Plans & Proposals

This section contains documents describing agency and organization initiatives, plans, standards or recommendations for improving motorcyclist safety.   Readers might compare the plans/recommendations contained in these documents to the available research.  Are recommendations for reducing the number of motorcyclist fatalities supported by available research?

National Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide -NHTSA 2024 Part of the document introduction states “Within the Motorcycle Safety Resource Guide, you will find resources you can immediately utilize to enhance your focus on motorcycle safety. These tools include elements of a Safe System Approach and support a year-round focus on outreach, education and raising awareness of motorcycle safety. You will find resources, messaging, visuals and activities that you can use to take action.”

Safe System Approach 2022.  This is a 2-page FHWA publication which describes the principles and elements the “Safe System” approach to road safety.

An Introduction to Autonomous Vehicle (Av) Tenets by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Nov. 2020) SMARTER has joined (9-22) a coalition working to ensure safe Automated Driving Systems (ADV)/ Automated Vehicles (AV’s).  The coalition is coordinated by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety which has published a document as the “GPS,” the way to “guarantee public safety” as AV development and deployment moves forward.

Motorcyclist Advisory Council Recommendations 2020.  The Motorcyclist Advisory Council was reestablished by the FAST Act on 2015, Section 1426. Under that section, the MAC is responsible for providing advice and recommendations concerning infrastructure issues related to motorcyclist safety including (1) barrier design (2)road design, construction, and maintenance practices, and (3) the architecture and implementation of intelligent transportation system technologies.

Six National Motorcycle Institute Talking Points  – Recommendations to the USA States for reducing motorcyclist fatalities.  The six “talking points” help define the position of NMI in reference to the safety/danger of motorcycling on public roads in the USA:

NHTSA Motorcycle Safety 5-Year Plan  – 2019.  This document is intended to serve as a plan for National Highway Traffic Safety Administration activities to address the safety of motorcyclists. The initial section identifies current data needs for the Agency and data acquisition strategies to improve countermeasure development processes. The second section covers efforts to improve the Agency’s support of State activities. The third section examines opportunities to improve support for law enforcement agencies as they pertain to motorcyclist safety. Finally, the fourth section identifies strategies as they pertain to the Agency’s Federal agenda.

World Health Organization – Global Status Report on Road Safety – 2018.  The Global status report on road safety 2018, launched by WHO in December 2018, highlights that the number of annual road traffic deaths has reached 1.35 million. Road traffic injuries are now the leading killer of people aged 5-29 years. The burden is disproportionately borne by pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, in particular those living in developing countries. The report suggests that the price paid for mobility is too high, especially because proven measures exist. Drastic action is needed to put these measures in place to meet any future global target that might be set and save lives.

Intelligent Transport Systems and Motorcycle Safety – Gap Analysis Final Report – 2018. Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) present an array of promising ways to improve motorcycle safety. While ITS technologies have predominantly targeted automobiles and commercial vehicles, little has been done to specifically address motorcycles or motorcycle safety. To help rectify this, this project surveyed a wide range of ITS technologies with potential relevance to motorcycles; analyzed each technology’s current relevance to motorcycles and potential to improve motorcycle safety; and then further investigated those technologies with strong potential to improve motorcycle safety.

Select Risk Factors Associated with Causes of Motorcycle Crashes.  – 2018.  The National Transportation Safety Board recommends requiring all new motorcycles manufactured for on-road use in the United States be equipped with antilock braking system technology and other recommendations.  In making these recommendations, the NTSB board also noted the NTSB recommendations made in 2007 still stand.

Towards a Safe System Approach to Prevent health Loss among Motorcyclists – The Importance of Motorcycle Stability as a Condition for Integrated Safety. – 2016.  A Safe System approach to road safety implies that the road, the vehicle and the road user, in conjunction with a safe speed limit, should interact to create a safe road transport system.  A more stable, ABS-fitted motorcycle provides the foundation for developing further countermeasures based on ABS.

United Nations Motorcycle Helmet Study  – 2016.  Published by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.  One of the key objectives of the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) is to reduce motorcycle casualties by encouraging the use of safety helmets.  This study recommends: What countries can do? How they can do it?

Making the Case for Saying Motorcyclist Safety: Personalizing the Tragedy of Motorcycle Traffic Crashes.  – 2015.  SMARTER uses, and advocates for the use of, the word “motorcyclist” (or the two words “motorcycle rider”) instead of the word “motorcycle” in references to motorcycling safety or training programs, rider fatality rates, or in any other appropriate context.  This document explains the case.

Model National Administrative Standards for State Motorcycle Rider Training Programs. – 2014.
This is a 15 page companion document to the Model National Standards for Entry-level Motorcycle Rider Training published in 2011.  In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contracted with Windwalker Corporation and Highway Safety Services, LLC, to develop model national standards for motorcycle rider training programs. Both publications were completed with extensive support and input from NHTSA, Windwalker Corporation, Highway Safety Services, a working group of subject matter experts, and members of the National Association of State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA).

Prioritized Recommendations Of the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety. – 2013.  The National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety (NAMS) is a comprehensive plan to improve United States motorcyclist safety in the 21st century. The NAMS was published in November 2000 and contains 82 individual recommendations that address the full range of topics and strategies relevant to motorcycle safety.  On September 11, 2007, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) held a public meeting on motorcyclist safety. One of two recommendations from that meeting was to re-prioritize the NAMS recommendations based on objective criteria, including known safety outcomes.  This is the 154 page prioritized recommendations.

A Brief History of Motorcyclist Safety Efforts: 1970–2009. – 2013.  This 4 page summary is adapted from a document provided by the U.S. Department of Transportation to participants in the November 2013 Motorcycle Safety Program Management course.

Motorcycle Safety: Increasing Federal Funding Flexibility and Identifying Research Priorities Would Help Support States’ Safety Efforts. – 2012.  This is a 65 page Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to congressional committees. GAO reviewed: (1) what is known about the cost of motorcycle crashes; (2) the factors that contribute to motorcycle crashes and fatalities, and strategies states are pursuing to address these factors; and (3) the extent to which NHTSA assists states in pursuing strategies that address these factors and made the two primary recommendations reflected in the title of the document.

Summary of Findings: GAO Report to Congressional Committees. – 2012.  This is a summary of the findings of Motorcycle Safety: Increasing Federal Funding Flexibility and Identifying Research Priorities Would Help Support States’ Safety Efforts Compiled by the Skilled Motorcyclist Association–Responsible, Trained and Educated Riders, Inc. (SMARTER).

U. S. DOT Roadway Safety Plan. – 2012. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) developed the 58 page Roadway Safety Plan based on the premise that significantly reducing roadway fatalities will require fresh ideas, stronger partnerships, and tremendous resolve.

Report of A Gathering of Experts. – 2011. The State and Future of U.S. Motorcycle Rider Training.  Over two days at the end of February, 2011, four organizations with an interest in rider safety invited 15 top international experts in advanced rider training to answer a simple question, “If you wanted to improve regular rider training and reduce crashes, how would you do it?”  This is their 18 page report.

Model National Standards For Entry-level Motorcycle Rider Training  2011.  This is a 28 page companion document to the Model National Administrative Standards for State Motorcycle Rider Training Programs published in 2014.  In 2008, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration contracted with Windwalker Corporation and Highway Safety Services, LLC, to develop model national standards for motorcycle rider training programs. Specific, strong, and measurable education standards are tools to ensure students receive the level of information and experience necessary to properly prepare them for real-world riding situations.  Background and Purpose  This background information has been slightly edited from a response to questions submitted to NHTSA by SMARTER.  The response was provided on January 13, 2020 via email from Kristin Rosenthal, M.Ed., MCHES, Highway Safety Specialist, U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  A report published in 2021 in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides an objective analysis of five entry-level curricula.  According to NHTSA in the time between the report being commissioned and the publication, each of the providers had taken steps to address the results.  also, the 2020 public health pandemic significantly impacted the delivery methods providers recommended/used, so the information in this report should only be considered accurate as of the time of data collection.

Action Plan to Reduce Motorcycle Fatalities. – 2007.  This is a 13 page U.S. Department of Transportation document which describes strategies for the Department to improve motorcycle safety during FY 2008 and 2009.

National Transportation Safety Board Motorcyclist Safety Recommendations – 2007.  The NTSB recommends all-rider helmet laws be enacted in all states and territories and other recommendations.

NHTSA Motorcycle Safety – Uniform Guidelines for State Highway Safety Programs. – 2006.  This 5 page guideline describes the components that a State motorcycle safety program should include and the criteria that the program components should meet.

NHTSA Motorcycle Safety Program Plan. – 2006.   This is a 36 page document from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.  It includes brief synopses of the activities the agency will pursue in the reducing the number of motorcycle crashes, fatalities, and injuries.  It is an approach to (1) prevent crashes before they occur (2) mitigate and reduce crash-related injuries and (3) provide rapid and appropriate emergency response.

National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety (NAMS) Implementation Guide. – 2005.  Approximately half the NAMS recommendations are directed to States and communities. These NAMS recommendations provide overall goals and general methods for achieving these goals but do not suggest specific action steps. This 68 page guide attempts to fill this gap. Its purpose is to help State and community organizations improve motorcyclist safety by implementing relevant NAMS recommendations.  The guide does not address the other half of the NAMS recommendations that are directed primarily to national agencies or organizations, including recommendations regarding research, program evaluation, data collection, regulation, motorcycle design and manufacture, and motorcycle operator insurance.

National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety (NAMS). – 2000.  The National Agenda is a 98 page strategic planning document designed to provide a shared vision for future motorcyclist safety efforts by incorporating input from a broad, multi-disciplinary spectrum of stakeholders.  The NAMS was developed by a Technical Working Group of experts representing all constituencies involved in motorcyclist safety, led by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and published in November 2000.  The National Agenda is not intended to be a consensus document. Twenty-three issues are discussed in detail in the National Agenda for Motorcycle Safety.