The primary goal of ABATE of Indiana’s Motorcycle Safety Division is to provide access to the best quality training for those persons wanting to learn how to ride motorcycles more safely.
From the beginning, some 40 years ago, that meant keeping the courses affordable, so that cost was not a barrier. When the state became involved in 1987, the Indiana Motorcycle Operator Safety Education Program (which is funded by motorcycle registrations) was intended to supplement the cost of a class, so that student tuition would be minimal. Under the Indiana Department of Education (DOE), the state would reimburse a certain amount per student to supplement the expense and capped how much could be charged by the provider.
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles now oversees the program and has restructured it several times from 2014 to present. Currently, there are about 20 providers that are allowed to charge an uncapped tuition of their choice, while still receiving $130 per student from the state.
ABATE of Indiana, as a not-for-profit organization, has always put the rider ahead of the bottom line. We have always kept the amount that a student pays for the course at the lowest price possible, often below what our actual expenses have been.
In 2016, ABATE evaluated numerous different curricula in search of what best met the needs of Hoosier riders. At great expense to ABATE, we then introduced a new training course to Indiana. The Basic Rider Skills (BRS) course was developed in Ohio, a state where the geography, climate, infrastructure and motorcycling characteristics closely matched Indiana. The curriculum also allows for components to be adjusted to meet the changing needs specific to Indiana.
Students that have experienced the BRS and another course, overwhelmingly state that the BRS provides more time riding and a greater number of repetitions practicing the skills. They also feel that the BRS better qualified them to decide if they were ready to ride on the street (in traffic) or not.
A few years ago, we were forced to spend a quarter of a million dollars on equipment. We are still working to recover from this unexpected investment. The cost of gasoline, insurance, fuel and about everything else, has continued to increase. With more providers “competing” (their words, not ours) for the same number of students, we now have lesser numbers to spread fixed costs between.
The Board of Directors, the Site Coordinators and two special committees have reviewed and evaluated this issue extensively.
In the end, the decision was made to increase the student paid tuition for a Basic Rider Skills (BRS) course in 2020 to $199. This is still an exceptional value for a course that provides all equipment needed, all supplies required, 15-20 hours of class time and an instructor to student ratio of 1:6.
We are not pleased that we have to implement this change, but hope that this explanation will help people understand why it is necessary.
ABATE of Indiana is committed to continuing to deliver the best quality of motorcyclist safety training possible. With your understanding, assistance and support, we are certain that we will be doing exactly that for many years to come.
Ride Free (we wish it could be free),