March 15, 2012
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN/RICHMOND, VA—After months of preparation and cooperation between the Rider Alert program in the USA and the CRASH Card program in England, the Swedish Motorcycle Club (SMC) today launched their own version of the program—the SMC Medical Card.
In an initial roll out of 65,000 cards to SMC members, Jesper Christensen, general secretary of the SMC, said, "Motorcyclists are killed and injured in accidents on Swedish roads every year. The Swedish riders are getting older. Many persons have some kind of allergy or chronic disease. It doesn't matter if you are going on a ride on your own or with a group—you can't rely on anyone else to describe your personal medical status. It is much safer if you fill it out on a medical card and put it in your helmet.
Christensen added, "It is well established that the victim's chances of survival are greatest if they receive care within a short period of time after a severe injury. Since Sweden is a big country where huge areas is sparsely populated there isn't always an ambulance in the neighborhood. If you suffer from a disease like for example diabetes, there can be a solution to the crash and the rescue team will know what kind of emergency care the victim needs."
Rider Alert USA Chairman and COO of the Richmond Ambulance Authority Rob Lawrence said, "It has been a pleasure to work with the SMC over the last few months to assist in the development of the program in Sweden. The data card is designed to suit the needs of Swedish riders but we are delighted that the Rider Alert logo has been incorporated into the design in recognition of our growing international partnership."
Rider Alert is based on (and affiliated to) a program called CRASH Card, which was developed in the United Kingdom two years ago by the UK Ambulance Motorcycle Club. Since its creation, more than 325,000 CRASH Cards have been distributed to riders in Europe. The Rider Alert card program is the first of its kind in the United States and since its launch in Richmond more than 130,000 cards have been distributed in the U.S. Rider Alert is expanding across the U.S., with New York being the second state to launch the program. The Virginia Rider Alert Team have also distributed cards via local sponsors and public safety agencies in West Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. The Rider Alert Team is also working with the Blue Knights of Australia to promote the program down under.
Lawrence added, "Rider Alert continues to grow in the U.S., with Arizona being the latest state to join and Fort Worth lining up to bring Texas into the program in the next few months. With the addition of the SMC Cards to the growing numbers of motorcyclists with data cards in their helmets, the global total of cards produced has now reached 570,000 and growing."
The Rider Alert sponsors encourage all motorcycle riders to get their own Rider Alert card, fill it out and put it under the lining of their helmet. Then, peel off the one-inch round sticker and secure it to the right side of their helmet or helmet visor. Each card is produced in a special waterproof paper that can be written on with a ballpoint pen, and should be able to withstand the environment inside a rider's helmet. For more information, visit www.RiderAlert.org.