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Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Warns of Rise in Fatal Motorcycle Crashes During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, May 13, 2022      

GOVERNOR’S TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE WARNS OF RISE IN FATAL MOTORCYCLE CRASHES DURING MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH

Fatal Motorcycle Crashes in NY Increase by 50% Since 2019

The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) today held a press event at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy, during a motorcycle safety training course, to mark May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and urged safety in the wake of a rise in motorcycle crashes and fatalities. According to the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research (ITSMR) at the University at Albany's Rockefeller College, fatal motorcycle crashes were up 50 percent in 2021 compared to 2019, based on preliminary 2021 data.

“The rise of fatal motorcycle crashes is a harsh reminder to both motorists and riders that we must share the road responsibly,” said GTSC Chair and DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “The crash data we cite are not just numbers, they are mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters. I want everyone to enjoy New York’s beautiful riding season, but to do so safely and responsibly.”

ITSMR data shows that there were 198 fatal crashes that killed 204 people in 2021.  So far this year, there have been 9 fatalities and more than 220 reported injuries in just the first few weeks of riding season. Additionally, motorcycle riders continue to be overrepresented in fatal traffic crashes. In 2021 alone, motorcycle crash fatalities represented over 18 percent of all motor vehicle crash fatalities in New York.

 To promote important motorcycle safety tips for riders and motorists, GTSC uses targeted online banner advertisements, public service announcements that air on radio, television, and social media, and conducts motorcycle safety education events for police departments across the state. GTSC also promotes motorcycle safety tips on its website. Furthermore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is utilizing television and radio to promote safety as the riding season begins, to support the State’s ongoing public awareness efforts.

New York was the first state to mandate wearing a motorcycle helmet, and for more than 20 years, New York has had a rider-funded motorcycle safety training and awareness program known as the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP). The program uses a nationally recognized motorcycle training curriculum developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation. The courses teach effective turning, braking maneuvers, tips to avoid obstacles, strategies in traffic, how to select appropriate protective apparel and vehicle maintenance. Motorcyclists can find a training course near them by visiting https://nysmsp.org/.

 Motorcycle Safety Foundation program manager Ben Zadrozny said, “We do much more than teach our students how to operate a motorcycle. We train our students how to be conspicuous on the road with both lane position as well as wearing the proper protective high visibility gear, especially a helmet that meets DOT specifications. There are many lifesaving skills taught, both mental and physical.”

 About GTSC

Combined with education and enforcement campaigns, GTSC coordinates various traffic safety activities throughout the year and supports ongoing initiatives to improve pedestrian, motorcycle and bicycle safety. The GTSC also sponsors critical training for law enforcement, provides resources for teen drivers and their parents, and promotes seatbelt use statewide.

For more information about GTSC, visit https://trafficsafety.ny.gov/, or follow the GTSC conversation at Facebook and Twitter

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