Our opinion: It could save your life

If you are a motorcycle rider you know the true definition of defensive driving.

If you are an experienced rider, it’s likely you’ve experienced more than one close call with a four-wheeled vehicle whose operator failed to notice your headlight approaching before pulling out right in front of you or didn’t check the blind spot in their rear-view mirror before they changed lanes.

It’s true that riding a vehicle at highway speeds with only a heavy jacket, a helmet, and perhaps some gloves as protection is inherently more dangerous than doing the same inside a 3,000-pound car or truck. But, it doesn’t have to be suicidal.

In fact, motorcycling can be a truly fulfilling mode of transportation with minimal dangers if a rider is alert, sober, cautious and aware of the limitations of his machine and the physics of motion.

To that end, we highly recommend to anyone contemplating taking up the pastime for either pleasure or basic transportation consider taking one of the Motorcycle Safety Program basic rider courses offered in the area this spring and summer.

Not only will the written and riding test at the end of the course qualify you for that “M” on your driver’s license, the classes will provide you with important information, safety tips and a chance to practice important handling skills in a controlled environment.

And, best of all, it’s free to any licensed driver.

Don’t get the impression that the classes are only for those who have never ridden. They are a great way for veteran riders to brush up on skills and refresh one’s collection of safety information.

Classes have been going on in Bradford since the end of April at the Masonic Temple and continue through the middle of June. You can check availability and schedule at www.pamsp.com.

Take the course; it’s the best money you never had to spend.