News Release

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Sergeant Michael B. Webb
Kentucky State Police
Public Affairs Branch
Office (502) 782-1780

KSP Roars Through Frankfort For Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Date of Photo Release: 05/21/2009

(Frankfort, Ky.) -- The roar of engines was heard throughout Frankfort today when Kentucky State Police hosted its second annual 'Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day' event. A full day of activities including motorcycle exhibits, a news conference, safety seminar and the 'Cruise for Awareness' ride were provided to the public free of charge. The ride was escorted by KSP, Lexington Police Department and Frankfort Police Department, with 200 motorcycles rolling through Frankfort and making a swing around the State Capitol building.

Commissioner Rodney Brewer was joined by law enforcement, city and state officials and motorcyclists across the state to address motorcycle safety issues. Brewer announced that Governor Beshear passed a resolution during the 2009 Legislative session that proclaimed the month of May as 'Motorcycle Awareness Month' in the Commonwealth.

"The primary purpose of this proclamation is to encourage the motoring public to be vigilant in observing motorcyclists on the road," says Brewer. "This resolution was sponsored by Senator John Schickel and urges all Kentuckians to share the road and keep motorcycle safety in mind as they travel throughout the state."

Brewer advised that in 2008, Kentucky recorded 2,109 crashes involving motorcycles with 102 of those resulting in a fatal crash. Of those, 64 were not wearing helmets and 40 crashes involved a collision with a passenger vehicle.

"This safety event provides the venue to educate riders about the importance of wearing proper gear and ultimately prevent senseless tragedies from occurring," remarked Brewer. "Our goal is to encourage motorists to be more cognizant of their motorcycle counterparts on the roadways."

Sergeant Billy Richmond, Commander of the Selective Enforcement Unit with the Lexington Police Department attributes most motorcycle crashes to rider inexperience.

"We continually see motorcycle crashes where the rider lost control of their bike because they could not react quickly enough to an unexpected incident," says Richmond. "Completing a rider education program is one of the most valuable tools any rider could ever acquire."

The 'Ride for Awareness' was escorted by law enforcement and included a trip around Kentucky's State Capitol building.

In a show of support for the 'May Motorcycle Safety Awareness' proclamation many staffers in the Capitol stepped out on the lawn to view the procession of bikes.

KSP Sergeant David Jude organized the 'Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day' program by reaching out to riders, the motoring public and the motorcycle industry.

"The target audience of this awareness program includes both motor vehicle drivers and motorcycle operators," says Jude. "Our principle concern is to increase driver recognition of motorcyclists in traffic, while at the same time encouraging cyclists to engage in the overall safe operation of their bikes."

"All too often after a motorcycle crash, the drivers of other vehicles involved say they never saw the motorcyclist and were unable to respond in time," says Jude. "The purpose of this program is to increase public awareness that will ultimately reduce motorcycle fatalities. In addition to the 'Cruise for Awareness' ride and other activities, each of our posts will be placing bright yellow signs in their post areas that remind drivers to look for motorcyclists," he adds.

The signs say 'Look Twice; Safe A Life' and were provided by the Kentucky Governor's Commission on Motorcycle Education and Safety.

For more information about motorcycle safety please contact the Kentucky State Police at 502.695.6353 or this website http://kentuckymotorcycleeducationandsafety.ky.gov/.

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