The Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA), ABATE of Maryland Inc., and community partners launched Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Maryland to promote awareness and safety among drivers and riders. The launch event, held at the MDOT MVA’s Hagerstown branch, also announced the return of the FAST TRACK program at select branches to boost the number of licensed motorcyclists in the state.
Maryland Governor Wes Moore declared May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Maryland to promote safe riding habits. The officials emphasized the importance of responsible driving behaviors, looking twice for motorcyclists, and continuing education on safe driving and riding habits.
With warmer weather marking the unofficial start of the riding season, Maryland faces a significant number of motorcycle-related fatalities from May through October. Approximately 80% of such fatalities occur during these months, and about 60% of motorcycle-involved crashes occur between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. Furthermore, over 59% of these crashes occur during the weekends.
The MDOT MVA is urging drivers and riders to practice safe habits by following some simple tips. Drivers should share the road with motorcyclists, look twice for motorcycles, and be aware that motorcycles are smaller than cars. They should also minimize and check blind spots regularly. Motorcycle riders should be courteous, respectful of other road users, and make themselves visible by choosing riding gear that increases their visibility in traffic. They should signal their intentions, learn early, and often to improve their riding skills.
The FAST TRACK program is an expedited process for motorcycle licensing in Maryland that allows customers to take both the knowledge test for the Class M learner’s permit and the riding test on the same day. It is available at select MDOT MVA branches on specific dates from May to September.
The MDOT MVA remains committed to offering training courses for new and experienced riders to improve their riding skills and concentration for responsible motorcycle operation. Marylanders can access the list of training centers where they can receive training to ensure they have the necessary skills and mental strategies.
The administration’s Highway Safety Office is sharing “Be the LOOK TWICE Driver” messaging throughout May. The message emphasizes the importance of looking twice for motorcyclists to prevent accidents on Maryland roadways. The public service advertisements will run on Facebook, billboards, and buses across the state.
The Maryland officials hope that Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the FAST TRACK program’s return will encourage more responsible driving behaviors and reduce the number of motorcycle-involved crashes in the state. Marylanders interested in participating in the program can get more information and sign up for an appointment on the MDOT MVA website.