Ride Safe. Ride Smart.
The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) launched its 2013 Respect Your Ride & Share The Road Motorcycle Safety campaigns in April. The campaigns, a combination of both enforcement and awareness activities, is an effort to reduce motorcycle fatalities and injuries throughout the state.
Throughout the campaign, Bridgeville, Dover, Georgetown, Middletown, Milford, New Castle County, Newark, and Delaware State 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 aimed at reaching not only motorcyclists but also the drivers of passenger vehicles. Motorists will be encouraged to look twice and Share the Road with motorcyclists through billboard and radio messaging. Motorcycle operators are being reminded, through billboard and internet ads, to Respect Your Ride by ensuring they have the proper training and tools to be safer riders. Additionally, safety brochures, window decals, and incentive items are being distributed through OHS partners, including motorcycle rider groups.
Motorcycle deaths have been on the rise nationwide. That trend is mirrored in Delaware. Deaths began increasing in 2001 and hit an all-time high in 2005 when 21 motorcyclists died in crashes. Though that number dropped by almost half in 2006, it has risen again. In 2012, 17 motorcyclists were killed in crashes, 5 of which were not wearing a helmet.
OHS awareness efforts in the last four years have fostered a stronger partnership with the state's Motorcycle Safety Committee, on which OHS now has a seat. The Committee also includes motorcycle riders, businesses, advocacy groups and representatives of the DMV Motorcycle Rider Training Program. The Motorcycle Safety Committee is chaired by Senator Bruce Ennis and co-chaired by Representative Danny Short.