Who best to advise on motorcycle safety? Experienced motorcyclists, of course.

July 15, 2021

Members of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force watch their classmates during a MN Advanced Rider Course
Members of the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force watch their classmates during a MN Advanced Rider Course. Each task force member is required to take at least one rider training course during their two-year term.


Picture it: You have a toothache. Do you ask a first-year college student who is thinking about going into medicine to fix it? Of course not. You find a well-trained, licensed dentist with experience in your particular problem. The same rationale applies to motorcycle safety: You need help from someone with firsthand knowledge and experience.

That's why the 15 people Commissioner John Harrington appointed to the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force are all seasoned motorcyclists. Their riding experience ranges from a few years to over 50. Together, they provide input to the Department of Public Safety on the operation of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Program and motorcycle safety in general.

This iteration of the task force is made up of nine returning members and six new ones, all of whom represent Minnesota motorcyclists and the diversity of the motorcycling community. To be considered for the task force, members must own and operate a motorcycle currently registered for on-street use in Minnesota. They must regularly operate a motorcycle a minimum of 3,000 miles per year and have a valid Minnesota motorcycle license endorsement. Once a member joins the task force, they're required to complete a rider training course during their two-year term.

You can think of the task force as a very experienced focus group. They review concepts for motorcycle safety campaigns, provide input for messaging, and consult on motorcycle training course offerings and delivery.

To that last point, a former police motorcycle officer put together a Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) training course for his fellow instructors. It was a way for them to sharpen their skills, but also to have fun taking on new challenges. After a couple of years, the task force took the course as a group and recommended the MMSC make it a public offering, and the MN Advanced Rider Course was born.

The Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force members' terms began this month, and their first meeting is today, July 15, at Dakota County Technical College. Members will participate in an optional training event in the afternoon, and the meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m.

All Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force meetings are open to the public, and they welcome guests. They're typically held at Saint Paul College. Upcoming meetings are Tuesday, Sept. 14, then Thursday, Nov. 18. The 2022 meetings will take place on Jan. 20, March 17, May 19 and July 21.

So if you'd like to see what the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force is up to, feel free to attend a meeting. And as you ride your motorcycle this summer and fall, know you're doing so safely thanks in part to their knowledge and experience.