May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in PA

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The 2021 Pipes 4 Paws motorcycle charity ride is scheduled for Sunday, Sep. 26. The event raises money in support of local abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

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With both temperatures and the number of motorcycles appearing on Pennsylvania roadways rising, state officials are reminding everyone to share the road safely during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.

“As more and more people enjoy the fun and excitement of motorcycling, we want to remind both motorcyclists and motorists to share the road safely,” Gov. Tom Wolf said Monday. “Staying aware while driving or riding, obeying speed limits and being responsible will help keep fatalities and injuries as low as possible.”

There were 3,447 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways in 2016, resulting in 192 fatalities.

Some safety tips motorists can keep in mind when sharing the road with motorcycles include:

  • Watch for Motorcycles: Be aware that motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see.  Check mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and at intersections.
  • Allow more following distance: Leave at least four seconds when following a motorcycle.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Respect a motorcycle as a full-size vehicle with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle on the roadway. Allow a motorcyclist a full lane width as the motorcyclist needs the room to maneuver safely in all types of road conditions.
  • Never drive impaired.

Motorcyclists can do their part to help avoid crashes by following some simple safety tips:

  • Be seen by wearing reflective clothing and put reflective tape on your protective clothing and motorcycle. Also, wear face or eye protection and a DOT-approved helmet.
  • Use common sense by riding sober, obeying all speed limits and allowing enough time to react to potentially dangerous situations.
  • Know your motorcycle and conduct a pre-ride check.
  • Practice safe riding techniques and know how to handle your motorcycle in adverse road and weather conditions.

“Sharing the road safely, staying aware while driving or riding, obeying speed limits and being responsible can help keep motorcycle fatalities and injuries low,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards. “Taking a training course under the watchful eye of a trained instructor also goes a long way in reducing the likelihood of a crash.”

The Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) offers state residents with a motorcycle permit the opportunity to earn a motorcycle license or refresh their skills through the 15-hour Basic Rider Course (BRC). It also offers a variety of training to help develop safe riding skills for motorcyclists of all skill and experience levels. The courses include: the 15-hour Basic Rider Course (BRC); the six-hour Basic Rider Course 2 (BRC2); the eight-hour Advanced Rider Course (ARC); and the 12-hour, 3-Wheel Motorcycle Basic Rider Course (3WBRC). All courses are offered free of charge to Pennsylvania residents with a valid motorcycle permit or license as required.

For more information or to enroll in a course, visit or call 1-800-845-9533 Monday through Friday, between noon and 4 p.m. Potential riders looking for a convenient way to prepare for their knowledge test can download the PA Motorcycle Practice Test app by visiting and searching the mobile apps for the Pennsylvania Motorcycle License Practice Test, or by using the App Store (Apple devices) or Google Play (Android devices). A copy of the Motorcycle Operators Manual can be downloaded for free at

Note: The information in this story is from a PennDOT news release.

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