State Police report 21 motorcycle deaths in past seven weeks; launch safety program

Local News

(WAVY/WFXR) — Virginia State Police say that 21 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Virginia roadways since June 1, nine of which were single-vehicle crashes.

Authorities are now urging drivers to do their part and share the road responsibly with others. They are asking that passenger and commercial vehicle drivers stay alert for motorcyclists due to their size and visibility.

“When pulling onto or across a roadway or when changing lanes, drivers are especially advised to be on the lookout for motorcycles,” Virginia State Police said in a statement on Thursday, July 15. “They can be obstructed by other vehicles, glare, etc.”

Motorcyclists are 29 times more more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were four times more likely to be injured, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

With that data in mind, Virginia State Police announced that they are holding a series of “Ride 2 Save Lives” motorcycle self-assessment courses through October.

The courses will be aimed at current riders to give them the opportunity to learn and practice rider safety, how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiation and more.

All participants must have a valid operator’s license with a Class ‘M’ endorsement, appropriate riding attire, and helmet and eye protection. Motorcycles need to be street legal and helmets need to be DOT approved to participate in this program.

Here are some motorcycle safety courses being held in southwest and central Virginia:

  • Aug. 21 at 8:30 a.m. at the Lakeside Baptist Church in Salem
  • Sept. 18 at 8:30 a.m. at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg
  • Sept. 18 at 8:30 a.m. at the Lakeside Baptist Church in Salem
  • Oct. 16 at 8:30 a.m. at Central Virginia Community College in Lynchburg
  • Oct. 16 at 8:30 a.m. at the Salem Red Sox Stadium in Salem.

Registration is required, so click here to sign up for the program.

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