East Hartford Lawmaker Proposes Mandatory Motorcycle Training Course

Stephanie Pelletier lost her 19-year-old son, Nicholas Cohen, in a motorcycle accident in 2008.  The East Hartford mother has asked lawmakers to change the now optional safety training course to a mandatory course for first-time motorcycle drivers.  Rep. Timothy D. Larson, D-East Hartford, spoke with Ms. Pelletier and has proposed that the course be mandatory for all new bikers.
Pelletier believes that a mandatory safety training course may help reduce the number ofmotorcycle accidents in Hartford and across Connecticut.  Though she knows the proposal may take awhile to become law, she is hopeful.
“I know it’s going to be a long process, but at least we got the ball rolling,” she said.
Another concern of both Pelletier and Larson is that many people, Pelletier’s son included, never get a permanent motorcycle license.  Instead bikers may test for a temporary permit twice a year.  Even if a motorcycle driver fails their road test they can reapply for a permit.  This can leave unqualified bikers on the roadway.
Larson believes that a change in DMV policy may reduce the number of motorcycle crashes in Connecticut.  The Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles Robert M. Ward agrees.  Ward has spoken with Pelletier and Larson and has indicated that the department is in favor of the proposal.
If passed, the law would require that every driver seeking a motorcycle license endorsement for the first time take the Connecticut Rider Education Program.  The program, offered by the Connecticut DMV, can be taken at several locations across the state.  The cost of the program is currently $200.
The staff and attorneys at Glass, Lebovitz, Kasheta & Bren would like to extend our condolences to the family of Nicholas Cohen.


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