HISTORY

The Rider Alert program was launched in Richmond, Virginia, on April 12, 2011, by the Richmond Ambulance Authority (RAA) and Bon Secours Virginia Health System, in partnership with Motorcycle Virginia, Inc.

Richmond Ambulance Authority based the idea of the Rider Alert cards on a program called "CRASH Card," which was developed in the United Kingdom by the Ambulance Motorcycle Club. Initially, the CRASH Card program began as a small project, but the program quickly grew in popularity and resulted in cards being given out to riders across England and Scotland, including at the world-famous road races at the Isle of Man TT. In the two years since its creation in May 2009, more than 325,000 CRASH Cards have been distributed to motorcyclists throughout the United Kingdom through local safety offices and motorcycle and accessory dealers.

"The program has been so successful in the United Kingdom; it made perfect sense to launch a similar program here in Virginia, and we hope and think that it will spread rapidly throughout the rest of the United States," said Rob Lawrence, chief operating officer of Richmond Ambulance Authority. "The Rider Alert card is an invaluable tool for EMS personnel because accessing this basic information after a motorcycle accident can sometimes be impossible. The card was born out of necessity and experience. It was designed by paramedics who have been on both sides of an accident as the injured rider or as medical help, and we know this small tool could mean the difference between life and death."

In 2010, there were 76 motorcycle fatalities and more than 2,191 crashes in the Commonwealth of Virginia, according to preliminary numbers provided by the Virginia Highway Safety Division of the Department of Motor Vehicles. These numbers were up from 71 fatalities and 2,115 crashes in 2009.

The Rider Alert card program is the first of its kind in the United States and within three months of launching in Richmond, more than 115,000 cards had been distributed. The program continues to expand in Virginia thanks to the ongoing efforts of the original organizers and subsequent sponsorship by the American Automobile Association (AAA).

New York is the second state to launch the program and organizations from Texas, Kentucky and Delaware are working with the Virginia Rider Alert Team to develop the program in their states.

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