With Governor Tom Corbett's proclamation of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and riding season in full gear across Pennsylvania, riders are encouraged to practice motorcycle safety while all drivers are asked to share the road.

"It is essential for everyone to be aware of motorcycles on the streets and highways and recognize the importance of always staying alert and practicing safe driving techniques," said Corbett. "By working together and respecting one another while driving and riding, we can all enjoy safer roadways."

There were more than 4,000 crashes involving motorcycles on Pennsylvania roadways in 2010, resulting in 223 fatalities.

The number of registered motorcycles in Pennsylvania increased in 2010 by nearly 5,000, while the number of licensed motorcyclists rose by 10,000.

"With motorcycle use sharply on the rise, it is essential that operators of all types of vehicles look out for one another," said PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch, P.E. "By driving in a courteous manner and curbing aggressive behavior, motorists and motorcyclists can safely share the road."

While sharing the road, motorists are reminded to always allow a motorcyclist a full-lane width and never try to share a lane with a motorcycle. Also, always signal your intentions and check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging with traffic.

As part of their efforts to keep motorcyclists safe, PennDOT created the Live Free Ride Alive website to encourage riders to take personal responsibility for their actions on the road. The website allows motorcyclists to share personal riding stories with one another and take the "Be One Less" pledge to avoid becoming a crash statistic. Another website feature, the Live Free Ride Alive documentary, is a collection of stories about Pennsylvania riders, their families and friends that celebrates the freedom of riding and takes a sobering look at what happens when that freedom is gone.

Currently, more than 140,000 individuals have visited the Live Free Ride Alive website, with nearly 1,300 taking the "Be One Less" pledge and nearly 700 posting a rider message. To view the full documentary, learn more about riding, share your riding experiences, or brush up on safety tips, visit www.LiveFreeRideAlive.com [1].

Free basic and experienced motorcycle safety courses are available to state residents through the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program. Taking an approved motorcycle safety training course decreases the chances of a rider being killed or injured in a crash. Course schedules are available online at www.pamsp.com [2]

Additional safety tips for motorists are available by selecting the Motorcycle Safety link under the Traffic Safety Information Center at www.DriveSafePA.org [3].

Follow PennDOT on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennDOTNews [4].