MVA, Other Agencies, Want Everyone To ‘Share The Road’

Officials have kicked off an effort reduce motorcycle crashes in Western Maryland.

An effort to reduce the number of motorcycle crashes in Western Maryland has been launched by the Motor Vehicle Administration, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and ABATE  of Washington County, the state’s largest  motorcyclists’ rights organization.

“Governor Hogan has proclaimed May as ‘Maryland Motorcycle Safety Month,'” says MVA spokesman Buel Young. “During the month, we’ll have advertisements out. We’ll put banners in our branch offices. And the message is the ‘share the road’ so that we can prevent fatalities.”

With the weather getting warmer, Young says more motorcyclists are expected to be out on the highways enjoying the beautiful scenery.

The MVA says there were 72 motorcycle fatalities in 2015, which is an increase from the previous year. On average, the agency says, more than 1,400 riders and passengers are injured in motorcycle crashes each year in the state.

“Each year, we respond to far too many crashes involving motorcyclists,” says Washington County Sheriff Doug Mullendore, in a statement. “These are our friends, neighbors, sons and daughters. We all need to look out for one another, riders and drivers alike.”

MVA says there are ways motorists can share the road with motorcyclists. They include putting down the cell phone while driving;  looking twice for motorcyclists,  especially when they’re making turns;  crossing intersections or changing lanes; watching their speed and not driving aggressively; and driving sober.

“They {bikers} don’t have any protection surrounding them like that individual in the vehicle. And so they’re the ones that are more than likely to be injured or to be that fatality if they’re involved in a crash,” says Young.

But bikers also need to be safe when out on the roads. They should obey the rules of the road; watch their speed and not drive aggressively; not drink and drive; and not speed along the shoulder of the dotted highway lines.

Even though this effort was launched in Washington County, Young says these safety rules apply to drivers and motorcyclists all over Maryland.