Announce Joint Motorcycle Safety Program
Public Safety, Transportation, Highway Patrol join forces to promote
safe ridership this summer
State officials with oversight over highways and public safety have
joined forces to urge all Ohioans to practice safe motorcycle riding
this summer. The Departments of Public Safety and Transportation, and
the Ohio State Highway Patrol today held a joint news conference to
discuss the increase in motorcycle-related fatalities and the states
Comprehensive Highway Safety Plan (CHSP) to address this important
Last year, there were 177 motorcycle fatalities,
an increase of more 30 percent from 2004. Alcohol or drug impairment
was a factor in 45 percent of the crashes, while lack of a helmet was
a factor in 73 percent of the fatalities. Overall, there were 1,326
highway fatalities in Ohio, a three percent increase over 2004, which
saw 1,285 fatalities.
There are far too many Ohioans dying as a result
of highway fatalities, said Public Safety Director Kenneth L. Morckel.
In order to put things back on the right track, we need to enact our
strategic plan and work through our partners at the Highway Patrol and
the Department of Transportation to ensure that our safety message is
reaching motorcycle riders.
The Department of Public Safety is moving forward
with its Motorcycle Safety Strategic Plan, which: encourages rider
groups to sponsor drug and alcohol-free events; promotes proper
licensing for riders, works with the Highway Patrol to increase
enforcement, especially in motorcycle crash hot spots; and promotes
ODPS rider education programs through dealers, manufacturers and rider
As part of its CHSP, Ohio has adopted the
national goal of reducing fatalities to 1.0 death per 100 million
vehicle miles traveled. To achieve this goal by 2008, Ohio must reduce
overall highway fatalities to no more than 1,100 per year. Through the
Plan, ODOT is working with federal, state and local organizations to
target the most dangerous types and locations of crashes on all of the
states roads, not just interstates and highways. The CHSP identifies
engineering, enforcement and driver education strategies that will
have the greatest impact in preventing injuries and saving lives.
To reach the national goal and reduce fatalities
to no more than 1,100 per year, we must work together, said Gordon
Proctor, ODOT director. Engineering and roadway solutions alone will
not be effective so ODOT is pleased to partner with the Department of
Public Safety and Highway Patrol to move beyond making roadway
improvements and proactively targeting areas that pose a threat to
The Ohio State Highway Patrol is partnering with
the American Motorcyclist Association to continue its Ride Smart.
Drive Smart. safety education partnership for a second riding
season. Throughout the spring and summer, the Patrol will provide a
series of motorcycle safety tips from the AMA to help make it a safe
and enjoyable motorcycle riding season in Ohio.
There are three key safety messages of Ride
Smart. Drive Smart., said Lt.
Colonel Michael Finamore, Assistant Superintendent for Administration
for the Ohio State Highway Patrol. We want motorcycle riders to ride
with the proper training and licensing, and to ride sober
by following the AMAs national Ride Straight program. We also want
to stress to car and truck drivers how important it is for them to be
aware of motorcyclists on the road and to use the appropriate
precautions when driving in traffic with motorcyclists.
This month, the Highway Patrol will reintroduce
motorcycle patrols to Ohio highways after an absence of more than
fifty years. The first six patrol motorcycles are scheduled to patrol
Central Ohio while also participating in local motorcycle safety
Over the past five years, Ohio has seen dramatic
increases in motorcycle registrations, from approximately 272,000 in
2001 to more than 333,000 in 2005. Licensed drivers with motorcycle
endorsements have also increased over the same time, from
approximately 605,000 in 2001 to more than 646,000 in 2005.
Motorcycle Safety Fact