FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
|CONTACT:||Buel C. Young||MVA External Affairs|
Maryland MVA Promotes “Sharing the Road” with Motorcycles by Joining Efforts with State and Federal Partners
May Proclaimed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
GLEN BURNIE, MD (April 29, 2010) - The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) is proud to join with federal, State and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May 2010 as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month”. The purpose of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to remind motorists and motorcyclists of their shared responsibility for safely traversing the roadways. Safety is particularly important this time of year when warm weather results in more motorcyclists and more motorists on the road.
Motorcycle related fatalities in Maryland have steadily increased over the past decade. In fact, in six years, from 2002 to 2008 fatalities increased 37% from 52 in 2002 to 84 in 2008. However, good news is on the horizon. Based on preliminary data for 2009 motorcycle related fatalities decreased by 26%. In Maryland, there were 62 motorcycle related fatalities in 2009. With increased awareness and an emphasis on safety, continued declines in motorcycle fatalities can be achieved.
“Motorcycle safety awareness is a two-way street,” said MVA Administrator John T. Kuo. “Motorists need to be more attentive when driving to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists need to make themselves more visible, check their speed, and follow the rules of the roadway. The ultimate goal is to save lives by reducing crashes to keeping motorcyclists safe in Maryland.”
Motorcycle safety messages are being promoted throughout the month, on television and radio, highway message signs, billboards and banners, and at special events across the State.
On Wednesday, May 5, 2010, the Hagerstown MVA will host ABATE of Maryland, as they kick-off Motorcycle Awareness Month in western Maryland. The Hagerstown MVA will also conduct “Fast Track Licensing,” an initiative geared to highlight the importance of safe motorcycle operation and to encourage licensure for all motorcycle riders, and “The Safe Motorcyclist Awareness and Recognition Trainer,” a computerized on-road training simulator will be set up for demonstrations at the branch. MVA will also conduct “Fast Track Licensing” at its Glen Burnie branch on May 5th and 19th.
It is the responsibility of all drivers and motorcyclist in Maryland to do their part by safely sharing the road.
As a reminder, here are some helpful tips for drivers:
- Respect motorcyclists by giving them a full lane of travel;
- Look for motorcycles, especially before making a left turn;
- Always signal your intentions;
- Allow enough room for the motorcyclist to maneuver and enough time for you to adjust; and
- Being courteous, non-aggressive and cooperative can go a long way in reducing crashes.
And here is some helpful advice to motorcyclists:
- Conduct a safety inspection of your motorcycle before each ride; properly maintain your motorcycle year-round;
- Wear a helmet that meets or exceeds US DOT standards; wear proper eye safety gear;
- Make yourself visible by use of proper clothing or reflective decals;
- Ride with your headlight on and consider using a modulation headlight;
- Ride sober;
- Give yourself space and time to react;
- Be courteous and respect other road users; and
- Get training.
For additional information about motorcycle riding and training visit http://www.mva.maryland.gov/ or call the Motorcycle Safety Program at 1-800-638-1722.