Press Release - 09-14-2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday September 14, 2018
GTSC SPONSORS FIRST-EVER MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AND AWARENESS SUMMIT
‘Share the Road 2018’ Brings Together Experts and Enthusiasts to Share Ideas and Strategies
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today kicked off the GTSC’s first-ever summit dedicated to motorcycle safety and awareness. “Share the Road 2018” at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport brings together experts and enthusiasts to share ideas and innovative strategies to promote safety and awareness for riders, law enforcement and the motoring public.
“Motorcycling is more popular in New York than ever, with more than 780,000 licensed riders statewide, an increase of more than 90,000 since 2012,” said Acting GTSC Chair and DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan. “Motorcyclists are especially vulnerable on the road, so we have and will continue to do all we can to make our roadways as safe as possible for riders. This groundbreaking summit is just one of the many innovative initiatives we have undertaken to enhance motorcycle safety in New York State.”
This year, as an additional reminder to motorists to share the road, GTSC supported a motorcycle safety campaign that involved affixing “Watch for Motorcycles” signs to the tops of fuel pumps and fuel nozzles at 120 gas stations across New York State.
The State also established a multi-agency Motorcycle Safety Workgroup to determine the best strategies and explore potential new countermeasures to prevent motorcycle fatalities. The workgroup sent a survey this year to 10,000 licensed and registered motorcyclists across the state, receiving more than 1,100 responses so far that will help New York develop future campaign messaging and materials.
Nationwide, motorcyclist fatalities occur nearly 28 times more frequently than fatalities in crashes involving passenger vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Last year marked the 50th anniversary of New York’s motorcycle helmet law, the first such life-saving measure in the nation. Illustrating the importance of wearing a motorcycle helmet, a recent federal study by NHTSA estimated that helmets saved 87 lives in New York in 2015. Motorcyclists should always wear a federal DOT-approved helmet, as novelty helmets do not adequately protect the wearer’s head. DMV produced a YouTube video to help riders see the difference.
Another milestone in 2017 was the 20th anniversary of the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP), a nationally recognized, rider-funded training course developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF). An increasing number of riders are opting to take it in lieu of a motorcycle road test, and more than 70 percent of the state’s new motorcycle licenses are now issued through the program. In total, nearly 240,000 riders have completed the program.
In addition to offering rider training, the GTSC has a well-established training course on motorcycle safety and awareness that is designed specifically for law enforcement, focusing on national and state-specific motorcycle safety and enforcement issues and training officers to effectively enforce dangerous motorcycle-related offenses. Since 2013, more than 1,300 officers representing over 250 agencies statewide have taken the course.