A bill aimed an increasing motorcycle safety is on its way to the governor's desk for his signature.
The legislation, sponsored by state Rep. Seth Grove, R-Dover Township requires anyone seeking a Class M (motorcycle) junior driver's license to complete a safety course. It cleared the state Senate Saturday.
The same bill also extends Philadelphia's red light camera program by five years and allows it to be expanded to other parts of the state.
But don't expect to see the cameras in York County anytime soon.
The bill allows for the expansion of the red light camera program into Pittsburgh and municipalities with populations of more than 20,000 residents in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties, all of which are in suburban Philadelphia. The expansion does not apply to York County municipalities.
Cameras: The Philadelphia Automated Red Light Enforcement pilot program, which was set to expire at the end of June, was extended through June 15, 2017.
The measure to extend and expand the program was amended into the bill in the Senate, Grove said.
State Rep. Eugene DePasquale, D-York City, said a gradual expansion makes sense.
DePasquale said if the cameras prove to be revenue generators but don't increase safety, he wouldn't be in favor of their coming to York.
A recent study conducted in Philadelphia showed that red light cameras there reduced crashes at intersections in the program by up to 32 percent.
Even rear-end crashes, which usually spike during the roll-out of the program, tend to decrease from pre-camera levels after four years into the program, according to Grove.
Motorcycles: Under Grove's bill, anyone seeking a motorcycle junior driver's license must complete a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation-approved safety course.
The 15-hour course would be provided free. Anyone under 18 would have to take the course, which highlights areas such as drinking and driving, defensive driving and proper motorcycle techniques.
Also under the bill, riders on a motorcycle learner's permit and under the age of 18 must complete 65 hours of practical driving and have held the learner's permit for six months before they can take the junior license exam.
"Operating a motorcycle is very different than driving a car. The experience young riders gain from these free courses will better prepare them for the road," Grove said.
-- Reach Greg Gross at email@example.com.