MONTGOMERY, Alabama — A bill to end the Alabama’s distinction as the only state that does not require a motorcycle license failed to pass during the first half of the legislative session according to AL.com.
Every other state requires a motorcycle license or a motorcycle endorsement on a regular driver’s license to operate a motorcycle, said Anne Teigen, a policy specialist with the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“The bottom line is just strictly nothing else but we’re trying to save a life,” said Farley, a former police officer and assistant sheriff in Jefferson County,said Rep. Allen Farley, R-McCalla, House sponsor of the bill.
Farley said an inexperienced motorcyclist is a danger to other drivers who might crash or run off the road to avoid a motorcycle that has gone down in traffic or is operating erratically.
“A motorcycle is a lot of fun, but when you’re talking about putting a motorcycle on the highways today, as congested as they are, it automatically becomes something that’s not just fun, it becomes something that can be deadly,” Farley said.
The state Senate in February passed a bill to require motorcycle drivers to have a Class M endorsement on their license. The bill is pending in the House of Representatives.
As originally written, the bill required drivers to pass a motorcycle knowledge test to get the Class M designation. But the Senate amended the bill to limit the testing requirement to those under 19.
Alabama law allows those as young as 14 to be licensed to drive a “motor-driven cycle,” which is defined in the law as a motor scooter or any motorcycle weighing less than 200 pounds.
Legislators take next week off for spring break and will return April 2 to begin the final 15 meeting days of the session.
The motorcycle license bill, sponsored by Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, was changed slightly in a House committee. So it would have to return to the Senate if it passes the House.
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