Motorcycle Safety is Focus of Skills Training, Sobriety Initiatives

MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office and Maryland State Police Offering Programs to Keep Riders Safe

News Release, Maryland Department of Transportation, MVA

GLEN BURNIE, Md. (June 14, 2019) – In advance of National Ride to Work Day on June 17, the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Highway Safety Office and Maryland State Police are reminding motorcycle riders of two programs designed to help reduce crashes and fatalities and help Maryland’s 283,000 registered motorcyclists stay safe on the road.

BikeSafe Maryland provides motorcycle riders with free skills assessments and valuable feedback from officers with the Maryland State Police Motorcycle Unit, Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police and local police departments. The program is operated by Maryland State Police. Riders learn techniques promoting motorcycle control, collision avoidance and overall safety. The program is open to all motorcyclists with a valid motorcycle license or learner’s permit.

“Take the time to enhance your knowledge and skills with every opportunity that presents itself,” said 1st Sgt. Brett Canfield, commander of the Maryland State Police Motorcycle Unit. “BikeSafe Maryland is a great opportunity to learn from experienced police motor officers.”

Visit bikesafemd.com for information or to enroll in a free BikeSafe session. Riders of all types of motorcycles and trikes are invited to participate. BikeSafe Maryland is funded through a grant from the MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office and is supported by law enforcement agencies across the state.

Another program sponsored by the highway safety office promotes sober riding by placing PODS® storage units at restaurants where motorcyclists can store their bikes for free if they have too much to drink. One PODS® unit is located at Big Falls Inn in White Marsh and the other is at Full Moon Pub and Grill in Reisterstown. The units will be at these locations through October. Each can hold one motorcycle at a time.

“One out of three motorcycle-involved fatal crashes are attributed to an impaired rider,” said Chrissy Nizer, MDOT MVA administrator and Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “The PODS® container is a safe and secure alternative, allowing riders to protect their motorcycle overnight so they can arrange a safe and sober ride home.”

To use one of the PODS® units, riders can contact a restaurant employee who will unlock the unit and gather information to verify ownership the following day. The employee will then help arrange a safe ride home for the motorcyclist. The initiative includes an education campaign, “Free to Ride, Free to Choose,” consisting of door and window signs, posters, brochures and drink coasters for participating businesses. This is the second year of the PODS® program. The MDOT MVA Highway Safety Office has funding for up to five more PODS® and is seeking additional locations. To host a container, contact Motorcycle Safety Program Manager Ernie Lehr at elehr@mdot.maryland.gov.

Learn more about the highway safety office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at towardzerodeathsmd.com, on Facebook at TowardZeroDeathsMD, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.

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