KSP Highway Safety Branch

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

KSP Highway Safety Branch News Release

Kentucky State Police 'Gear Up' For Motorcycle Safety Awareness

Date of News Release: 03/12/09

(Frankfort, Ky.) - The roar of engines will be heard in Frankfort on May 21 when Kentucky State Police hosts its second annual 'Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day.' A full day of activities is planned that includes vendor displays, a news conference, safety seminar and the 'Cruise for Awareness' ride. The ride will be escorted by KSP, with more than 100 motorcycles traveling through Frankfort making a swing around the State Capitol building.

With the recently adopted resolution sponsored by Sen. John Schickel, the month of May will be designated 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 Schickel. "Events like KSP's Motorcycle Safety Day will provide the venue to educate riders about the importance of wearing safety gear and ultimately prevent senseless tragedies from occurring," he adds.

KSP Commissioner Rodney Brewer is extending an invitation to motorcycle organizations, rider clubs and bike enthusiasts throughout Kentucky to attend this safety awareness event.

"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 Brewer. "Our goal is to increase public awareness through this program that will ultimately reduce motorcycle fatalities. In addition to the 'Cruise for Awareness' ride and other activities, we are providing a free motorcycle safety seminar in the evening," he adds.

"There's often an obstacle confronting new riders," says Brewer. "They'd like to buy their first bike or maybe upgrade to a newer, more powerful one, but worry about their ability to handle it safely. Rider education programs are the answer for both beginner and seasoned riders. We advocate attending refresher courses that help riders keep their edge by sharpening their skills."

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

"The target audience of our awareness program includes both 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."

"We are already getting the cycle industry onboard for this event. Many vendors who plan to participate will be featuring the latest safety apparel and equipment available for riders," adds Jude.

In 2008, Kentucky had 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. Last year, there were 108,602 motorcycles registered in the Commonwealth.

Jude advises that information about the 'Motorcycle Safety Awareness' event, including registration for the free safety seminar, can be obtained on the KSP website at www.kentuckystatepolice.org or by calling the Office of Public Affairs at 502.695.6344. All event activities will take place at KSP headquarters in Frankfort and will begin at noon.

The free safety seminar will be limited to the first 100 participants who register and will be held at KSP headquarters from 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. on May 21.

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