DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State Patrol are partnering together to educate people on safety for motorcyclists.
DMACC offers a motorcycle rider course known as BRC for beginners and BRC ll for experienced drivers.
Iowa requires anyone under the age of 18 to complete and pass the rider education course before obtaining a motorcycle license.
DMACC requires students to take the MDF E-course and get a certificate before registering for the BRC course.
Iowa State Patrol Sergent Nathan Ludwig said the partnership gives them the opportunity to promote safe driving.
“You have a lot of motorcycle riders, operators, that have been out of it for awhile and they want to get back on a motorcycle. They get their license and take their test, but this refresher course that DMACC offers really kind of brings back those things that you may forget as a former motorcycle operator,” Ludwig said.
Different skills taught in the course include normal stop, sharp left turn, cone weave, right-u-turn, quick stop, and obstacle swerve.
DMACC provides people in the BRC course with materials and helmets. If someone chooses to bring their own helmet, they need to be certified by DOT.
“Iowa is one of two states that doesn’t have some sort of a motorcycle helmet law. We tell people no matter how short or how long the trip, make sure you put that motorcycle helmet on. The majority of the crashes are vehicles turning left in front of motorcyclist just because they are not paying attention,” Ludwig said.
According to the Iowa State Patrol on average there are around 40 fatalities from motorcycle's each year. Many of the accidents happen in the month of August.
In 2018 there were 42 fatalities and 41 crashes. Thirty-one of those motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet.
Ludwig said it is important for vehicle drivers to be paying attention at all times.
“Paying attention. Putting your phone down. Watch for motorcycles, it’s that time of the year. People think that motorcycles are dangerous, but it is actually other drivers that create those accidents because they are not paying attention that makes it dangerous for motorcyclists,” Ludwig said.
As of May 15th, there have been five motorcycle-related deaths this year.
Click here to review the full motorcycle operator manual.