In recognition of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Centerville Police Department reminds motorists and motorcyclists alike to “share the road” conscientiously and courteously to help prevent motorcycle crashes which remain one of the most prevalent causes of death and injury on local roads.
In addition to stressing the mutual responsibilities shared by all users of the road to prevent motorcycle crashes, Chief Tom R. Demry said the safety campaign — initiated by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, state and local safety officials nationwide, and motorcycle safety groups everywhere — will also have increased enforcement by local police throughout May to make sure motorcyclists, and drivers of all types of vehicles, are obeying state and local laws.
“Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists alike,” said Chief Demry. “Motorcyclists are about 30 times more likely to die in a crash than passenger vehicle occupants, so whether you are driving the family sedan, an SUV, a school bus, a delivery van, or an 18-wheeler, drivers should always be on the lookout for motorcyclists. Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest of vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in your vehicle’s blind spots. Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”
He added, “Motorcyclists have responsibilities too. Riders should obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed, alert to other drivers, conspicuous at all times, never ride impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.”
This safety advice is particularly timely as motorcycle fatalities in 2011 showed a continued increase to 4,612. Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 14 percent of total highway deaths for the year despite motorcycle registrations representing only about 3 percent of all vehicles in the U.S. Chief Demry offered the following tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.