ST. PAUL (June 19, 2013) — Ken Luong Van, an accountant from Shakopee, was appointed to the state Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force on Wednesday. The Iowa native is one of 15 appointed and reappointed task force members with terms that run through June 30, 2015.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman reappointed Michelle Backlund of Elk River, Frank Ernst of Chanhassen, Charles Fletcher of Minneapolis, Ronald Lischeid of Saint Paul Park, Dwight Smith of Newport, Susan Tabor of Minneapolis, Tim Walker of Saint Paul; and appointed new members Bridget Karp of Carlton, Mark Koon of Cottage Grove, Geoffrey Wyatt of Lakeville, Stefan Gildemeister of Minneapolis, Natonia Johnson of Minneapolis, Brian Gramentz of New Ulm, Ken Luong Van, and Jon Smith of Saint James to the Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force.
The Motorcycle Safety Advisory Task Force advises and provides input to the Department of Public Safety on motorcycle safety issues and operation of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Program with the goal of improving the safety of motorcycle riders and their passengers on Minnesota roadways. The task force will focus on three areas: motorcycle rider training, motorcycle rider testing and licensing, and public information and media relations.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) provides high-quality rider education, training and licensing to prevent motorcycle crashes and the resulting fatalities and injuries. It was created in the early 1980s to address record high motorcyclist fatalities.
The MMSC provides on-cycle and classroom rider training courses, develops awareness campaigns and informational materials, and coordinates third-party skills testing for motorcycle license endorsement through the Basic Rider Course and evening testing at select DVS Exam Stations.
Motorcycle safety is a component of Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), the state’s primary road safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
Recent MMSC Activity and Statistics
• Ridership is at record-high levels in Minnesota, with more than 237,000 registered motorcycles and 405,000 licensed operators.
• Preliminary reports indicate 55 rider deaths in 2012, a 33 percent increase from 2011 and 14 percent of the total traffic deaths. The first time rider fatalities have gone up since 2008.
• Motorcycle rider training courses begin in April and are available through October for new and experienced riders – register at motorcyclesafety.org,https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ots/mmsc/Pages/default.aspx.
• MMSC added two new courses to their 2013 curriculum, the SMARTrainer Plus Course and the BRC Refresher Course.
• 7,438 students took a rider training course in 2012 with the MMSC. In the last five years, more than 40,000 students have been trained.
• Follow MMSC on Twitter: @MnDPS_MCSafety.