The State Motorcycle Safety Administrators (SMSA) Outstanding State Award recognizes a state with a comprehensive motorcycle safety program that has implemented strategies that are successful, effective and can be measured, evaluated, and serve as best practices. University of South Florida’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) actively assists the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) with various tasks on the program to improve motorcycle safety and reduce fatalities. Florida’s sunny weather, beautiful beaches, and scenic highways make it a popular place for motorcycle riders. The state is host of popular motorcycle rallies such as Biketoberfest and Daytona Bike Week. Florida’s growing rider population and popularity with motorcycle enthusiasts makes motorcycle safety an important issue. Florida’s Comprehensive Motorcycle Safety Program has facilitated a more than 10 percent reduction in motorcycle fatalities since the program was founded in 2008.
The high level of commitment begins with the State Safety Office, which manages Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP). The plan is data-driven that addresses the “4 E’s” of safety- engineering, enforcement, education, and emergency response. Each area addresses motorcycle safety issues in the Vulnerable Road Users emphasis area where the goal is to reduce the fatalities, injuries, and crashes of those users. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) Motorcycle Safety Program involves a wide range of safety partners to develop the Florida Motorcycle Safety Strategic Plan (MSSP). The MSSP supplements and expands on the SHSP by providing more detailed objectives and strategies to improve motorcycle safety in Florida.
The SHSP established the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition to help implement the MSSP. The coalition includes representatives from FDOT, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), the Florida Department of Health (DOH), the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), state and local law enforcement, emergency management, motorcycle safety interest groups, and local agencies. The success of Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition in the implementation of the Florida Comprehensive Motorcycle Safety Plan is evident in the completion of and continuous progress of the strategies and tasks outlined in the MSSP.