West Virginia promotes biker safety

Justice proclaims May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

CHARLESTON — Governor Jim Justice, in coordination with the West Virginia Department of Transportation and the West Virginia Tourism Office, has proclaimed the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The annual event is designed to not only promote motorcycle safety but also to foster increased motorcycle tourism in the Mountain State.

“We welcome and encourage motorcycle riders from all over the country to come visit and stay in West Virginia while riding on our scenic roads,” said Justice. “We also recognize that many in the Mountain State own and operate motorcycles and we want to make the experience for everyone that chooses to travel via motorcycle as safe as possible. I encourage everyone operating a motor vehicle to be cognizant and aware of motorcyclists while they are on our highways. Safety is our number one concern.”

The tourism industry in West Virginia accounts for $4.1 billion in annual revenue and $527 million in travel-generated state and local taxes each year.

“West Virginia is blessed with breathtaking scenic beauty, which is often best seen and experienced behind the wheel or on a bike,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. “Motorcycle tourism is a tremendous market for our state, and I’m excited to begin working more closely with the Department of Transportation on ways we can best connect and promote our scenic drives for riders.”

The WVDOT is actively working to identify and improve top motorcycle routes this riding season.

“Governor Justice continues to lead the way in his commitment to improving and maintaining our transportation infrastructure, for all vehicles,” stated Transportation Secretary Tom Smith. “To our friends on two and three wheels, we pledge to do our part to make your riding experience a safe and exciting one as you enjoy everything the Mountain State has to offer.”

The WVDOT encourages both return riders and new riders to join the West Virginia Motorcycle Safety Program, which offers motorcycle ride courses via the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

In celebration of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Tourism Office put together a list of the top five motorcycle rides in West Virginia: www.wvtourism.com/motorcyclemonth.