Hagerstown, Md. (May 1, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) joined today with ABATE of Maryland Inc. and other community partners to kick off Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, a focused effort to eliminate motorcycle crashes and educate all travelers about motorcycle safety. Through the campaign, MDOT MVA and its partners encourage riders and drivers to “share the road” by remaining alert and driving responsibly.
In its 10th year, Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month also seeks to boost the number of licensed motorcyclists through FAST TRACK, an expedient process for motorcycle licensing in Maryland. FAST TRACK allows customers to take both the knowledge test for the Class M learner’s permit and the riding test on the same day.
Last year 1,268 motorcycle-involved crashes occurred in Maryland, resulting in 1,067 injuries and 58 lives lost. Those numbers are improvements from 2017, when 1,451 motorcycle-involved crashes and 85 fatalities occurred in the state. Yet more can be done to promote safety on Maryland roadways.
“Motorcycle Safety Month is an important time to ensure that drivers and motorcycle riders look out for each other, avoid distractions and drive responsibly,” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA Administrator and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Together we can reach zero fatalities for drivers and riders alike.”
Motorcycle crashes are preventable. The safety awareness campaign reminds both drivers and riders to be sober, park the phone and look twice when turning or changing lanes. Throughout the month overhead message signs across Maryland will display motorcycle safety messages to remind motorists and riders to share the road. MDOT MVA will also use social media to deliver targeted safety messages to the public.
“Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable roadway users along Maryland’s roads – once each cyclist checks their safety gear on, they are taking those initial steps to protect themselves,” said Gary “Pappy” Boward of ABATE of Maryland Inc., the state’s largest motorcyclist organization. “It is important that we work together to share the road by remaining aware of another while driving and following the rules of the road.”
MDOT MVA remains committed to offering training courses for new and experienced riders that emphasize skills and concentration necessary to operate a motorcycle. MDOT MVA provides a list of training centers where riders can ensure they have the skills and mental strategies for responsible motorcycle operation.