A couple of days ago I got a letter from a friend of mine who is involved in the development and management of the new California Motorcycle Safety Program and it seems like the program is being widely accepted and praised by instructors and students alike. Here is a transcript of his letter (published with permission):
It is now the first of March, since we started the transition to the new program here in California we have now had over 300 of the existing instructors get updated to the new program. We still have training going on including training for new instructors starting this month. (In fact in case you are still interested we will be doing one in May in Merced). Our transition team was assembled from the best trainers from across the country, and they all worked hard to make sure that the instructors are successful. It was a monumental task and our team pulled it off in grand fashion.
The first approved sites were up, running and able to start offering training in the middle of January just a couple days after the official contract was signed. As of March 1st almost all of the state sites are up and running. Every site owner I have spoken with is telling me how much they like the new program and how much the students are getting from it as well. Both the students and the instructors are excited! All sites I have spoken with are booked out two to four weeks in advance right now.
Students leave the class so excited they are asking what other training they can do and the instructors are also excited to learn more. Most instructors not only want to take more advanced classes now that they realize there is so much more to learn, they are excited to teach them as well. As a result we are already offering many of our intermediate classes all over the state (And they are part of the CMSP Premier Program) and they fill up almost as soon as we post them. This is a great shift in how the instructors think; now many realize that they themselves have a lot to learn as riders to be better and safer. We can never learn too much and we should never stop learning. They are excited to work toward making themselves better riders and instructors.
We have managed to change the emphasis from getting a license to getting trained to ride better. Things are moving in the direction we had hoped, but faster than we expected. It is also amazing to see the interest from other states in what we are doing. We are fielding questions and interest from several other states. Up until this happened here, other states had very limited options for alternatives to what the MSF offered for classes. Now that there are options people are all watching and asking. As a result of all this we are working 7 days a week and 10 to 14 hours a day. I have no complaints; I know that being a part of all this has been worth it.
I'm excited to see how this turns out in the long run but, for starters, the new program seems to me like a big hit already.
Kudos for the State of California, the California Highway Patrol and the Total Control team for putting this together.