LANSING — State Representative Julie Plawecki (D-Dearborn Heights) introduced legislation this week that would revise penalties for unendorsed motorcycle riders. The intent of the bill is to improve motorcycle safety, and bring the penalty for riding a motorcycle without an endorsement in line with driving an automobile without a license. The bill’s introduction commemorates Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

“It is estimated that over half of our state’s fatal motorcycle accidents involve unendorsed riders,” Plawecki said. “I am encouraged by the bill’s bipartisan support, and believe its passage would promote rider safety in Michigan, and potentially save lives.”

House Bill 4651, if passed, would amend the Michigan Vehicle Code by increasing the fine for riding a motorcycle without an endorsement. Under current law, the penalty is up to a $100 fine and/or 90 days in jail. This proposal would revise the law up to $500 and/or 90 days in jail for a first violation, and up to $1,000 and/or a one year sentence for a subsequent violation.

Plawecki worked on the bill with motorcycle safety advocates as part of an ongoing effort to reduce accidents and fatalities through rider education, car driver awareness of motorcyclists, and reducing the unendorsed rider population among the motorcycling community.