As Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month geared up this May, New York’s Sheriffs joined the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) to remind riders and motorists to do their part to keep everyone safe on our roadways. Riders are reminded to wear federal DOT-approved helmets whenever they ride and motorists should be prepared to share the road with motorcyclists.
Onondaga County Sheriff Gene J. Conway (pictured left) emphasized the need for all users to be conscious of sharing the road. “Motorcycle safety is a two-way street, where both bikers and motorists have a role,” Conway said. “Now is a good time to keep in mind the importance of these roles in order for everyone to be safe on the roadways.”
Albany County Deputy Sheriff Gregory Stiglmeier (pictured below, right) lost part of his leg as a result of a motorcycle crash in 2015. Despite his injury, he maintained his focus and worked to meet all the requirements to pursue his dream career in law enforcement. Now he encourages others to ride safely. “Most people often think nothing will happen to them, until it actually does,” he said. “I always had that mentality when I rode, that nothing could actually happen to me. Then it did, and you have to overcome the obstacles that you never thought would happen to YOU!”
With 750,461 licensed motorcyclists in New York State and 350,420 registered motorcycles, New York has long made motorcycle safety a priority. Last year marked the 20th anniversary of New York’s implementation of a rider-funded motorcycle safety training and awareness program known as the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program (NYSMSP). The program uses a nationally recognized motorcycle training curriculum, developed by the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Last year, the State also marked the 50th anniversary of its first-in-the-nation law requiring motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a helmet. The state Legislature adopted the law in 1966, and it took effect on January 1, 1967. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimated in a report last June that 87 lives were saved in 2015 as a result of New York State’s motorcycle helmet law and five more could have been saved if the riders were wearing a helmet. NHTSA estimates $1.1 billion was saved by helmet use from what would have been lost productivity, medical expenses, legal, court and EMS costs, and lost quality-of-life. The report can be viewed here:https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812388.