TAMPA, Fla. — Motorcycle accidents are on the rise in Hillsborough County and across the state, according to the Tampa Police Department’s Motor Unit, but says its free program called SMART could help riders reduce those numbers.

What You Need To Know

  • Tampa Police Motor unit says motorcycle accidents are on the rise

  • Free program called SMART could help riders reduce those numbers, says authorities

  • More information on SMART Program

Around 300 people have graduated from the program since it launched in 2020, and officials say riders are better prepared to avoid accidents and not cause them.

“Kind of having a crystal ball. You are always alert, always looking up ahead, always trying to anticipate what other motorists are doing out there. That’s that biggest thing,” said Tampa Police Master Sargent and motor unit officer Roy Paz.

The course features slow and fast maneuver training, as well as an 80-mile ride at the end of the course with members of TPD’s motor unit.

David Hrenchir took up riding in 1980 as a sway to save money on gas.

“There was talk on the news of it going to a dollar,” said Hrenchir. “Who can drive a car at a dollar a gallon?”

In Hrenchir’s 43 years of riding, he has had one accident and numerous close calls.

He took TPD’s SMART class to learn more about accident avoidance, so he can continue to enjoy riding.

“The thrill of the ride is still worth the risk of the ride,” Hrenchir said.

Tampa Police holds 10 SMART classes every year.

For more information on the program or how you can sign up, visit here.