PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia State Police say that 21 motorcyclists have lost their lives on Virginia roadways since June 1 – nine of which were single-vehicle crashes.

Authorities are now urging drivers to do their part and share the road responsibly with others. They are asking that passenger and commercial vehicle drivers stay alert for motorcyclists due to their size and visibility.

“When pulling onto or across a roadway or when changing lanes, drivers are especially advised to be on the lookout for motorcycles,” said VSP in a press release. “They can be obstructed by other vehicles, glare, etc.”

Motorcyclists are 29 times more more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a motor vehicle crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

With that data in mind, VSP announced that they are launching a series of “Ride 2 Save Lives” motorcycle self-assessment courses.

The courses will be aimed at current riders to give them the opportunity to learn and practice rider safety, how to handle hazards, special situations, interstate highways, curve negotiation and more.

All participants must have a valid operator’s license with a Class ‘M’ endorsement, appropriate riding attire, and helmet and eye protection. Motorcycles must be street legal and helmets must be DOT approved to participate in this program.

Local courses will held locally:

  • July 24 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church
  • Aug. 21 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.
  • Sept. 25 – 8:30 a.m. – Yorktown – Waters Edge Church
  • Oct. 23 – 8:30 a.m. – Virginia Beach – ADS, Inc.

Registration is required.