May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month.
There were 125 motorcycle fatalities in 2016--a 15 percent increase from the number of motorcycle fatalities in 2015 and a record all-time high for Colorado. Motorcycle deaths have been on the rise for the past few years, which is why CDOT will be launching a campaign during Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to encourage riders to participate in motorcycle safety training courses offered across the state.
This year's campaign, "The Best Never Stop Training," has evolved to speak to a wider audience, embracing motorcycle enthusiasts of all ages from your typical novice to the veteran roadster. Sixty-one percent of those killed in 2016 motorcycle fatalities were not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash.
"These motorcycle-operator training courses not only educate riders on best safety practices, but also help develop each individual's skillset, whether you just bought your first bike or have been riding for years," said Sam Cole, safety communications manager for CDOT.
What separates the great riders of the Wild West from your average Joe? Continued hands-on training. This campaign demonstrates that no matter how skilled of a motorcycle operator you are (or aren't), you can always get better. And unlike a game of chess, where a mistake might cost you a cash prize, a wrong maneuver on the road can be a matter of life or death. That's why much of the time on bikes during motorcycle safety training classes is spent perfecting skills.
A recently passed Colorado House and Senate resolution designated May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. CDOT's "The Best Never Stop Training" safety campaign includes online videos, posters, digital banners and billboards that aim to encourage motorcycle enthusiasts of all skill levels to continue to learn how to improve their expertise. Positive messaging like, "master one skill, begin honing the next," and "there is no second place in this field" will resonate with riders. The primary goal? Raise awareness about the benefits of, and increase enrollment in, motorcycle-operator safety training courses.
Motorcycling has a visual language all its own, so the campaign will also utilize the unique pinstripe designs that often adorn bike tanks, fenders and helmets to create an inspiring message about achieving greatness as a rider. The campaign will be present at several Colorado motorcycle events and bike rallies where complementary pinstriping will be offered to riders. All tactics drive riders and interested parties to COMotorcycleSafety.com, where it's easy to find certified training classes throughout the state.
The Colorado Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) program is available in 16 counties across the state and provides motorcycle training classes for various riding abilities. The curriculum incorporates classroom education with real-life application on controlled courses, so riders can develop safe riding habits over time. In doing so, riders are better prepared to react quickly in dangerous situations.
Most motorcycle fatalities in 2016 occurred between the months of May and October, which isn't surprising, as motorcycle riders tend to take advantage of the warm Colorado sunshine and uncover their bikes for the summer. Forty-three percent of last year's deaths were 18 - 34 years old, 27 percent were in the 35-54-age category, and 28 percent were 55 years or older. The majority of these fatalities were male.
Interested in taking a class? Additional resources for riders, including class information, are available at COMotorcycleSafety.com.