polystyrene foam no less than ¾” thick.
    • No protrusions over 2/10 inches.
    • Less than one pound.
    • Thin or no padding.
    • No manufacturer name.
    check face protection
    • Does your state require face protection?
      • Windshield or windscreen, Must be 10” height measured from center of handlebars, if no eyewear. (KSA 8-1598)
      • Eye glasses
      • Goggles, or a
      • Protective face shield
    • Is there a requirement that the glasses, goggles, or face shield have colorless lenses when operated at night? Other requirements?
    seating position
    • Statute 8-1594: Operation of motorcycles. (a) A person operating a motorcycle shall ride only upon the permanent and regular seat attached thereto, and such operator shall not carry any other person nor shall any other person ride on a motorcycle, unless such motorcycle is designed to carry more than one (1) person, in which event a passenger may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two (2) persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the motorcycle at the rear or side of the operator.
    •       (b)   A person shall ride upon a motorcycle only while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on each side of the motorcycle.
    •       (c)   No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying any package, bundle, or other article which prevents such person from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
    •       (d)   No operator shall carry any person, nor shall any person ride, in a position that will interfere with the operation or control of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
    lane use
    • 8-1595: Same; roadways laned for traffic. (a) All motorcycles are entitled to full use of a lane, and no motor vehicle shall be driven in such a manner as to deprive any motorcycle of the full use of a lane. This subsection shall not apply to motorcycles operated two (2) abreast in a single lane.
    •       (b)   The operator of a motorcycle shall not overtake and pass in the same lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken.
    •       (c)   No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of traffic or between adjacent lines or rows of vehicles.
    •       (d)   Motorcycles shall not be operated more than two (2) abreast in a single lane.
    •       (e)   Subsections (b) and (c) shall not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.
    clinging to vehicles




    • Some states prohibit wheelies
    • Front wheel stoppies
    • What is your state law?

    VT GHSP Video – Can you see me now?

    Wear it everytime you ride – NHTSA PSA

    module 6

    MODULE 6


    motorcycle dwi detection guide
    Motorcycle DWI Detection Guide

    NHTSA has found that the following cues predicted impaired motorcycle operation.

    • Excellent Cues (50% or greater probability)
      • Drifting during turn or curve
      • Trouble with dismount
      • Trouble with balance at a stop
      • Turning problems
      • Inattentive to surroundings
      • Inappropriate or unusual behavior
      • Weaving
    motorcycle dwi detection guide1
    Motorcycle DWI Detection Guide

    NHTSA has found that the following cues predicted impaired motorcycle operation.

    • Good Cues (30 to 50% probability)
      • Erratic movements while going straight
      • Operating without lights at night
      • Recklessness
      • Following too closely
      • Running stop light or sign
      • Evasion
      • Wrong way
    detection of dwi motorcyclists2
    Detection of DWI Motorcyclists

    “The percentage with BAC .08 g/dL or above was highest for fatally injured motorcycle riders among two age groups, 40-44 (41 %) and 45-49 (41 %), followed by the 35-39 (36 %) age group.”

    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. (2008). Traffic safety facts, 2008 data, motorcycles. DOT HS 811 159


    module 4

    MODULE 4


    officer motorcyclist safety
    Officer & Motorcyclist Safety
    • Motorcycle gangs
    • Stopping Motorcycles
    • Pursuit Discussion
    • Speed Enforcement
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Motorcycle Clubs

    • A motorcycle club (MC) is a group of people that ride motorcycles in organized activities.
    • They may wear distinctive clothing to identify their club.
    • Their primary activities involve the sport of motorcycling.
    • Many motorcycle clubs are organized, have dues, and enjoy the camaraderie, education, rider training and socialization.
    • Examples: Blue Knights, Red Knights, Harley Owners Group, Gold Wing Road Riders Association, etc.
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs1
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) in the U.S.

    • OMGs are organizations whose members use their motorcycle clubs as conduits for criminal enterprises.
    • There are more than 300 active OMGs in the United States (U.S.)
    • Ranging in size from single chapters with 5 or 6 members to hundreds of chapters with thousands of members worldwide.
    • (
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs2
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs (OMGs) in the U.S.

    • The Hells Angels Motorcycle Club,
    • The Bandidos Motorcycle Club and
    • The Outlaws Motorcycle Club
    • These 3 OMGs conduct the majority of criminal activity linked to OMGs, i.e.
          • especially activity relating to drug-trafficking and,
          • cross-border drug smuggling.
    • Global scope
    • (
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs3
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Motorcycle Operator Profiling Awareness:

    • The motorcycle is a popular primary means of transportation has grown in the past decade.
    • More people are buying and riding motorcycles.
    • Riders represent all facets of society.
    • All races, genders and occupations are represented.
    • There is no such thing as “the typical biker”.
    • Remember that, “Violators” are defined by their actions not how they look.
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs4
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Motorcycle Club:

    • A motorcycle club is a group of people that ride motorcycles in organized activities.
    • They may wear distinctive clothing to identify their club.
    • Their primary activities involve the sport of motorcycling.
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs5
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Criminal Street Gang:

    • Three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or an identifiable leadership
    • The gang continuously or regularly associate in the commission of criminal activities.
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs6
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Common misconceptions and beliefs:

    • Sport Bike riders are speeders that ride dangerously.
    • Bikers use narcotics, drink, raise hell and probably have outstanding warrants.
    • Cruiser Class riders are the “station wagon” set of the motorcycle world.
    • These “mom & pop” riders generally pose no threat.
    motorcycle clubs vs gangs7
    Motorcycle Clubs vs. Gangs

    Common misconceptions and beliefs:

    • Motorcycle Clubs that “fly their colors” (wear their club jackets) are “outlaw bikers”
    • Motorcycle Clubs disrespect law enforcement and are in effect “claiming new turf” by showing the colors.
    • Bikers are generally lower income to middle class laborers.
    • Bikers are generally juvenile delinquents and troublemakers.
    strategies for stopping

    What are safe strategies for stopping motorcycles?

    strategies for stopping1

    Before engaging in the stop…

    • Get registration plate number
    • If you can, make sure the plate number matches vehicle description.
    • Get full description of motorcycle, i.e. make, model, color, etc.
    • Description of motorcyclist
    • Utilize your in cruiser camera
    strategies for stopping2

    What’s your department policy on traffic stops?

    stopping motorcycle operators
    Stopping Motorcycle Operators
    • Reason for the stop
    • What is the violation of the law?
    • Instruct the rider to dismount the motorcycle
    • Some have the rider remain astride the motorcycle with the kickstand up.
    • Remain professional
    • Deal with the violation
    stopping motorcycle operators1
    Stopping Motorcycle Operators
    • Motorcycle paperwork
    • Registration paper and proof of insurance certificates stored on motorcycles.
      • Under the seat
      • Side compartments
      • Saddlebags
    strategies for stopping3


    What are your options if a motorcycle rider decides to run?

    discussion on pursuit
    • Discuss concerns of motorcycle pursuits.
    • Sport bike performance compared to cruiser.
    • Does your department have a helicopter or fixed wing aircraft to aid in speed enforcement?
    • Motorcycle Safety Checkpoints and the use of aerial speed enforcement to discourage pursuits and attempting to elude police.
    pursuit options

    “Motorcycle Pursuit Story on KOMO” courtesy Washington SP

    pursuit policy

    Do you have a department policy on the pursuit of motorcycles?

    speed enforcement
    • According to NHTSA, in 2008, 35 percent of all motorcycle crash fatalities involved speeding as a factor.
    • Traffic enforcement efforts
    • Target the speeding violator
    speed enforcement1

    Video – Sport bikes and speeds off the showroom floor

    module 7

    MODULE 7


    recommended motorcycle personal protective gear
    Recommended Motorcycle Personal Protective Gear:
    • Motorcycle helmets that meet DOT Standard
    • Proper clothing (preferably retro-reflective), including:
      • gloves,
      • boots,
      • long pants, and
      • a durable long-sleeved jacket; and
      • eye and face protection.
    all the gear all the time
    All The Gear All The Time!

    VIDEO – All The Gear All the Time – courtesy of VT GHSP

    motorcycle helmets
    Motorcycle Helmets
    • Next, we will cover the specifics of FMVSS No. 218, Motorcyle Helmets
    • AKA: 49 CFR 571.218
    • What do you look for to determine the difference between a non-compliant helmet and a compliant helmet?
    fmvss no 218
    FMVSS No. 218

    The FMVSS No. 218 requirements included the following:

    • impact attenuation,
    • penetration resistance,
    • retention,
    • labeling,
    • projections,
    • peripheral vision.
    fmvss no 2181
    FMVSS No. 218

    49 CFR 571.218

    • Must be DOT Approved
    • Symbol Affixed to Outside
    • Helmet Labeling
    fmvss no 218 helmet labeling

    Helmet Labeled with the following:

    • Manufacturer's name or identification.
    • Precise model designation.
    • Size.
    • Month and year of manufacture. This may be spelled out or abbreviated.
      • June 2010
      • 6/10
    • The symbol DOT sticker.
    • Instructions to the purchaser.
    fmvss no 2182
    FMVSS No. 218

    S5.5 Projections:

    • A helmet shall not have any rigid projections inside its shell.
    • Rigid projections outside any helmet's shell shall be limited to those required for operation of essential accessories, and shall not protrude more than 0.20 inch (5 mm).

    VIDEO – How to choose the right helmet?

    compliant and non compliant helmets
    Compliant and Non-Compliant Helmets

    How do you determine is a motorcycle helmet is compliant with FMVSS 218?

    • Check for fake DOT symbols affixed to exterior of helmet.
    • Check for labels stating “this is a novelty item.”
    • Check exterior label meets U.S. DOT standard
      • Sticker/symbol details size
      • Location
      • Contrasting color
      • Sticker can easily be made by anyone
    • Check for labels affixed by the manufacturer to interior of motorcycle helmet.
    compliant and non compliant helmets1
    Compliant and Non-Compliant Helmets

    Why is it important for LE officers to know and care whether a helmet is compliant?

    • Motorcycle riders forfeit protection if counterfeit sticker.
      • Knowingly
      • Unknowingly
    • Motorcycle fatality and injury prevention.
    • Ability to enforce the law properly.
    novelty and certified helmets
    Novelty and Certified Helmets

    Novelty Helmets Helmets Certified to

    AKA: Non-compliant helmets FMVSS No. 218

    Photo source: NHTSA

    Next up,


    module 5

    MODULE 5


    crash data
    Crash Data

    “Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclistsare about 37 times more likely thanpassenger car occupants to die ina traffic crash.”

    crash response

    Establish Crash Scene Safety

    Treatment of Victims

    Thorough Search of Area for a passenger at every accident scene

    Sidecars become detached or passenger thrown

    Due to a head injury, a rider may not remember having a passenger

    Crash Response
    crash investigation factors1
    Crash Investigation Factors

    What are some motorcycle crash investigation procedures to consider for crash investigators?

    crash investigation factors2
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Examine Crash

    • Pre-Crash maneuvers
    • Crash maneuvers
    • Post-Crash maneuvers
    crash investigation factors3
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Data Collected On-Scene:

    • Vehicle Data
    • Crash scene, environment
    • Human factors
    crash investigation factors4
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Vehicle Data

    • VIN, Make, Model, motor size – cc
    • Mechanical factors
    • Check tires
    • What is condition of other vehicles?
    crash investigation factors5
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Crash scene / environment

    • Roadway
    • Traffic and controls / traffic control devices
    • Weather
    • View obstructions
    • Roadway conditions and defects
    • Evidence from the motorcycle / vehicles
    crash investigation factors6
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Human factors, injury causation

    • Rider background data
    • Rider training and licensing
    • Rider motorcycle experience, street and off-highway
    • Collision avoidance performance
    crash investigation factors7
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Human factors, injury causation (continued)

    • Other vehicle driver background data
    • Passenger contribution to crash causation
    • Carrying cargo
    • Alcohol and drug involvement
    • Detailed helmet analysis
    • Witnesses
    crash investigation factors8
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Crash or injury related cause factors

    • Protection
    • Vulnerability
    • The body of the rider gives many clues.
    • Check the helmet for damage, contact markings
    • Type of markings on rider can help determine speed.
      • Airborne
      • Direction
    crash investigation factors9
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Helmet Examination

    • Helmet’s Function
    • Types of Helmets and Their Components
    • Unapproved Helmets
    • Helmet Evolution
    • Why Inspect the Helmet?
    • Motorcycle Helmet Inspection Process
    • Internal Inspection of Disassembled Helmet
    crash investigation factors10
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Handling & maneuverability unique to M/C

    • Counter Steering - Understanding the concept of “counter steering”.
    • Turns/Cornering – pressing lean
    • Following Distance
    • Braking Ability
    • Lane Position
    • Blind Spots
    • Passing and Being Passed
    • Intersections
    crash investigation factors11
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Motorcycle Investigation Tips

    • Document/photograph crash scene
      • erasure marks
      • flat spots on the tires
    • Sprockets
    • Examine type of gouge marks on ground
    • High speed wobble
      • alternating “eyebrow” like tire marks
      • generally last for 10 to 15 feet before the bike goes down.
    • Physical evidence on the motorcycle itself
    crash investigation factors12
    Crash Investigation Factors

    Motorcycle Investigation Tips

    • Conspicuity is always a concern with motorcycles.
    • Filament lamp exam.
    • Since 1978, motorcycles have had automatic headlamps
    • Headlamp check to determine if working
    • Note what gear the motorcycle was in
    • Note the radius of the bike’s tires
    reported causes of crashes
    Reported Causes Of Crashes
    • Speeding
    • Failing to negotiate a corner
    • Inattentiveness
    • Perception failure on the part of the other vehicle (Left turns, not seeing the motorcyclist)
    • Riding under the influence
    • Inexperience
    module 8

    MODULE 8


    what every officer should know
    What every officer should know?

    National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety recommendations include:

    • Rider education programs;
    • Increase motorcyclists properly licensed;
    • Reduce riders operating while impaired;
    • Increase motorcyclists’ visibility;
    • Increase helmet usage;
    • Increase motorists’ awareness of motorcyclists.

    public education what can we do
    PUBLIC EDUCATIONWhat can we do?
    • Best practices
    • Motorcycle Training
      • Rider Education Programs
    • Enforcement Education
      • Motorcyclist properly licensed
      • Increased helmet usage
      • No tolerance for Fake Helmets
      • Counterfeit DOT Sticker enforcement

    PUBLIC EDUCATIONWhat can we do?

    • Enforcement
    • MV Stops
    • Warning/Ticket
    • Grounding of Vehicle
    public education

    Rider Education Programs

    public education what can we do1
    PUBLIC EDUCATIONWhat can we do?
    • DUI Enforcement
      • Red Yellow Green campaign
      • Storage containers
    • Sharing Safety messages
      • Public Service Announcements “PSAs”
      • Motorcyclist visibility
      • Motorcyclist PPE - All The Gear All The Time “ATGATT”
      • Motorist developing motorcyclist awareness
    motorist awareness1
    Motorist Awareness


    motorcycle safety checkpoints1
    Motorcycle Safety Checkpoints
    • Policy examples
    • Safety considerations
    • Set up
    • Officer briefings
    • Checklist for safety inspections
    motorcycle safety enforcement1
    Motorcycle Safety & Enforcement
    • Motorcycle safety statistics
    • Motorcycle types & characteristics
    • Safety laws
    • Officer & rider safety
    • Crash investigation pointers
    • DUI detection
    • Motorcycle helmets
    • Public education


    Bill Sullivan

    NHTSA Law Enforcement Liaison

    motorcycle safety enforcement training

    Motorcycle Safety & Enforcement Training


    We hope you enjoyed the training!