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Blue Ridge Parkway launches motorcycle safety campaign

May is Motorcycle Safety Month and National Park Service officials are debuting a new safety campaign, “Rule the Ridge,” designed to remind motorcyclists – and all motorists – that a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway is different than most roads.

The Blue Ridge Parkway has the highest number of motorcycle crash injuries and fatalities among National Park Service’s properties.

In 2023, Blue Ridge Parkway law enforcement rangers responded to approximately 394 motor vehicle crashes, and of those, 83 involved motorcycles, according to the release.

“Motorists need to understand that the Parkway is designed differently than other roads they may be used to,” said Acting Chief Ranger Deb Flowers. “In addition to sharing the road with cars, bicyclists, and hikers, the Parkway’s narrow and soft shoulders, long sweeping curves, and tight curves present unique challenges to riders.”

Based on a thorough review of incident data, park officials in coordination with the NPS Traffic Safety Coalition, along with funding support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, developed a tailored campaign with seasonal messages to be implemented this summer. This year’s three key messages remind riders to:

Ride in single file: Remember to ride single file and maintain safe following distance to provide better reaction times.

Always keep eyes on the road: Keep your focus on navigating the route. Take advantage of the many overlooks to enjoy views safely. Watch for many hazards you may encounter and practice safe, defensive driving.

Ride in the center of lane position #2: Given the park’s design, the center position offers the safest path for optimal maneuverability.

Riders are invited to share their Parkway adventure using the hashtag, #RuleTheRidge. Over the summer months, rangers will provide educational events at parkway overlooks, the Parkway’s social media platforms will highlight videos and other safety related content, and park visitor centers will point people to the Parkway’s safety information through use of QR codes.


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