ST. PAUL — Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman has reappointed Michelle Backlund, Frank Ernst, Charles Fletcher, Ronald Lischeid, Dwight Smith, Susan Tabor and Tim Walker, and appointed new members Bridget Karp, Mark Koon, Geoffrey Wyatt, Stefan Gildemeister, Natonia Johnson, Brian Gramentz, Ken Luong Van, and Jon Smith to the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force. Their appointments run through June 30, 2015.
Backlund is from Elk River.
Ernst is from Chanhassen.
Fletcher is from Minneapolis.
Gildemeister is from Minneapolis.
Gramentz is from New Ulm.
Johnson is from Minneapolis.
Karp is from Carlton.
Koon is from Cottage Grove.
Lischeid is from Saint Paul Park.
Luong Van is from Shakopee.
Smith is from Newport.
Smith is from Saint James.
Tabor is from Minneapolis.
Walker is from Saint Paul.
Wyatt is from Lakeville.
The Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force advises and provides input to the Department of Public Safety on motorcycle safety issues and operation of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Program with the goal of improving the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers on Minnesota roadways. The task force will focus on three areas: motorcycle rider training, motorcycle rider testing and licensing, and public information and media relations.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center
The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) provides high-quality rider education, training and licensing to prevent motorcycle crashes and the resulting fatalities and injuries. It was created in the early 1980s to address record high motorcyclist fatalities.
The MMSC provides on-cycle and classroom rider training courses, develops awareness campaigns and informational materials, and coordinates third-party skills testing for motorcycle license endorsement through the Basic Rider Course and evening testing at select DVS Exam Stations.
Motorcycle safety is a component of Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), the state’s primary road safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Recent MMSC Activity and Statistics
- Ridership is at record-high levels in Minnesota, with more than 237,000 registered motorcycles and 405,000 licensed operators.
- Preliminary reports indicate 53 rider deaths in 2012, a 26 percent increase from 2011 and 14 percent of the total traffic deaths. The first time rider fatalities have gone up since 2008.
- Motorcycle rider training courses begin in April and are available through October for new and experienced riders – register at motorcyclesafety.org, https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/mmsc/Pages/default.aspx.
- MMSC added two new courses to their 2013 curriculum, the SMARTrainer Plus Course and the BRC Refresher Course.
- 7,438 students took a rider training course in 2012 with the MMSC. In the last five years, more than 40,000 students have been trained.
- Follow MMSC on Twitter: @MnDPS_MCSafety.