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WHEREAS, Virginia's climate and scenery make motorcycle riding a year round attraction in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, Virginia's many scenic roads and byways, including Skyline Drive and the historic Blue Ridge Parkway, are among the nation's finest roads for motorcycling; and
WHEREAS, more than 422,000 Virginians are licensed to drive a motorcycle, and there are more than 209,000 registered motorcycles in the Commonwealth; and
WHEREAS, it is incumbent upon all vehicle drivers to respect the safety of motorcyclists and to share the roadway; and
WHEREAS, whether on a motorcycle or in a vehicle, eliminating distractions is critical to reducing motorcycle crashes and fatalities; and
WHEREAS, in 2017, 109 lives were lost to motorcycle crashes in Virginia, nearly a 34 percent increase from 2015; and
WHEREAS, the safe operation of a motorcycle requires a combination of rider training, experience, good judgment, and knowledge of traffic laws and licensing requirements; and
WHEREAS, state agencies, motorcycle enthusiasts, motorcycle clubs, and state and local law enforcement officials are joining together to encourage all motorists to drive with caution and to emphasize that motorcycle riders and automobile drivers share the responsibility for safety;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize May 2018 as MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.