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The latest in motorcycle safety doesn’t require any mandatory laws or expensive equipment, just a few minutes of a rider’s time and a sticker on their helmet.
A media event in Richmond, Virginia kicked off a motorcycle safety initiative started on the other side of the Atlantic in the English county of Sussex. There, a small project to distribute ‘Crash Cards’ which are kept inside the lining of a rider’s helmet and a sticker alerting emergency responders to the card grew in popularity.

Soon the cards and stickers were made available to riders across England and even used by some of those participating in the world famous road races at the Isle of Man TT.

Since the start of the program approximately 325,000 “CRASH Cards” as they are known in the UK have been distributed to riders through local safety offices and motorcycle and accessory dealers.

Now the program has been adopted by an American group who has set the humble goal of saving the lives of 100,000 registered motorcycle riders in Virginia.
The Richmond Ambulance Authority and Bon Secours Virginia Health Systems are offering the free cards and stickers, since renamed Rider Alert cards, to Virginia bikers. The free Rider Alert card contains a rider’s personal emergency contact and medical information in the event of a crash.

BON SECOURS VIRGINIA HEALTH SYSTEM RIDER ALERTIn 2010 there were 76 motorcycle fatalities and more than 2,191 crashes in the Commonwealth of Virginia according to preliminary numbers provided by the Virginia Highway Safety Division of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“Motorcycle accidents and fatalities are on the rise in Virginia,” said Rob Lawrence, chief operating officer of Richmond Ambulance Authority. “This card is born out of experience, it has been designed by paramedics who have been on both sides of an accident as the injured rider or as medical help. Accessing this basic information after a motorcycle accident can sometimes be impossible. This small tool can mean the difference between life and death.”

There are other reasons for riders to participate in the program. The 1 inch sticker that alerts emergency responders to the information card also warns bystanders not to remove the rider's helmet (pictured right), which could cause further injury.

"There are more than 100,000 registered motorcycle riders in Virginia, and we will use our resources to get the Rider Alert card into as many of their hands as possible," Steve Witmer, corporate director of Motorcycle Virginia, in a statement.

The roots of the program adds another interesting twist to its story, a similar program is used by horse enthusiasts in England offering comparable tags for both riders and steeds. For Virginia riders who prefer the steel steed and the open road the cards can be accessed on the program's website.

The program is believed to be the first of its kind in the United States and Organizers hope it will be a model for other states.

Organizers may just get their wish.

“The potential for this program to go viral is very strong,” said RAA’s Lawrence. “We have already had discussions about the Rider Alert launch with other EMS agencies in the U.S. and the level of enthusiasm has been immense. Fort Worth, Texas looks to be the next market to roll out Rider Alert.”

“Everything is bigger in Texas and motorcycling is no exception,” said Matt Zavadsky, director of operations of Med Star EMS in Fort Worth Texas. “A long riding season and high population results in thousands of motorcycle accidents in Fort Worth each year, and we are looking forward to implementing the new national model for motorcycle crash victims developed by the Richmond Ambulance Authority.”

For more information or to request a Rider Alert card, send an email to [email protected]
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