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Oklahoma Highway Patrol offers training for motorcycle riders

Responding to a surge in the number of bikers on the road, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol is offering free advanced motorcycle training this spring and fall at sites around the state.

Each class, which is limited to 30 participants, will be from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays beginning this month, trooper David Cravens said.

Thirteen classes have been confirmed, but funding allows for up to 16 courses this year.

“Over the last couple of years, we've noticed that motorcycle fatalities are increasing,” trooper Betsy Randolph said. “They are able to teach them techniques that will save peoples' lives. At the end of the day, that's what we're trying to accomplish.”

All riders must have their own motorcycle, safety gear and applicable driver's license endorsement to participate. Registration closes the day before the course.

Officials with the patrol and the state Transportation Department decided to co-sponsor the classes in response to the increased number of motorcyclists on Oklahoma roads.

“There are a lot of people riding now because of gas prices,” Cravens said.

The classes will focus on advanced handling and clutch control, as well as evasion and braking techniques, he said.

“These are things that even seasoned riders can come and learn from our troopers,” Randolph said. “It will teach them to maneuver, to learn about braking, and to go over obstacles and maintain control.”

Upon completion of the course, riders will be given a certificate valid for three years, which can lower insurance premiums, Cravens said.

Required safety items are a helmet, long-sleeve shirt, pants, gloves, eye protection, and boots that cover the ankle. No one will be allowed to take the class who doesn't have all of those items.

Passengers are not allowed during the course, but spectators will be welcome.

“Basically, they get a lesson and then we start practicing. There's not a whole lot of down time. If we're sitting, we're learning,” Cravens said.

To learn more

For class schedules or to register, go to www.ohpsaferiders.com.

Related Photos
Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-eed0fddf905c57cee682e36af9fd8ac0.jpg" alt="Photo - Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman" title="Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-235cc4b495d04547b4e46e7ea0c9c749.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Clint Riddle with the advanced motorcycle training equipment used to teach riders statewide. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Clint Riddle with the advanced motorcycle training equipment used to teach riders statewide. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Clint Riddle with the advanced motorcycle training equipment used to teach riders statewide. Photo by David McDaniel, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
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