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Successful Completion

Sunday, April 13, 2008
Way back in September of last year, I became an apprentice instructor for TEAM OREGON. Today, I successfully completed my last classroom apprenticeship; I should now be signed off to teach as a full instructor on both the range and in the classroom. I am also consistently impressed, as an instructor, by TEAM OREGON's relentless quest for safety and improvement. It is, in my opinion, an excellently run organization filled with the highest calibre people (not, of course, including myself.)

I fully support motorcycle safety classes. I truly believe that the quality of the classes we teach, as well as the thought and organization that goes into them, leads to Oregon's relatively enviable motorcycle safety record.

There are those, however, who oppose certain elements of motorcycle safety. You see, it's not just knowledge and skills that help save lives, but also, in the case of motorcyclists, protection. There's a great article that I saw in the Salem Statesman-Journal about it (and the societal costs of injuries). A gem from that particular article (with my own added emphasis):
Jim George, who is working to loosen helmet laws in Georgia, was wearing a helmet himself when a car cut him off in 2006. He survived the subsequent crash without a severe injury.

George, the director of ABATE (American Bikers Active Toward Education) of Georgia, acknowledges the helmet may have protected him. But he also says helmets can restrict peripheral vision and hearing.

As an individual who wears his seatbelt when he drives and his helmet when he rides, I can only respond by saying, "You know what else will impair your vision and hearing? Getting your skull caved in from a crash." Seriously.

Start Seeing Motorcyclists!


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