About a hundred motorcyclists are in the state capitol today (Wednesday), asking legislators to add to what’s taught in drivers ed classes. Mark Maxwell of ABATE — a motorcycle awareness group — says kids who’re learning to drive should be taught how to share the road with motorcycles and bicycles. “It’s too late to change the thinking of old dogs like me,” Maxwell says. “But maybe if we start with the young kids before they ever get a license, make them aware of motorcycles and bicycles and how to interact with them and dispel some of the myths, maybe somewhere down the road we can have some positive change.”
If legislators endorse the idea, ABATE is offering to cover the cost of any new educational materials for schools and private companies that teach kids how to drive. ABATE is also calling for tougher penalties for those who veer into the “right of way” of another vehicle and cause a death. Maxwell says county attorneys tell him a simple misdemeanor often isn’t appropriate punishment but the other available option — proving someone engaged in “careless and reckless driving” — is often too difficult to prove in court.