Share the Road with Motorcycles
Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway.
All motorists are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists.
Drunk Riding Prevention
Alcohol affects those skills essential to riding a motorcycle - balance and coordination. So it plays a particularly big role in motorcycle fatalities.
Statistics show that the percentage of intoxicated motorcycle riders in fatal crashes is greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers on our roads. This is why NHTSA urges all motorcycle riders to always ride smart and sober.
Driving a motorcycle in the state of Mississippi requires a "motorcycle endorsement" on your regular Class R driver's license. To receive this endorsement, you must take the written and the riding tests.
Before you take the test, get your hands on a Motorcycle Foundation Operator's Manual, http://www.dps.state.ms.us/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Motorcycle-2011.pdf Study the material covered in the manual thoroughly because you will see it again on the written portion of the exam.
Note: If you are new to the state and already have a valid motorcycle license or endorsement from another state, you are in the clear; the State may waive your written and riding tests. However, it is still a good idea to read through the manual for state specific information and to refresh yourself on motorcycle safety.
Getting a Learner's Permit
Once you pass this part of the test, you will earn a learner's permit. With your shiny new permit, you can legally hit the public roads for hands-on training on two wheels. However, you must bring along a fellow rider who is at least 21 years old and who has a valid driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Don't put this person on the back of your bike; he/she should either follow alongside you on a motorcycle or behind you in a vehicle.
Should you feel confident in your riding ability, you can opt to take the riding test on the same day you receive your learner's permit. In other words, once you pass the written portion, you are allowed to jump right into the riding part of the exam. Simply bring along another licensed rider to ride your bike when you take your written exams; you should not be riding your motorcycle on public roads without a permit. Or, if you prefer, you can trailer your bike to the driver's license office.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers safety riding courses throughout the state. Courses are offered locations throughout Mississippi; find the nearest one and call for course information and cost. The Basic course spans a few days or a weekend, depending on location and the type of course. Half-day Experienced Rider courses are also available to improve or refresh your riding skills.
Mississippi enforces a helmet law for all motorcycle drivers and riders. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation provides detailed information to help you choose the right type of helmet.
Helmets Save Lives!
- NHTSA estimates that helmets saved the lives of 1,617 motorcyclists in 2011. If all motorcyclists had worn helmets, an additional 703 lives could have been saved.
- The economic cost savings due to helmet use was approximately $3.4 billion in 2011, and an additional $1.4 billion could have been saved if all motorcyclists had worn helmets.
May is designated Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. States and motorcycle organizations across the country conduct a variety of activities to promote the importance of motorist awareness and sharing the road with motorcyclists.
For more information on Motorcycle Safety Visit the Motorcycle Safety Foundation and NHTSA http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles