Motorcycle riding is more popular in New York than ever. There are more than 750,000 licensed motorcyclists and that number continues to grow with each passing year. For many people, motorcycling is a fun sport as well as an energy-efficient means of transportation. However, motorcycling can be dangerous. It requires skill, concentration and reasonable precautions.
Motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely to die in a crash than people in passenger cars. Motorcyclists continue to be overrepresented in traffic-related fatalities; Despite representing only 3% of all registered motor vehicles, motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2018).
The Department of Motor Vehicles established a rider-funded motorcycle safety program as required by legislation signed in 1997. The program provides accessible and affordable rider education throughout NYS, in an effort to create awareness and reduce motorcyclist injuries and fatalities.
New York was the first state in the nation to adopt a universal motorcycle helmet law. This law, effective as of January 1, 1967, requires any person operating or riding a motorcycle to wear a Department of Transportation (DOT)-approved helmet.
The month of May has been proclaimed as "Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month." During the month of May, the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) highlights important safety messages via press releases, public service announcements and social media posts.
Highway Safety Program Representative
Governor's Traffic Safety Committee
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 410B
Albany, NY 12228