FRANKFORT, Ky. (5/5/14) — In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Kentucky Office of Highway Safety is partnering with the Kentucky Motorcycle Program on the 'Gear Up. Train Up. Ride Kentucky.' campaign to remind motorcyclists to wear protective gear and receive proper rider safety training.
“Just as we ask motorists to protect themselves with a seat belt, we ask motorcyclists to protect themselves with a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear,” said KOHS Director Bill Bell. “Partnering with the KMP to publicize its rider safety courses is the obvious next step in our quest to reduce motorcycle fatalities and injuries on Kentucky roadways.”
The KMP began in 1994 and utilizes a curriculum provided by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for each of the four courses, Basic RiderCourse, Basic RiderCourse 2, Advanced RiderCourse and 3 Wheel Basic RiderCourse. The program, administered by Eastern Kentucky University, offers courses at training centers throughout the state.
“The overall goal of the KMP is to improve the safety of motorcyclists,” said Professor Terry Kline, program coordinator with the Traffic Safety Institute at EKU. “Riding a motorcycle can add value and zest to personal transportation, leisure and lifestyle. Motorcycling, like other forms of personal transportation, includes inherent risks that can be successfully minimized with proper skills, appropriate protection, riding strategies, perceptual development and habit development.”
The Gear Up. Train Up. Ride Kentucky campaign features statewide radio spots and digital ads targeting motorcycle enthusiasts, in addition to signage at gas stations, motorcycle dealerships, county clerk offices and Department of Motor Vehicle offices in counties with the highest number of motorcycle crashes. Funds for the campaign were provided by a grant through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Bell emphasizes that while this campaign focuses on motorcyclists, motorists have responsibilities as well.
“Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in a vehicle’s blind spots,” said Bell. “Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”
According NHTSA, per vehicle mile driven, motorcyclists are more than 30 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars, and five times more likely to be injured.Go to www.rideky.net for information on Kentucky’s motorcycle safety courses. For NHTSA’s motorcycle information page, visit www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.
Information provided by Erin Eggen
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