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West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program reminds motorcyclists to have proper training before hitting the open road

CHARLESTON, WV – Springtime is a great time to explore West Virginia’s country roads by motorcycle. Gov. Jim Justice made it even easier for motorcycle and car riders to experience West Virginia’s natural beauty by unveiling four tourist routes in 2022.
 
The West Virginia Mountain Rides program is a partnership between the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia Department of Tourism. The four designated Mountain Rides routes are the Seneca SkywayCapitol CircleCranberry Corridor, and Birdeye Bend. They offer breathtaking scenery and a smooth ride.

As part of the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s “One DOT” vision where DOT agencies work together to provide the best service to the public, West Virginia Division of Highways crews cleared canopies, patched and paved road surfaces, and fixed drainage issues along the Mountain Rides routes.
Spring is also a good time to highlight motorcycle safety and the importance of operating a motorcycle properly. The West Virginia Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) is urging riders to make sure they have proper training.
 
West Virginia law requires riders to get a motorcycle endorsement (F) on their driver’s license or have a Class F motorcycle only driver’s license. Click here to find out more about getting your motorcycle endorsement or Class F motorcycle license. 
 
The West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) offers a Basic or Experienced Rider Course through the West Virginia Motorcycle Safety Program (MSP). The on-cycle skills test is waived if a rider successfully completes a Motorcycle Safety Course.
 
Motorcycle safety classes for the 2024 season will begin this month in five locations throughout West Virginia. They will be held every weekend through the end of October, with the exception of holiday weekends. Click here for more information on how to sign up. The dates and locations are as follows:
 
                  April 6, 2024                                    Parkersburg
                  April 13, 2024                                  Morgantown
                  April 20, 2024                                  Charleston, Martinsburg
                  April 27, 2024                                  Princeton
The GHSP says 41 people were killed in crashes involving motorcycles in West Virginia in 2023. Twenty of the victims were riding without a motorcycle endorsement. 
 
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 36 percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2021 didn’t have a valid motorcycle license.
 
“As the season begins you need to make sure that you have your endorsement to ride,” said GHSP Motorcycle Safety Training Coordinator Mary Jarrell.
 
NHTSA said 5,932 motorcyclists were killed in the United States in 2021. That’s 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. An additional 82,686 motorcyclists were injured in 2021.
 
The numbers are not getting better. The number of motorcyclists killed in 2021 is the highest since NHTSA started collecting data in 1975.
 
“Riding a motorcycle across our beautiful state is one of life’s pleasures. Obtaining an endorsement and appropriate training is not a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of accountability and responsibility,” said GHSP Director Jack McNeely. “I would be remiss not to remind four-wheeled motorists to be cognizant of our two and three-wheeled friends on West Virginia’s highways and backroads. Let’s all be safe out there.”
 
Drivers should always be aware of motorcycles and look twice before turning onto a road.
 
“As a fellow rider, I know the importance of proper training,” Jarrell said. “Make sure your gear is good, your tires are good, and take an advanced training course if you need a refresher,” Jarrell said. “Ride safe. No alcohol. No drugs. And watch for distracted drivers in other vehicles.”