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Motorcycle Operator Safety Training Legislation Introduced in Tennessee

Posted By News Staff On Monday, February 11, 2013 @ 12:00 pm In News | No Comments

Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts also speaks to 4th Graders at Minglewood Elementary School

Tennessee State Representative - District 67Nashville, TN – Tennessee State Representative Joe Pitts (D-Clarksville) has introduced legislation to require those individuals under the age of 18 who are applying for a motorcycle operator’s license to complete a state approved training course prior to receiving their license.

This measure is the result of a recent study completed by the Tennessee Department of Safety, a bill also sponsored by Rep. Pitts in 2012, that shows motorcycle injuries and fatalities are up sharply in the state.

State Representative Joe Pitts speaking to 4th graders at Minglewood Elementary School.

State Representative Joe Pitts speaking to 4th graders at Minglewood Elementary School.

According to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security, motorcyclists killed in Tennessee in 2012 were 138, up from 114 in 2011.  The number of motorcycles registered in the State of Tennessee is 170,172 compared to passenger vehicles, which stands at 4,922,400.

“We have been very deliberate to study this issue before imposing a government solution to a well-documented safety concern,” said Pitts. “We realize this is not the only answer to the public safety issue, but it does take a step in the right direction.”

From left to right, Ms. Bonnie Digby, Assistant Principal, Rep. Joe Pitts, Ms. Jane Winter, Principal

From left to right, Ms. Bonnie Digby, Assistant Principal, Rep. Joe Pitts, Ms. Jane Winter, Principal

Currently, individuals under the age of 18 seeking a hunting license are required to complete a hunter’s safety course prior to receiving their license. Also, those operating water craft such as jet skis, and under the age of 18, are required to complete a safety course.

“We have had a long and successful history of providing optional training courses for motorcycle operators in our state. I am grateful to Appleton’s Harley Davidson in Clarksville for bringing this public safety concern to my attention,” stated Pitts.

Rep. Pitts also spoke to the fourth graders at Minglewood Elementary School last week. He led them through how an idea becomes a bill and then becomes a law, as well as leading them through an interactive exercise on the process. Great thanks to Ashlie Perry, 4th grade teacher at Minglewood for the invitation. Another noteworthy item, Mrs. Jane Winter, principal of Minglewood, was named Principal of the Year for the state of Tennessee in 2012.

The Week Ahead

The legislative engine is warming up next week as House Subcommittees begin reviewing legislation on issues that will directly affect you. Some things to look out for:


The House Education Subcommittee will be reviewing legislation that limits or eliminates the K12, Inc. Virtual School program in Tennessee. This out of state, for-profit company has come under heavy scrutiny in Tennessee and across the nation for poor performance ratings, and allegations of impropriety. Democrats have introduced legislation that would repeal the legislation that authorized K12, Inc. to operate in Tennessee.

Judicial Appointments

The Finance, Ways & Means Subcommittee will hear HJR8, a proposed Constitutional Amendment which will provide for gubernatorial appointment of appellate judges, subject to legislative confirmation. This would be similar to how the Federal appeals court judges are appointed.

If you have questions about any item above or other issues of concern, please call me at 615.741.2043, or email me at rep.joe.pitts@capitol.tn.gov [1]

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