"Being a motorcycle rider myself, I wasn't a big fan of the motorcycle rodeo concept," Naval Station Norfolk Command Master Chief Petty Officer David B. Carter told the newspaper. "Simply because most riders like to ride, we don't like to do laps around parking lots. In the discussions we brought up a motorcycle run similar to what motorcycle clubs do in the community where you get together and go for a ride and doing that from a safety perspective."
Instead the Navy came up with an idea to put greater emphasis on motorcycle safety.
"We would do a whole safety brief, we would have volunteer rider coaches to be the road captains for the teams," Carter said. "They would make sure everyone is riding in correct formation and following the rules of the road, doing everything safely that a group rider affords. That how we came to what we have now with the military motorcycle safety ride that we are doing this year."
At the end of the ride that begins at Norfolk Navy Exchange, the riders will be told where they have made mistakes.
See this motorcycle group riding safety video.
As experienced personal injury attorneys based in Virginia Beach, VA, we welcome this safety ride. Sadly, we see far too many motorcycle accidents that end in tragedy, many of them because motorcyclists didn't obey some of the basic rules of the road.
Recently we reported on the deaths of two men in motorcycle accidents in Portsmouth, VA. According to the National Safety Council traffic fatalities are now at the lowest level ever recorded, but motorcycle deaths have increased for nine straight years. In 2006, 4,810 motorcyclists were killed nationwide, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Over the preceding 10 years, that number increased by 104 percent.
One reason for the rise seems to be an increase in the popularity of motorcycles, as the baby boomer generation buys powerful machines. We recently reported on how a motorcyclist from Chesapeake, VA, was killed when he lost control of his motorcycle on a curve in Virginia Beach because he was traveling too quickly for the curve.
We are hopeful safety rides like Friday's will help educate motorcyclists to avoid such errors.