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Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Oct 02, 2012 in Motorcycle Accidents

After Stephanie Pelletier lost her 19-year-old son, Nicholas, in a motorcycle accident in 2008, she began researching motorcycle safety. Her work was the impetus for new safety legislation, which was recently signed by Governor Jodi Rell.

Beginning January 1, 2011, all new riders seeking to obtain a Connecticut motorcycle drivers' license must complete the Connecticut Rider Education Program (CONREP). The program - currently only required for riders under 18-years-old - is administered by the Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT).

To obtain a motorcycle license in Connecticut today, one needs to pass a written test to receive a learner's permit and then pass a road test to receive a full license.

The new law will require the new rider to take a $200, 17-hour course consisting of six hours of classroom training and 11 hours of road instruction - which includes the road test in the course.

Rep. Timothy Larson (D-East Hartford), who introduced the bill - which both the House and Senate strongly supported - stated: "It's going to go a long way to provide safe ridership and an educated ridership."

According to the Connecticut DOT, as cited by the Hartford Courant, 37 riders and four passengers lost their lives due to injuries related to motorcycle accidents in 2009.

When Ms. Pelletier lost her son, he was driving with only a permit. If her son had taken the new rider course, Ms. Pelletier believes her son would be here today.

"There are parts of me that are sad, but I'm happy if I can save even one parent from the pain that I feel every day. It was a tragedy to lose my son, but a positive thing has come out of it," she said.