Governor’s program aiming to keep motorcyclists safe on roads

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BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The scenic stops and winding roads of West Virginia are a must see for motorcycle enthusiasts.

The West Virginia Governor Highway Safety Program is joining forces with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to remind drivers to share the road.

West Virginia motorcyclist deaths accounted for 11 percent of the total roadway fatalities in 2019. Paige Ward is an avid rider and motorcycle shop owner. He said on top of other vehicles, there are other dangers on the roadway.

“In the spring a lot of times there’s gravel and little pieces of things that are on the road that are left over from the winter when they had snow and stuff, and make sure that you be careful with that when you’re riding,” said Ward.

The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program aims to educate the public of the dangers of driving around smaller profile vehicles. Ward said riders can also help protect themselves by wearing the right gear.

“You have to have a DOT helmet approved, you have to have that. But then go one step further minimum, you should have at least always wear long pants and long shirt,” said Ward.

Another way to keep safe is which part of the road you ride.

“Always want to ride in the tire tracks of the automobiles, not in the center of the road. You want to ride either to the left or to the right to stay in the tire tracks of the automobiles because in the middle are oil droppings and things from automobiles, and the least bit of rain those oil droppings can become very slick,” said Ward.

Ward said before any trip, make sure to do all the pre-trip checks.

“Don’t forget about going over your bike, make sure your tires are in good shape, make sure they’re the right tire pressure and make sure just general safety things are checked out before you hit the road,” said Ward.

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