FHWA seeks to update motorcycle registration information guidance

April 1, 2010

The Federal Highway Administration wants to revise guidance for reporting highway statistics in an effort to collect more detailed data and differentiate motorcycles, mopeds and motor scooters.

FHWA on March 23 published a request (.pdf file) in the Federal Register to update guidance for state reporting of motorcycle registration information in its annual publication, Guide to Reporting Highway Statistics. Officials said the change will allow researchers to collect data to better analyze and identify rider exposure and crash causality. In addition, officials said the change will allow researchers to better estimate the number of crashes from each type of vehicle and determine factors involved in crashes involving small and lightweight three-wheeled vehicles.

Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows motorcycle rider fatalities increased for the 11th consecutive year in 2008 -- to 5,290 in 2008 from 2,116 in 1997. NHTSA also noted a dramatic rise in motorcycle ownership and changes in motorcycle size and new designs.