Virginia State Police offer motorcyclists, drivers tips to stay safe on the roads

NORFOLK, Va. – Ride to enjoy the ride! That’s the advice coming from Virginia State Troopers now that more bikes are out on the roadway.

Summertime is motorcycle season here in Virginia, and more bikes on the road unfortunately means more fatalities, wrecks and slides. Motorcyclists are vulnerable with nothing standing between them and the asphalt except their gear.

News 3 spoke to troopers about the rules of the road, keeping motorcycles in mind.

Drivers need to be more aware, checking twice before they cross roads and give bikers space - but bikers have rules, too.

Senior Trooper S. Parks with the Virginia State Police Motorcycle Traffic Unit said these are the rules motorcyclists should follow - not only to cut down on stresses on the roadway, but to possibly save your life.

“Don’t drive aggressively, don’t weave in and out of traffic, don’t ride on the shoulder and don’t split lanes. Drive to your ability and give yourself room to brake -- all these things could save your life,” said Parks as he addressed bikers.

Having a Department of Transportation-approved full-face helmet is recommended, as are full pants, a jacket, boots and gloves to protect yourself in case of a slide. Bikers often say, "Dress for the slide, not the ride," taking precautions to protect their bodies from a fall.

Parks has loved to ride to his motorcycle for years. He has a personal bike to drive in his off time. He said the freedom of the road and the roar of your bike is second to none, but you have to practice safe driving habits to go out on that ride and return home safely.

Troopers hold a "Ride 2 Save Lives" event in this district, and information is provided here. They encourage bikers, young and old, to come out. Drivers and people who might be interested in riding one day are welcome as well.

Parks said if one thing you pick up saves a life down the road, it's well worth it.

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