State-required motorcycle training and safety class now available at PBSC
Motorcyclists who need to take the state-mandated training and safety class required to get the motorcycle endorsement added to their driver license can now do so at Palm Beach State College.
Motorcycle Training Institute, Inc., a Miami-based company, has contracted with PBSC’s Corporate and Continuing Education division to provide the two-day Basic RiderCourse on the Lake Worth campus.
The instructional component for the two-day class currently is held virtually, while the on-cycle riding portion is held on campus. The course, which is for two- and three-wheel riders, covers such topics as strategies for managing the riding environment and avoiding crashes.
Sandi Barrett, program director for CCE’s trade and industry training and an avid motorcyclist, has been working with the CCE team for years to bring the motorcycle training to campus to help serve the needs of the community.
“I was looking for additional partners that I thought would be good for our community, and I found out about this. Our campus is ideal for this training,” Barrett said. “We’re a well-known entity, and we’re centrally located. We’re an educational institution, and as part of the county, we continue to meet the needs of the community. The training will make everybody a safer rider.”
Only one other provider currently offers the training in Palm Beach County, and while MTII serves 14,000 people per year at various sites in Florida, it has only been offering the course locally on weekends at John I. Leonard High School.
The first two classes were held at PBSC Sept. 18-19 and reached capacity with a combined 16 students. The next two classes, set for Sept. 25-26, also sold out. However, more classes are scheduled for October.
“County residents have only been able to access rider training on the weekend. There’s been a huge void in Palm Beach County for in-week training. This will be a huge benefit for people in the riding community who work on the weekends,’’ said Jason Hooper, director of operations for MTII. “We have an opportunity to expand our services at the College.”
Hooper noted that MTII currently has 12 motorcycles on campus for the training, but he expects to have a fleet of 25 and be able to accommodate about 15 students per class instead of eight.
“The biggest issue with rider training is the cost associated with running a quality program. It’s a very cost prohibitive industry to be in because if we’re going to run a quality program, we have to ensure we’re following all of the state mandates and national mandates. We’ll be able to meet the needs of the community, and we’ll be able to make sure we can absorb the cost of operations and keep the cost of the course reasonable. We’ve been waiting for this opportunity with the College.”
Deborah Gordon, a business and education development partner in the Corporate and Continuing Education division, said the training will also help raise more awareness of the offerings available through Corporate and Continuing Education. “The partnership with MTII will bring more awareness for Continuing Education and safety practices in motorcycling riding to benefit the riders, pedestrians and other users of the roadway. “Anytime we offer training that brings individuals on campus, we anticipate that it will pique their interest to learn more about other educational opportunities.”
Florida has required a motorcycle endorsement since the 1970s, but motorcyclists were only required to pass a test, Hooper said. However, in 2008 the state began requiring riders to take the training and safety class to qualify for the endorsement.