Third Wave of Respect Your Ride Motorcycle Enforcement to Start June 1st

Dover-  The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) and law enforcement agencies statewide will begin the third wave of enforcement on June 1st for the Respect Your Ride motorcycle safety campaign.  Throughout the next wave of enforcement Bethany Beach Police, Dewey Beach Police, Delaware State Police, Dover Police, Newark Police, New Castle County Police, Rehoboth Beach Police will conduct patrols on high crash roadways and will cite violators of the state’s motorcycle safety laws.  They will be paying particular attention to speeding and impaired motorcyclists.

This wave comes after two successive motorcycle crash fatalities on May 18th & 19th.  The first crash involved a motorcyclist driving on a suspended licens and fictitious Delaware registration.  He passed another vehicle on a double yellow line while in a curve, and struck a pedestrian crossing the street.  The impact killed the pedestrian.  The second motorcyclist failed to negotiate a curve and crashed in the roadway and was killed.  Alcohol is considered a factor in the crash.

As the weather warms up, and more motorcyclists are on the roads, all drivers should be vigilant about sharing the road with motorcyclists.  They are easy to miss in a vehicle’s blind spot.  Always look twice before changing lanes or making turns at intersections.

Motorcycle riders can also go to, to find information about the proper tools and training to make them the safest rider they can be.  Any person who operates a motorcycle, or other 2-wheeled motor driven vehicle, must have a driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement before taking to the road.  To obtain the endorsement a person must pass a written exam and road skills tests or complete an approved motorcycle rider education program.

OHS is offering the following safety tips for both motorists and motorcycle operators:


  • Follow posted speed limits and keep all wheels on the ground at all times
  • Do not try to share a lane with a vehicle, stay in your own
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;
  • Never drink and ride
  • Watch out for loose sand, gravel, debris, and uneven and textured surfaces
  • Do not pass on the shoulder
  • Suit up for Safety – wear not only a helmet, but also appropriate eye gear, long sleeves, over the ankle boots and reflective material when riding at night
  • Keep your skills up to date by signing up for a DMV Motorcycle Training Course, either beginner or advanced


  • Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;
  • Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width;
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;
  • Allow more following distance, three or four sec­onds, when following a motorcycle, so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency; never tailgate.

For more information about the Respect Your Ride campaign visit or visit us on Facebook at ArriveAliveDE.  For more information about motorcycle endorsement and motorcycle rider education program visit

Governor Markell’s Weekly Message: Memorial Day – Remembering Those Who Sacrifice

DOVER –  In his weekly message, Governor Markell thanks military families and focuses on the importance of remembering those who gave their lives so we could enjoy our freedom.

“This Memorial Day weekend gives us time to look forward to the new season ahead filled with family activities.  But it’s also important to pause —   to remember those families who still grieve the loss of a son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister who gave their life  so we could enjoy our freedom,” said Governor Markell.  “ So many Delaware soldiers have died while during duties in Afghanistan or Iraq.  The liberty we enjoy today was won with their blood, and we cannot honor them enough.”

At noon every Friday, the Governor’s office releases a new Weekly Message in video, audio, and transcript form.  The message is available on:

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Transcript of Governor Markell’s Weekly Message: Memorial Day – Remembering Those Who Sacrifice

Governor Markell’s Weekly Message Transcript: Memorial Day – Remembering Those Who Sacrifice

This Memorial Day weekend gives us time to look forward to the new season ahead filled with family activities.  But it’s also important to pause —   to remember those families who still grieve the loss of a son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister who gave their life  so we could enjoy our freedom.

So many Delaware soldiers have died while during duties in Afghanistan or Iraq.   Young men and women, like 23-year-old Army Sgt Andrew Creighton of Laurel, who was injured in combat and died on the Fourth of July 2010, while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom  – and – Air Force Senior Airman, Elizabeth Loncki of New Castle, also 23, killed by an explosion during Operation Iraqi Freedom  – and  – Air Force Staff Sgt Travis Griffin of Dover, who was killed when his vehicle encountered a roadside bomb near Baghdad, and whose mother said her son died doing what he loved. So many brave Delawareans put their lives on the line to fight – and sometimes die – for our freedom.   The liberty we enjoy today was won with their blood, and we cannot honor them enough.

As Governor, I also serve as Commander in Chief of the Delaware National Guard – a group of inspiring Delawareans who continually answer the call to service.   So many of those brave Delawareans won’t be home this Memorial Day weekend to relax with their families because they’re stationed in military bases around the world having answered the call to service.

We are proud of that service.   And proud for the way our soldiers prepare and train to be ready to serve.   Every time I have the chance to welcome home our troops, I am humbled by the sacrifices they have made.   On behalf of every Delawarean,  to anyone who has served, I say “thank you.” This Memorial Day weekend, let’s make sure we take time to savor the outdoors and sunshine, and most importantly, to look beyond ourselves and thank those who have protected our freedom. With hope for the future as we stay focused together — on keeping Delaware, and our great nation… moving forward.

Commissioner Stewart Highlights The Importance Of Safety During The 100 Deadliest Days For Teen Drivers

Dover, DE-May 24, 2012-During this time of the year, teenagers are busy with proms, graduations and the beginning of summer vacation. May, which has been declared Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, also begins one of the riskiest times of the year for youth.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety calls the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day the “deadliest 100 days” for teen drivers. Reporting on this dangerous season, USA Today noted 7 of the 10 deadliest days of the year for teens fall between those holidays, while July and August are the deadliest months for 16- and 17-year-old drivers.

In Delaware and across the country, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers, out-distancing deaths from homicide, suicide, other accidental injuries, drug dependency, cancer or heart disease.

  • One in three teen drivers crash in his/her first year driving.
  • Teens aged 16-19 are four times more likely to crash than the average driver.
  • Car accidents are the number one killer of 16 to 19 year olds.
  • 38% of teens involved in fatal accidents were speeding.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 422 teens die in crashes in each of the summer months compared to an average of 363 teen deaths during the non-summer months.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study noting some of the particular dangers facing young drivers — namely distractions caused by other teens in the vehicle. The study also showed that 16- or 17-year-old driver’s risk of death per mile driven increases 44 percent when carrying one passenger younger than 21 (and no older passengers). The risk is double when carrying two passengers younger than 21, and quadruples when carrying three or more passengers that age.  Another big risk is technology: 75 percent of teens acknowledge texting while driving is very dangerous, but only 43 percent admit to doing so.

Commissioner Stewart is very aware of this serious matter; therefore, the Delaware Department of Insurance has partnered with SmartDrive, a nonprofit organization that offers online courses to teens with a goal of reducing loss of life and property in senseless motor vehicle crashes. The program operates in 112 schools in 3 different states. They offer cash incentives, merchandise, and scholarships to program participants to help raise awareness for teen drivers. In 2011, Commissioner Stewart’s dedication to this issue led to the creation of “Smart Skills”, a hands-on driving program that serves as a graduate school to our current driver’s education programs.

Commissioner Stewart stated, The Department of Insurance is excited to work with Smart Drive.  We hope through this partnership our teen drivers in Delaware will be safer.”

On June 16, 2012, Commissioner Stewart and Department of Insurance staff will be supporting the work of the SmartDrive program at the Elsmere Community Days event. They will be sharing important information to educate our teens about the importance of safe driving.  For additional information about this program, please visit their website at  Also, our Consumer Services department is available to answer any questions you may have regarding insurance at 302-674-7310.

Agriculture officials urge storm-season preparedness for pets, livestock, poultry

DOVER – With hurricane season about to begin, Delaware agricultural authorities are urging farmers and pet owners to plan ahead and prepare for weather emergencies. Hurricane Preparedness Week runs from May 27 to June 2.

“The time to be ready is now, before storms create disaster conditions,” said Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee. “We have been relatively lucky in recent years, but preparedness is better than relying on luck.”

The Department of Agriculture’s Delaware Animal Response staff coordinates and directs animal emergency response and evacuation activities in the state.

“In the past, we have seen animals injured and even killed during storm situations,” said State Veterinarian Dr. Heather Hirst, whose Poultry and Animal Health Section includes the DAR program. “Buildings can collapse in high winds and trap livestock, and flooding can contaminate feed with moisture and mold.”

The Department of Agriculture recommends that animal owners take the following precautions:

Livestock and small flock owners

  • Check and secure all buildings and enclosures. Repair or secure loose boards, doors, window covers, metal sheeting, wire and equipment that could blow around in high winds.
  • Provide water and food. Make sure your animals have alternate water sources in case power is lost and pumps and automatic waterers are not working. Have enough food and water on hand for seven days. Move feed to higher ground to prevent mold contamination from flooding.
  • Mark animals. Identifiers for returning lost animals could include ear tags with farm name and phone numbers, brands, paint markings on hooves or coats, or clipped initials in hair coats. Leg bands can be used for back yard poultry.
  • Stock up on supplies. Make sure you have basic veterinary supplies on hand and that your livestock are current on vaccinations.
  • Study evacuation options. If you decide to evacuate your livestock, determine several locations that the animals could be taken and map out several routes to each location. Make arrangements in advance with owners to accept your animals, and be sure to contact them before taking the animals there. Options could include private stables, race tracks, fairgrounds, equestrian centers, private farms and humane societies.
  • Choose indoor sheltering or outdoor enclosed areas. If you decide to confine or shelter indoors, consider the structure strength and how it will hold up during high winds and torrential rain. If you give your animals the option of moving outside of their barn during the storm, survey your property to find the best location, do not let animals become trapped in low-lying pens, give them enough space to move around to avoid blowing debris and make sure the areas have no overhead power lines or poles.


The Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc., recommends that commercial poultry growers take steps that include the following:

  • Check your back-up generator. Make sure you have fuel for several days, and that automatic starting systems are ready to go.
  • Check propane gas. Make sure you have enough gas, and arrange an early delivery if necessary.
  • Check feed inventory. Arrange for an early delivery if necessary.
  • Have a back-up communications plan. Make sure cell phones are fully charged in case land-line telephone service is lost.
  • Think long-term. Be prepared to keep birds for longer than normal if processing plants are unable to operate. Make plans for larger-than-normal carcass disposal if necessary.


  • Make a disaster kit. Just like you have a kit for your family, your pets should have waterproof kits as well. Include medical records, vaccination history and medications, current photographs, veterinarian contact information, documentation of any behavior problems, alternate contact information, first-aid kit, leashes, collars, harnesses or muzzles with identification tags, a pet carrier, food and water bowls, litter pans, toys, blankets and food and water for at least seven days, with a can opener.
  • Update vaccinations. Make sure your pet is up-to-date before a storm event occurs.
  • Have an evacuation plan. Delaware emergency shelters now offer housing for pets at or near human shelters. You should bring your pet disaster kit along, including food and water, and are encouraged to visit regularly and oversee day-to-day care for their pets. Owners should also have a list of other locations where they can evacuate with their pets, such as relatives, pet shelters or pet-friendly motels or hotels. Determine several routes to your local shelters before you leave.


Hurricane Preparedness Week:
Delaware Emergency Management Agency:
Federal mergency Management Agency:

Dan Shortridge
Chief of Community Relations
Delaware Department of Agriculture