NMDOT to Host First-Ever Free RIDE Days!

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) is joining DOTs nationwide in support of National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, May 1-31, 2024. Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is designed to heighten drivers’ awareness of motorcycles on the road as well as promote safety tips and other educational resources for motorcycle riders. This year, the NMDOT is also partnering with Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) to host the first-ever free RIDE Day events in New Mexico to further promote awareness and safety around motorcycles on the road. The NMDOT will also be sharing safety tips and other educational resources on social media throughout the month.  

Free RIDE Day Information  

RIDE Day events offer non-riders the opportunity to try a motorcycle for the first time and provides current riders a chance to ride their own machines in practice exercises designed to sharpen their skills. The RIDE Days will be held on Friday, May 17, and Saturday, May 18, at the RIDE New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program’s (NMMSP) Albuquerque RiderCourse, 3401 Pan American Fwy 87107. Both days are completely free to attend, no registration is required, and will offer opportunities for a skills check for current riders and a moto intro for beginners. For additional information on the free RIDE days call 505-312-8430 or 877-667-8880.

Friday, May 17

  • Skills Check: 2-4 p.m. 
  • Moto Intro: 4-6 p.m. 

Saturday, May 18

  • Moto Intro: 2-4:30 p.m. 
  • Skills Check: 4:30-6:30 p.m. 

The Moto Intro provides those wanting to try riding for the first time with the proper gear, motorcycle, space, and professional coaching to guide them through the experience. Within 30 minutes, participants can get familiar with motorcycle hand controls and, if comfortable, ride a small oval pattern. From that point, participants are offered additional information on next steps for their motorcycle riding journey. Participants are asked to wear long, non-ripped pants, over-the-ankle footwear, and long sleeves. Helmets, gloves, and eye protection are provided.

The Skills Check is for current riders on their own motorcycles. Participants can practice advanced riding exercises in a safe environment, with coaches on hand to provide guidance and timely tips if desired. Information on MSF advanced riding courses is also available to those interested. Participants are required to wear all of the safety equipment, and prior to starting Skills Check, their motorcycle will undergo a basic motorcycle safety check with an MSF-certified RiderCoach.

“As the weather warms up and the number of motorcyclists on the road increases, it’s important for drivers of all vehicle types to pay attention, practice safe driving techniques, and take precautions to help prevent crashes,” said Ricky Serna, Cabinet Secretary. “The free RIDE Day events from the NMDOT and MSF are a great opportunity for current and prospective riders to enhance their skills and increase their safety on the road, and are one of several strategies the NMDOT is implementing to increase motorcycle safety awareness this month.”

Tips for Motorcyclists

Motorcyclists must take extra precautions to guard against drivers who may not see them. The following precautions can help to prevent a fatal crash with a vehicle:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Never ride while impaired or distracted.

Tips for Motorists When Sharing the Road

Drivers can help curb motorcycle accidents, injuries, and fatalities when they:

  • Observe all traffic signs, signals, and laws.
  • Yield to Motorcyclists, especially in intersections.
  • Avoid distractions, including dangerous cell phone use behind the wheel.
  • Use turn signals when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Allow for more distance-beyond three to four seconds- when behind a motorcycle.

For more information on motorcycle safety and training visit NMDOT Motorcycle Safety or NMMSP Safety Program. To legally operate a motorcycle on a New Mexico highway a driver must have a valid license with a motorcycle endorsement.