Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed a proclamation recently designating May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.According to a news release, the promise of warm weather brings an increased motorcycle presence on state roadways and motorcycle safety is the responsibility of both riders and drivers.
“By riding within the limits of their ability and by wearing the proper safety gear, motorcyclists can do a lot to protect themselves,” PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said. “But motor vehicle drivers also have a responsibility to keep an eye out for motorcycles and do what they can to share the road and keep riders safe.”n.”
According to PennDOT information, motorcycle use is on the rise – the number of registered motorcycles climbed by more than 5,600 and licensed motorcyclists grew by 8,500 last year – but crashes and fatalities were down from 2010. There were more than 3,600 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways in 2011, resulting in 199 fatalities versus more than 4,000 crashes and 223 fatalities in 2010.
As part of its continuing and aggressive effort to reduce motorcycle crashes and fatalities, PennDOT created the Live Free Ride Alive website, designed specifically for riders to challenge motorcyclists to take personal responsibility for their own safety.
The website focuses on receiving proper training to operate a motorcycle and offers visitors a chance to share personal riding stories with one another and take the “Be One Less” pledge to avoid becoming a crash statistic. The site also features a collection of stories about Pennsylvania riders and their families and friends that celebrate the freedom of riding and take a sobering look at what happens when a rider is hurt in a crash.
More than 1,700 people have taken the “Be One Less” pledge and more than 850 people have posted a rider message.
To learn more about riding safely, to see videos and to share your riding experiences visit www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com.
Additional safety tips for motorists are available by selecting the Motorcycle Safety link under the Traffic Safety Information Center at www.justdrivepa.org.
Also, according to PennDOT, taking an approved motorcycle safety training course decreases the chances of a rider being killed or injured in a crash. New and seasoned riders can take advantage of free Basic, Basic Rider 2, Advanced Rider and Three-Wheeled Basic Rider motorcycle safety courses through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program.
For more information or to register for a course, visit www.pamsp.com.