GLEN BURNIE, MD (June 14, 2023) – For the second year, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office is joining with the Maryland State Police to offer the free Maryland MOTORS (Motor Officers Teaching Other Riders Safety) motorcycle training class. The class is open to all motorcyclists with a valid motorcycle license and insurance, and starts Saturday, June 17.
Maryland MOTORS is a safety class for civilian motorcycle riders taught by police officers. The class can benefit motorcyclists of all levels, from new riders to those with years of experience. The two-part training consists of a classroom portion and a road portion where the civilian riders are accompanied by motorcycle officers on an actual ride. During and after the ride, officers communicate with the civilian riders on proper ways to stay safe, along with evaluations of riding techniques intended to increase the safety.
In 2022, there were 73 motorcycle-involved fatalities in Maryland, and as of today, 20 motorcyclist fatalities have occurred this year. When there is a crash involving a car or truck and a motorcycle, the motorcyclist almost always loses. Because motorcycle riders are not protected by a vehicle like the occupants of a car or truck, motorcyclists are injured in nearly three out of four crashes.
“Riders and drivers have a shared responsibility to ensure everyone makes it home safely. Working together, we can help eliminate preventable crashes and fatalities,” said Chrissy Nizer, Motor Vehicle Administrator and Governor Wes Moore’s Highway Safety Representative. “Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable roadway users. Following the rules of the road and wearing proper protection, including helmets, are important steps to maintain their safety. It’s equally important that drivers always take a second look to check their blind spots before switching lanes, and always signal their intentions.”
Maryland MOTORS classes are open for registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Civilians interested in taking a class can sign up here. An additional list of training centers where riders can ensure they have the skills and mental strategies for responsible motorcycle operation can be found on ZeroDeathsMD.gov/Motorcycle.
It is a shared responsibility to ensure motorcyclists are protected on Maryland roadways. Drivers and riders are encouraged to help protect one another by using the following tips:
- Share the road with motorcyclists. Motorcyclists can use the full travel lane, so give them space and don’t cut them off.
- Look twice for motorcycles. When there is a crash involving a car and a motorcycle, the car driver is at fault more than half of the time. Signal your intentions and check two or more times before making left turns, merging, changing lanes or pulling into traffic.
- Remember that motorcyclists are smaller than cars. Drivers tend to look for other cars and trucks, not for motorcyclists. And because a rider and their motorcycle are smaller than a car, they are often difficult to see.
- Minimize and check your blind spots. Motorcycles are easily hidden by a driver’s blind spot. Check your mirrors regularly when driving and adjust them to show more of the road and less of your vehicle.
For Motorcycle Riders:
- Be courteous, non-aggressive and respectful of other road users when riding.
- Make yourself visible at all times. Choose riding gear that increases your visibility in traffic, in addition to providing protection in the event of a crash. Use bright colors and retro-reflective strips or decals, especially at night.
- Ride so you are seen. There is no one “safest” place to ride in terms of visibility. Use lane positioning to be seen by drivers. Ride with your headlight on and consider using a modulating headlight.
- Give yourself space and time to react. Allow space for braking or to avoid a crash.
- Signal your intentions. Signal your lane changes. Avoid weaving between lanes. Flash your brake light when slowing down and before stopping. Make lane changes gradually.
- Learn early, learn often. Motorcycle safety training courses have much to offer new, experienced and returning riders. Keep your skills sharp by regularly participating in motorcycle skills training courses.
Crashes are preventable. The Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office’s Be the Driver safety awareness campaign reminds drivers and riders to drive sober, put the phone down, slow down and buckle up when in a vehicle. The message to “Be the LOOK TWICE Driver” will be shared throughout the summer, depicting how a driver can easily see a motorcyclists one second, and how quick that motorcycle can disappear from view in a blind spot.
Learn more about Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office commitment to zero deaths on Maryland roadways at ZeroDeathsMD.gov and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @ZeroDeathsMD.