'BikeSafe' launches in MD for motorcycle riders

MILLERSVILLE, MD - Gloves, boots, and a reflection of safety, Lt. Dave Ennis with Anne Arundel County Police is on the fast lane to keep motorcycle riders in Maryland on two wheels.

"Anybody that has operated a motorcycle realizes that the skills development gets a little rusty when you put it away for the winter."  

So Lt. Ennis, along with partners that include the MVA, have brought a training program to Maryland, called BikeSafe.

Trainers want licensed riders to focus on the typical dangers, like negotiating a curve.

"Read the road ahead of you.  If you see a turn coming up, a driveway cut out, understand that some danger may enter your path of travel," Ennis said.    

North Carolina was the first state to adopt the program and saw a 20 percent reduction in deadly crashes.  In Anne Arundel County, five people died on motorcycles in 2013, up from two the year before.

"Three quarters of motorcycle accidents are caused by the driver pulling in front of us," said Shelly Holcomb, executive director, ABATE of Maryland.    

Getting on a motorcycle is not the same protection as being in a car.

"Motorcyclists are six times more likely to be injured in a crash and 27 times more likely to be killed," said MVA Administrator Milton Chaffee.

Awareness and a refresher course may be all it takes for Lt. Ennis to avoid notifying another family following a deadly crash.

BikeSafe is a pilot program in the Baltimore and Washington areas for now.  If it’s successful, it will launch statewide.  The class is free for licensed motorcycle riders.

If you are interested, contact Lt. Ennis at bikesafemd@hotmail.com or call 410-222-8578. 

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