Calling all riders: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week kicks off

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Organized rides, safety demonstrations and an awareness rally will kick off the city’s inaugural Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week starting Saturday, May 3rd.

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week was officially designated a city event in legislation last year, and is sponsored by Alderwoman Milele Coggs.

“As the beating heart of American motorcycle culture, it is only right that Milwaukee should dedicate itself to protecting the men and women who ride,” said Alderwoman Coggs.

The legislation establishing the event was approved following the testimony from the family of Vinencia Dawson, who was killed in a motorcycle crash on June 30, 2013.

Family and friends of Dawson testified on the resolution at committee and attended the Common Council meeting when it was adopted.

"Safety starts with the good practices of individual riders, but it requires the attention of every motorist on the road," said Alderwoman Coggs.

The event officially runs Monday, May 5th through Friday, May 9th, but local organizers are celebrating early with events starting Saturday, May 3rd.

Some of the events include a memorial ride, safety classes, and a bike blessing.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, crashes involving motorcycles have been on the rise in recent years.

For the three-year period from 2010 to 2012, there were 538 motorcycle crashes in Milwaukee—14 of them fatal. 116 riders were killed in crashes on Wisconsin roads in 2012.

CLICK HERE for a full list events for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Week.