motorcycles divers

February 2015

 

Are you seeing an increase in baby boomers renewing their motorcycle licenses or obtaining a motorcycle permit/license for the first time?

 

KURT STROMBERG
Motorcycle Education Coordinator, Utah Driver License Division

Utah has seen a 63 percent decrease in first-time motorcycle endorsements issued among baby boomers in the last 10 years. In 2004, Utah issued 2,254 first-time endorsements. In 2014, that figure dropped to 1,421 for that age group. However, Utah has seen a 167 percent increase in renewals of motorcycle endorsements among baby boomers in the last 10 years. The Utah Driver License Division renewed 9,070 endorsements in 2004 and 14,751 in 2014.

We can determine from this information that as baby boomers age, the interest in new riders learning to ride may be waning. But with those baby boomers who already had a motorcycle endorsement, the interest and excitement of riding still exists.

 

FRED ZWONECHEK
Nebraska Highway Safety Administrator, Nebraska Office of Highway Safety

In Nebraska, the number of motorcycle license endorsements [in general] has increased 12 percent in the past five years (2010–2014). The percentage of women operators has increased by 1 percent. The percentage of riders under the age of 21 decreased from 1.9 to 1.5 percent, while the percentage of riders ages 60 and older increased from 17 to 23 percent. The percentage of all licensed motorcycle operators with a CDL endorsement remains at 27 percent. When broken down into five-year age groups, the largest percentage of motorcycle licensees are those ages 50–54 at 13 percent. There are currently eight individuals ages 95 and older that hold a valid Nebraska motorcycle endorsement.

 

CRAIG YETTER
Community Relations Coordinator, PennDOT Safety Administration

In the past 10 years, the total number of licensed motorcyclists [in Pennsylvania] has increased by nearly 100,000. In 2004, nearly 46 percent of licensed motorcyclists were baby boomers between the ages of 50 and 70, with the highest representation of riders ages 50–58. In 2013, the percentage of licensed motorcyclists in that age group grew to 55 percent of the overall population of licensed motorcyclists, with the highest representation of riders falling in the 52–62 age group. The total population of motorcyclists in the baby boomer age group increased by more than 126,000 between 2004 and 2013. The number of motorcycle registrations in the same time period rose from 288,196 to 405,209—an increase of over 117,000.

 

RICK KILEY
Director, South Dakota Motorcycle Rider Education Program, South Dakota Safety Council

Since 2008, the number of baby boomers obtaining motorcycle licenses in South Dakota has increased at a rate of over 42 percent. The largest increase has occurred with boomers between the ages of 61 and 67. Boomers in this age category have seen motorcycle license increases close to 70 percent.

The baby boomer generation makes up the largest segment of South Dakota’s riding population at 49 percent of licensed motorcyclists, but they only account for 39 percent of motorcycle drivers involved in crashes. Despite concerns regarding the increased number of baby boomers operating motorcycles, the statistics illustrate they are underrepresented in crashes. In South Dakota, riders up through age 29 continue to be overrepresented [in crashes] when compared to their portion of licensed motorcycle operators.