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Maryland 2nd State to Adopt “BikeSafe” Program to Save Lives

Publish Date: 05/07/2014

Share the Road. Look Twice for Motorcycles.

 

The Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration’s (MVA) Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO), the Anne Arundel County Police Department, allied partners in law enforcement and the motorcycle riding community announce the May 1 kickoff of the 2014 “BikeSafe Maryland” educational campaign coinciding with the proclamation by Governor Martin O’Malley declaring May as “Motorcycle Safety Month.” 

 

Motorcycle-involved traffic fatalities in Maryland dropped to the lowest levels in a decade, declining from 77 fatalities statewide in 2012 to just 61 in 2013. According to a report recently released by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, Maryland motorcycle fatalities fell at twice the national average in the first nine months of 2013.
 

“We’ve made progress but more needs to be done,” said Milt Chaffee, Administrator of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative. “People are dying in crashes that can be prevented and our message today is very simple: we must all SHARE THE ROAD. Drivers and riders alike are responsible for sharing the road safely, by obeying the speed limits, following the rules of the road, and avoiding distractions.”

 

In contrast, after declining each year since 2008, motorcycle fatalities increased in Anne Arundel County in 2013, rising from just two in 2012 to five in 2013. Motorcycles are represented in just 2 percent of all traffic crashes in Anne Arundel County, but they account for nearly 12 percent (11.9 percent) of all traffic fatalities in the County.  
 

To combat this increase, the Anne Arundel County Police Department today launched “BikeSafe Maryland” -- a police-led, pilot motorcycle crash reduction program aimed at reducing the number of motorcyclists injured and killed on Maryland roadways. The program invites both new and experienced motorcycle enthusiasts to participate in a “Rider Skills Day” that offers both classroom and on-road advice and assessments from highly trained motorcycle officers.

 

“I’m pleased that as a county we are collaborating with our state and local partners to offer this important training to area motorcycle riders,” said Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman. “Safety on our roadways is a shared responsibility, and my hope is that this program will go a long way in making motorcycle riding a safer and more enjoyable experience for everyone in Anne Arundel County and throughout the state.”
 

The Anne Arundel County Police Department partnered with the Maryland Highway Safety Office and allied law enforcement agencies to bring this successful program to Maryland. In 2003, “BikeSafe” began in the United Kingdom, where there has been a 25-percent reduction in motorcycle fatalities. North Carolina began the program in 2007 and that state has experienced a 20-percent reduction in motorcycle fatalities.

 

There is no cost for citizens to attend this new program. Participants must be properly licensed and bring a motorcycle with proper safety equipment to the training location. While the initial training will be held in Anne Arundel County, other regional training sites are in development.

 

As a part of the statewide motorcycle safety effort, working in collaboration with the Maryland Motorcycle Safety Coalition, the MVA is launching a new motorist and rider awareness campaign that calls on drivers and riders alike to SHARE THE ROAD. Billboards, yard signs, banners and internet advertisements will remind drivers to look twice for motorcyclists when turning and changing lanes.

 

For more information regarding BikeSafe Maryland contact Lt. David Ennis, Commander of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Traffic Safety Section, at 410-222-8573.

 

Facebook: “Like” BikeSafe Maryland                                                           

Follow BikeSafe Maryland on Twitter: @BikeSafeMD

 

For more information regarding Maryland’s statewide motorcycle safety efforts, contact

Mr. Buel Young, MVA External Affairs, (410) 762-5188.
 

Bike Safe Maryland
 


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