Motorcycle safely, state officials urge

Like your brain? Invest in a good helmet.

State officials shared that simple message Thursday at Lake Lanier to remind motorcyclists to ride safely.

The advent of warmer weather means more motorcycles on state roadways, said Harris Blackwood, director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. Each motorcycle rider, he said, should have a good helmet, proper shoes and gloves.

They also should take a safety course, said Jim Kelly, who heads the state Motorcycle Safety Program. The 24-hour courses are offered across the state.

The number of motorcycles in the state is growing, though they represent less than 3 percent of all registered vehicles in the state. Owners registered more than 200,000 motorcycles in Georgia last year. State records show nearly 8.7 million vehicles are registered in Georgia.

They represent a far greater percentage of road fatalities. Motorcycle deaths last year totaled 132 — 11 percent of all road fatalities.