Last Tuesday both houses of the Michigan Legislature passed a law that limits the number of times motorcycle operators can obtain a Temporary Instruction Permit without completing the skills test required for the full motorcycle endorsement on their Michigan Drivers License. The permit was designed to allow new motorcycle riders to take practice runs and gain the experience necessary to drive a motorcycle before taking the skills test. The Temporary Instruction Permit requires the new operators to wear a helmet, ride only during the day, and ride with a fully endorsed adult motorcycle operator; however, many people would only obtain the Temporary Permit and keep renewing it to avoid having to take the skills test. It has been difficult for Police to enforce the riding restrictions on the Temporary Permits and this has encouraged many people to repeatedly acquire the Temporary Permit rather than the full endorsement. This new law is headed for the Governor’s desk for his signature and will limit persons to 2 Temporary Permits over 10 years time.
Legislators were moved to limit the number of Temporary Permits because crash data in Michigan has revealed that more than half of all motorcycle crashes in 2012 involved a motorcycle operator with a Temporary Permit or no permit / license at all. Additionally, 44 percent of all crashes involved operators that did not have a full endorsement on their drivers license and were not wearing helmets. Finally, more than half of the Michiganmotorcycle riders killed in traffic accidents did not have the full license endorsements. These shocking numbers reveal that the least experienced motorcycle operators are causing the largest share of the serious motorcycle accidents in Michigan. Hopefully, the closing of the endless Temporary Permits will reduce the injuries and deaths that have been occurring too frequently amongst these Temporary Permit operators.