Jones bill to deter unlicensed motorcyclists

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Sen. Rick Jones

Sen. Rick Jones

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Rick Jones dealing with penalties for unlicensed motorcyclists.

“This is about protecting the safety of families and everyone who uses our roads,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Motorcycle safety groups like ABATE are concerned about unlicensed motorcyclists on our roads and have called for higher fines. Increasing the penalties for riders operating a motorcycle without the proper indorsement of their licenses would deter those trying to skirt the law and create a safer environment on our roads.”

According to American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE), more than 50 percent of all accidents involving a motorcycle are due to riders without the proper indorsements, and 40 percent of fatal motorcycle accidents involve riders who do not have a proper license.

Senate Bill 496 would make it a misdemeanor to operate a motorcycle without the proper indorsement on the rider’s license. For the first violation, the penalties would include up to 90 days in prison and/or a $500 fine. The punishments for a subsequent violations would include up to one year in prison and/or a $1,000 fine.

“The bill would make the penalties for motorcyclists without indorsements on par with those for driving a car without a driver’s license,” Jones said.

ABATE supports the legislation, which has been sent to the House of Representatives for consideration.