OHS Announces Start of Motorcycle Safety Campaign

Dover – Motorcycle crashes have been on the rise nationally for the past ten years.  And in the last five, while fatal crashes involving a motorcyclist in Delaware have gone up and down, injury crashes have steadily increased.  That is why the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) has launched a new Motorcycle Safety campaign titled Respect Your Ride. This campaign, aimed at motorcyclists, directs riders to www.MotorcyclesafetyDE.org, where they can find information about the proper tools and training to make them the safest rider they can be.

The Respect Your Ride campaign, which began March 23rd, includes six 2-week waves of enforcement and awareness activities that will be conducted into April, June, July, August, and September.  Throughout the campaign, Bethany Beach Police, Dewey Beach Police, Delaware State Police, Dover Police, Felton Police, Georgetown Police, Harrington Police, Laurel Police, Milford Police, Newark Police, New Castle County Police, Rehoboth Beach Police and Ocean View 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.

Public awareness efforts are also aimed at reaching the drivers of passenger vehicles.  Motorists will be encouraged to look twice and share the road with motorcyclists through billboards, bumper stickers, radio messaging and internet ads.  The billboards are being placed statewide in high crash areas.   As the weather warms up, motorists should be vigilant about motorcyclists, which are easy to miss in a vehicle’s blind spot.

Radio and internet advertisements will remind motorcycle operators that rider training courses are available for beginner and advanced riders throughout the state.  Additionally safety brochures, bumper stickers, and incentive items are being distributed by OHS’s partners, including motorcycle rider groups.

OHS is proud to partner with these groups through its membership on the State’s Motorcycle Rider Education Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Sen. Bruce Ennis and Rep. Danny Short.  Other members include DMV, the Dover Air Force Base, local motorcycle businesses, and members of motorcycle rider groups.  The committee’s Motorcycle Awareness Day (Event, Parade and Bike Show) will be Sat April 28th from 9:30 – 2 p.m. and will include a parade in Dover from William Henry Middle School to Legislative Hall where there will be vendors, displays, judging and presentation of awards.  The event is open to the public.

Additional facts about motorcycle crashes in Delaware:

  • There were 18 motorcycle fatalities in 2011 compared to 8 in 2010.
  • Primary causes of these fatal crashes: speeding and loss of control of motorcycle
  • 4 of the motorcycle operators were under the influence of alcohol…6 were wearing helmets.
  • 7 of the 18 motorcycle deaths occurred in June last year.
  • There were 282 injured in motorcycle crashes in 2010 which accounted for 4% of all injuries from vehicle crashes.
  • Average age of person killed 46
  • In 2011 – most motorcycles involved in fatal crashes were touring bikes
  • Crashes occurred in Milford, Dover, Rt 113 Georgetown, Rt. 13 Bridgeville, Rt 273, Rt. 13 Smyrna, Rt 896 Newark, Rt. 4 Stanton, I-95, I-495, and Philadelphia Pike area.