Officials warn motorcycle safety is shared responsibility after 58 Massachusetts riders die in 2023



BOSTON – As the spring approaches, Governor Maura Healey has signed a Proclamation, designating the period of March 23 through April 1, 2024 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period.  In addition, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ (RMV) is raising awareness for motorcyclist safety, reminding all travelers that roadway safety is a shared responsibility, that vehicle drivers should look twice for motorcycles when pulling out onto roads and changing lanes, and motorcycle operators should be visible and obey the rules of the road.

“Safety must be a priority for everyone, but especially for vulnerable road users like motorcyclists,” said Transportation Secretary and CEO Monica Tibbits-Nutt. “We know with the warmer weather ahead, more motorcyclists will be on the roads and the operators and other drivers around them have a duty to stay alert and be mindful of all traffic laws designed to keep everyone safe.” 

“As part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period, the RMV reminds all motorists that safety demands an effort from vehicle operators and motorcyclists alike,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie. “All motorcyclists need to be properly educated and licensed, regardless of how experienced they are in operating other vehicle types. Wearing protective gear and bright, visible clothing is also very important and should be used at all times, regardless of the duration of your trip and the roadway conditions.” 

Data on MassDOT’s crash data portal, IMPACT, shows there were 58 motorcycle operator fatalities across Massachusetts in the year 2023. Additionally, there were three motorcycle passenger fatalities. Motorists and other members of the public are encouraged to access the interactive data portal, to see where different types of crash incidents have taken place and how the data compares from year to year.   

Motorcyclists face an increased risk of severe injury and death when crashes occur. The two most common roadway fatality crashes are single-vehicle crashes that involve a motorcycle driver failing to negotiate a curve in the road, and crashes involving a left-turning vehicle striking a motorcycle.

Motorcyclists are encouraged to be prepared and participate in educational training courses that are offered through the state-sponsored Massachusetts Rider Education Program (MREP). The program seeks to increase rider skills and safety on the road by providing quality rider education and training to both novice and experienced motorcycle riders. The program is specifically designed to assist riders of all levels and to promote the safe operation of motorcycles. 

Waiver courses include Basic Rider Course, Basic Rider Course 2, Returning Rider – Basic Rider Course, and 3 Wheel – Basic Rider Course.  MREP also offers additional non-licensing courses for motorcyclists that already have their motorcycle license.

The RMV has published a series of PSA “At Home” motorcycle safety videos which highlight 14 licensed motorcyclists who are MassDOT employees sharing their riding experiences and discussing common safety problems facing motorcyclists on roadways. The interviews have safe driving tips, suggestions for motorcycle training, mention the dangers posed by vehicles making unsafe left turns, and include the slogan: “RIDE SMART.”  The motorcyclists say riding smart includes taking your time, being bright and visible, anticipating, and riding cautiously.  One interviewee states that motorcyclists are not “invincible.”  The videos can be found on MassDOT’s YouTube channel:

1 Comment

  1. Fed Up

    March 22, 2024 at 12:24 pm

    As morons ride up and down Fall River streets on dirt bikes & ATVs almost causing multiple accidents

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Exit mobile version