Texas approves increased funding for motorcycle rider education

Texas approves increased funding for motorcycle rider education

Posted by Ben Baker on Jul 11th 2016

The Lone Star State’s general assembly passed, and the governor signed, a bill to increase spending on motorcycle safety efforts.

It doesn’t require new funding. The $5 paying for this was pulled from the state’s motorcycle license fee for years. Prior to passage of this bill, Texas had amassed more than $17.7 million in the motorcycle education fund. That money built up over the past 10 years because of budget politics in Austin. The Texas Motorcycle Dealers Association said the Department of Public Safety (DPS) just spent less and less on training and education.

The original proposal wanted to add $3 to the motorcycle registration fee for biker education. That was cut out of the final bill.

The Lone Star State has a Motorcycle/ATV Safety Unit operated by the DPS. Texas law requires bikers to pass a motorcycle rider safety course before getting a full Class M license.

Texas offers this rider training in some 80 cities and 200 locations. At last count, the state had more than 500 certified instructors. Two different courses are offered.

“The Course is taught at two levels. There's a basic class for new riders and an advanced class for experienced riders. That way new riders don't feel intimidated by experienced riders. And experienced riders don't have to wait for beginners to catch up. Either class can be completed in one weekend or over the course of a few evenings. Choose the one that's right for you,” states the DPS website.

With more money available, Texas should be able to open more training opportunities for riders.

In addition to the state-sponsored safety courses, a number of motorcycle businesses offer rider training..

Texas is also a helmet-choice state. The state requires bikers to wear a helmet unless they are over 21, have completed a rider training course or have medical insurance that specifically covers injuries sustained in a wreck.