Rider Alert , the internationally award-winning motorcycle-safety program, where a medical information card is placed inside the rider’s helmet for use by EMS and public safety agencies in the event of an accident, celebrated its second anniversary in the United States today. The Rider Alert program began as a concept of the UK Ambulance Motorcycle Club called CRASH card. In April 2011, the program was introduced in Virginia and re branded as ‘Rider Alert’ In the intervening two years, through sponsorship, 230,000 Rider Alert cards have been produced and are finding their way into riders’ helmets – initially across Virginia and now, New York, Texas, Arizona and Kentucky.
The most recent initiative of the Virginia-based program was to successfully win a Highway Transportation Safety Grant to provide Rider Alert cards to the entire Virginia Rider Training Program for their 2013 season. Beginning in March 2013, a further 20,000 Rider Alert cards were issued for free to state motorcycle trainees, during their basic courses of instruction. Rider Alert also branched out in New York State, courtesy of sponsor Life Net of New York, into cards for snowmobilers’ helmets this winter.
US-based Rider Alert is part of a three-nation partnership that is committed to the promotion of rider safety. The US program, the UK Ambulance Motorcycle Club and the Swedish Motorcycle Club also announced today their global total of helmet cards has now exceeded the 800,000 mark and stands at 827,800.
Rob Lawrence, COO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority and the US lead for the Rider Alert program, said “In two short years we have introduced a simple concept that is more than just an information card. Every time we issue one, it presents an opportunity for riders to consider their own safety as they realize we are asking them to put the information in a place that first responders can access and use in the event the rider is unable to communicate.”
Recent sponsorships and card roll outs across the three partner nations assisted the global count in passing the 800,000 mark. The Swedish Motorcycle Club (SMC), itself entering its second season as a helmet card promoter, recently issued every one of its members with a ‘SMC Medical Card’. Secretary General of the SMC, Jesper Christensen said, “In March 2013, we issued a new batch of 65,000 cards and helmet stickers to our members, and spread information about the program to all 290 Swedish Counties, 21 Regional Governments and 21 Police Regions.”
Combined with Rider Alert’s most recent 20,000 cards, the global total surpassed the 800,000 mark. Secretary General of the UK Ambulance Motorcycle Club, Paramedic Ian Burrell, said, “This is a superb total to begin the 2013 riding season with but we all agree that we now will push our programs to hit the one million mark and literally place the safety message in as many riders heads as possible.”
Back in Virginia, the Rider Alert team is preparing for a series of events in May to promote National Motorcycle Awareness Month in the US. Four safety promotion events are planned beginning in Fairfax, Virginia, on May 1 and concluding with the US Navy Motorcycle Safety Rodeo at NAS Oceana on May 24.. Virginia’s Secretary of Public Safety, the Honorable Marla Decker, will speak at the May 2nd event in Chesterfield, VA. Lawrence added, ”The program in the US has gone from strength to strength and continues to grow both here in Virginia and across our participating states. We are exceptionally proud that this program has had such a great reception in both Public Safety and Rider communities alike. All of this in just two years gives us a great reason to celebrate and continue the two wheel drive for safety.”