FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA Media Relations|
2007 MOTORCYCLE SAFETY LEADERSHIP SUMMIT MOVES FORWARD
Motorcycle Community Leaders Take Active Role in Summit
GLEN BURNIE, MD (May 4, 2007) - Maryland Motor Vehhicle Administrator John T. Kuo, National Highway Traffic Safety Deputy Administrator James F. Ports, Jr., and Maryland Highway Safety Office Chief Vernon Betkey addressed nearly 150 leaders from Maryland's motorcycling community today at the 2007 Motorcycle Safety Leadership Summit. The summit was designed to allow stakeholders in the motorcycling community to meet and discuss important issues of concerns and to plan strategies to address them.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and a proclamation from Governor Martin O'Malley was read to kickoff the summit.
Kuo applauded summit participants for having an active voice in the effort to reduce the number of Maryland motorcycle crashes, injuries and fatalities. "I encourage more of you to get involved and join us as we build a safer way toward the future of riding a motorcycle" said Kuo.
In recent weeks, four people died in three separate crashes on Maryland highways. Eighty-six motorcyclists died on Maryland highways in 2005, the most recent year for which complete information is available. A 2006 assessment of Maryland's Motorcycle Safety Program by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommended that MVA/SHA host a one-day stakeholder summit on motorcycle safety to identify safety problems, needs and opportunities. In response, the MVA and MHSO, organized today's forum for the leaders of the motorcycling community and the State to work together to prevent motorcyclist crashes, injuries and fatalities.
Summit participants formed breakout groups covering topics to identify safety problems, needs and opportunities. Topics covered included: identifiying real hazards and problems riders face on the road; the new and returning rider: what they need to know and why; motorist awareness of motorcyclists: changing attitudes and behaviors; taking care of our own house: confronting safety issues within the motorcycling community; and making the system work for us: what the State can do to improve motorcycle safety.
At the end of today's summit participants met to form consensus and determine the next step toward safer Maryland highways.