Harrisburg, PA – With the promise of warmer weather and increased motorcycle riding on Pennsylvania roadways, Governor Tom Wolf has proclaimed May Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, stressing the importance of all motorists sharing the road and riders practicing motorcycle safety.
“The safety of all Pennsylvania motorists is an issue of the highest consequence, and all highway users should unite in the safe sharing of roadways throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” Wolf said in his proclamation. “It is especially important that the citizens of our Commonwealth be aware of motorcycles on the streets and highways and recognize the importance of staying alert, practicing safe driving techniques and promoting motorcycle safety.”
Reversing trends in recent years, the number of registered motorcycles dipped by more than 4,000 and licensed motorcyclists grew by a modest 700 last year. Although crashes dropped from 3,427 in 2013 to 3,284 in 2014, resulting fatalities rose from 181 in 2013 to 186 in 2014.
Emphasizing the importance of motorcycle safety, PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards, joined by representatives from the Pennsylvania State Police, the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) and the Alliance for Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.), reinforced messages aimed at sharing commonwealth roadways with motorcyclists and recognized an important milestone for motorcycle safety at an event held today at Appalachian Harley Davidson in Mechanicsburg.
As part of the event, Richards recognized the contributions of all individuals who have worked with PennDOT through the PAMSP to bring 30 years of free, quality motorcycle training to Pennsylvania residents with a motorcycle license or permit. Since it began offering training in 1985, PAMSP has trained more than 450,000 motorcyclists.
Taking an approved motorcycle safety training course provides riders the opportunity to learn or refine skills that may reduce the chances of being killed or injured in a crash. New and seasoned riders can take advantage of free basic, basic rider 2, advance rider and three-wheeled motorcycle training courses offered at locations around the state through the PAMSP. For more information or to register for a course, visit www.pamsp.com or call 1-800-845-9533.
“By operating a vehicle in accordance with common sense, courtesy and the law, motorists and motorcyclists can safely operate on the road together,” Richards said. “Receiving proper training and being properly licensed to operate a motorcycle are important factors in reducing the severity of a crash and can even help prevent crashes.”
With the intent to further enhance training to mitigate crashes, PennDOT unveiled a new dimension in motorcycle safety training with the introduction of the SKIDBIKE™ as a tool for experienced and beginning riders alike. Pennsylvania is the first state to incorporate this technology into its motorcycle training programs and will use it initially to train new riders.
Through a series of attachments to a motorcycle’s frame, the SKIDBIKE™ can be adjusted to duplicate adverse conditions and teach riders proper techniques without risk to the rider or equipment. Three SKIDBIKEs™ will be deployed to various regions of the state for use at PAMSP course locations.
As another part of its continuing and aggressive effort to reduce motorcycle crashes and fatalities, PennDOT maintains the Live Free Ride Alive campaign, which uses social media, radio advertising, face-to-face interaction with riders at rallies and bike nights, and an interactive website to engage the riding community. The interactive website, www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com, is designed specifically for riders and challenges them to take personal responsibility for their own safety.
Additional safety information for motorists and motorcyclists is available by selecting the Motorcycle Safety link under the Traffic Safety Information Center at www.justdrivepa.org
Editor’s Note: SKIDBIKE