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Maryland Adopts Bike Safety Program To Combat Motorcycle Fatalities

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—Motorcycle fatalities in Maryland take a turn in the right direction. Statistics show the number of deaths dropped to its lowest in the past decade.

Monique Griego has more on how law enforcement plan to keep the downward trend going.

It’s an all too common scene on the streets of Maryland: a motorcycle in pieces and the rider in critical condition or worse.

“I’ve had several close calls,” said Shelly Holcomb, Abate Maryland. “Coming out of a driveway she backed over top of me and drug me. The first thing she said was she didn’t see me.”

Holcomb is the executive director of Abate Maryland, a motorcycle rights group.

Wednesday she was there as Anne Arundel County Police kicked off “BikeSafe Maryland,” a statewide safety initiative.

“It’s an opportunity for us to share our knowledge, skills and experience with other riders,” said Lt. David Ennis, Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Ennis, a rider himself, is leading the program.

He says it offers riders a chance to receive free one-on-one, on-road and in-classroom training with experienced motorcycle officers.

In 2012, 77 people died in motorcycle-related accidents in Maryland. In 2013, that number dropped to 61, the lowest it’s been in 10 years.

However, that wasn’t the case in Anne Arundel County, where fatalities increased from two to five.

“There’s not that much to protect us. The human body can only take so much force, and often times we lose,” Ennis said.

While other programs like “share the road” focus on getting drivers to look twice and pay attention, Holcomb believes riders also have an obligation.

“It’s our responsibility also to be looking for cars and doing everything we can to save our lives,” Holcomb said.

The classes will be held in several Maryland counties.

For more information, contact Anne Arundel County Police,  follow the initiative on Twitter (@BikeSafeMD) and/or “like” BikeSafe Maryland on Facebook.

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