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Pennsylvania’s Motorcycle Learner’s Permit Law Designed to Encourage Riders to Obtain their “Real” Motorcycle Driver’s License

On December 23, 2013 (then) Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed Act 126, which affects Pennsylvania motorcycle riders. The law, known as Act 126 of 2013 (effective February 21, 2014) limits the number of times a motorcycle rider can reapply for a learner’s permit to three times, in a five-year period. The original Bill was sponsored by Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) who had the overwhelming support of the Alliance of Bikers Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E) and statewide law enforcement. The initial legislation was designed in part to prevent the practice of continually extending the permit without having to retake the motorcycle knowledge test or skills tests. Law enforcement was particularly concerned with the growing number of motorcycle offenses committed by permitted (but unlicensed) riders. Nearly 3,500 crashes involving motorcycles occurred on Pennsylvania roadways in 2013, 500 fewer than in 2012. Those crashes resulted in 181 motorcyclist fatalities, as opposed to 210 deaths in 2012. The number of registered motorcycles in Pennsylvania decreased in 2013 by just over 3,800, while the number of licensed motorcyclists increased by nearly 6,000.

ACT 126 is designed to enable riders to continue to learn to ride a motorcycle properly while encouraging them to get obtain a full motorcycle driver’s license. In addition to limiting the number of times a rider can apply for a permit, ACT 126 requires a rider to successfully pass the motorcycle knowledge test upon each reapplication. It also prohibits PennDOT from renewing a person’s motorcycle learner’s permit. To read the law, click here.

COPYRIGHT © 2020, STARK & STARKNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 91

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