With spring's arrival, PennDOT reminds motorcyclists of all skill levels that Pennsylvania residents with a motorcycle license or permit can enroll in a free course to enhance their riding skills through the 2012 Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP).
The program offers courses for new and experienced riders at approximately 69 locations across the state. Courses are offered now through October. A full schedule is available online at www.pamsp.com .
"We are committed to helping riders meet the challenges and demands of operating a motorcycle by helping them improve their safety knowledge and riding skills through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch. "There is no substitute for proper training and technique when it comes to riding a motorcycle. These free safety courses are a great foundation in learning how to handle motorcycles in all types of road and weather conditions, and in making the roadways a little safer for everyone."
New for the 2012 riding season is the Advanced Rider Course (RC), a one-day training session modeled after a military training course for licensed motorcyclists who wish to enhance their safety skills through attitude and enhanced awareness. The course provides a minimum of 3.5 hours of classroom instruction and 4.5 hours of practical riding experience and will be offered at 12 locations statewide. Participants in the advanced course are required to use their own motorcycle.
Entering its second year, the 3-Wheeled Motorcycle Basic Rider Course (3WBRC), will again be offered in Butler, Lehigh and York counties. The 12-hour course includes four hours of classroom instruction and eight hours of practical riding experience. Students must provide their own three-wheeled motorcycle and protective gear.
The 15-hour Basic Rider Course (BRC) consists of five hours of in-class instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience. It provides valuable training for new riders and gives experienced riders the opportunity to polish their skills and correct any unsafe riding habits they may have developed. Students taking the BRC are provided with a motorcycle and helmet; however, students are responsible for providing all other protective gear.
The six-hour Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2) allows skilled riders to refresh their safety knowledge and hone their on-road skills. Riders taking the BRC2 are permitted to carry a passenger while practicing balance and steering techniques in a controlled environment. Students taking the BRC2 must provide their own motorcycle and protective gear.
All PAMSP courses are free to Pennsylvania residents who have a motorcycle learner's permit or motorcycle license. All training courses are conducted on a riding range, under the management of certified rider coaches.
Motorcycle learner's permit holders who successfully complete a course will be issued a motorcycle license. Those who successfully pass their skills test on a three-wheeled motorcycle will be issued a motorcycle license with a "9" restriction, meaning they are prohibited from operating a two-wheeled motorcycle.
For more information and to enroll in a course, visit www.pamsp.com  or call 1-800-845-9533, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and noon.
Riders are also encouragedto visit www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com , an interactive website designed specifically for motorcyclists. The website challenges riders to take personal responsibility for their own safety.