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Bruce Gordon, Director of Communications
Stephanie Kaufenberg  (651) 201-7566
March 21, 2013
Following Deadly 2012 Motorcycle Rider Training Season Begins April
Courses Available at 30 Minnesota Locations
ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) is urging riders of all skill levels to take a training course, following a deadly year for motorcyclists. In 2012, 53 riders were killed, a 26 percent increase from 2011. Motorcycle rider training is an affordable option that teaches crash-avoidance techniques and hones critical riding skills.
Motorcycle training information will be presented at the Donnie Smith Bike Show March 23–24 at the St. Paul River Centre. A complete course listing is available online at

“After a deadly year, it’s up to both riders and drivers to reduce these tragedies,” says Bill Shaffer of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center. “Riders must shoulder the responsibility for protecting themselves and the first step is to take a rider training course.”
Training Courses for New and Experienced Riders
Riders are encouraged to register for the MMSC rider training season online at Courses run April through October and include the Basic Rider Course, the essential beginning rider course and the Civilian Police Motorcycle Course, where experienced riders can learn the same techniques used by police motor officers.

Courses are available at 30 campuses throughout Minnesota, including: Duluth, Grand Marais, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, St, Cloud and Twin Cities area.
Without proper training, new riders are more likely to be involved in a crash. Experienced riders also benefit from additional training to hone their crash-avoidance skills, including countersteering and emergency braking.

To promote rider training, MMSC is launching a “Ride Better. Ride Smarter. Ride Longer.” rider training campaign. The campaign aims to demonstrate the skills learned and honed through training which provide riders the means to be safer on the road. 
DPS Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center at the Donnie Smith Customized Bike Show
The Donnie Smith Show will provide the opportunity for riders to talk to Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)-certified RiderCoaches about rider training courses and other motorcycle safety topics. It also provides the chance to test their riding skills in a virtual environment on the SMARTrainer. The SMARTrainer is a motorcycle simulator with a range of scenarios to test skills.

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,
  • MMSC added two new courses to their 2013 curriculum, the SMARTrainer Plus Courseand the BRC Refresher Course.
  • 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.
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 |