Gov. Rell Signs Motorcycle Training Course into Law
After Stephanie Pelletier lost her 19-year-old son, Nicholas, in a motorcycle accident in 2008, she began researching motorcycle safety. Her work was the impetus for new safety legislation, which was recently signed by Governor Jodi Rell.
Beginning January 1, 2011, all new riders seeking to obtain a Connecticut motorcycle drivers' license must complete the Connecticut Rider Education Program (CONREP). The program - currently only required for riders under 18-years-old - is administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT).
To obtain a motorcycle license in Connecticut today, one needs to pass a written test to receive a learner's permit and then pass a road test to receive a full license.
The new law will require the new rider to take a $200, 17-hour course consisting of six hours of classroom training and 11 hours of road instruction - which includes the road test in the course.
Rep. Timothy Larson (D-East Hartford), who introduced the bill - which both the House and Senate strongly supported - stated: "It's going to go a long way to provide safe ridership and an educated ridership."
According to the Connecticut DOT, as cited by the Hartford Courant, 37 riders and four passengers lost their lives due to injuries related to motorcycle accidents in 2009.
When Ms. Pelletier lost her son, he was driving with only a permit. If her son had taken the new rider course, Ms. Pelletier believes her son would be here today.
"There are parts of me that are sad, but I'm happy if I can save even one parent from the pain that I feel every day. It was a tragedy to lose my son, but a positive thing has come out of it," she said.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mike D'Amico
As a dedicated trial lawyer with a specialty in personal injury, Mike is an active member of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and the American Association for Justice. Mike serves on the Board of Governors of the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association and on its Executive, Medical Malpractice and Legislative Committees. He is board certified in civil trial advocacy by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, and serves on the Board of Examiners for the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mike is a Court Appointed Arbitrator/Fact-Finder in Civil Litigation, as well as a Special Settlement Master for Personal Injury claims in the State of Connecticut Superior Court. He is a Life Member of the Million-Dollar Advocates Forum, as well as the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum and frequently serves as trial counsel for clients referred by other local and out-of-state law firms.
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