Release Date/Time: 5/5/2015 11:50 AM
Incident: Motorcycle Safety Month
Report #: N/A
Date: Tuesday, 5/5/2015
Time: 11:49 AM
LAW ENFORCEMENT REMIND MOTORCYCLISTS TO 'SURVIVE THE RIDE”
'Share the Road' Campaign Aims to Increase Motorcycle Safety Awareness for All Road Users
As motorcycle fatalities and injuries have increased in California, the law enforcement and the Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) have stepped up their efforts to promote safety and education, highlighted by Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May. Nationwide, motorcyclists made up 14 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities in 2013, up from about 9 percent in 2004. This was despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all vehicles in the United States in 2013, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data. The fatality rate per miles traveled for motorcyclists is 16 times that of vehicle occupants. In 2013, California's motorcycle collisions resulted in 475 fatalities and 13,143 injured victims. In 2012, 467 people were killed and 12,617 were injured.
'We have the best weather in the nation in California this time of year. The weather conditions are perfect to enjoy a motorcycle ride and we see more and more motorcycles on the road, which is why May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness month,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department. 'But there has been an increase in motorcycle crashes and with that, more injuries and deaths. We all have a responsibility to see that motorcycle riders survive the ride.”
During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month – and throughout the year – all road users are reminded to safely "share the road" with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. That message is most important in California, which is home to more than 830,000 registered motorcycles – the most of any state – and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders.
The Salinas Police Department Traffic Unit and Patrol Officers will be spending more time patrolling areas frequented by motorcyclists and where motorcycle crashes occur. Officers will be looking for violations made by drivers and riders alike that can lead to motorcycle crashes.
'Californians increasingly get around by means other than cars and trucks. More are bicycling, walking, taking mass transit and motorcycling,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. 'That also means that everyone needs to be extra cautious and looking out for everyone else, no matter what their means of transportation.”
The California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) trains approximately 65,000 motorcyclists every year. As of July 2014, nearly 945,000 motorcycle riders have received training at one of the authorized CMSP training sites since the program began in 1987. For more information or to find a training site near you, go to www.californiamotorcyclist.com.
Salinas PD offers tips to drivers on how to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:
Driver's safety reminders:
-Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist
-Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic
-If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten
-Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding
-Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections -Lane Sharing is not illegal in California
-Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
-Never drive distracted or impaired
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these steps:
-Wear the proper safety gear at all times, including a DOT-compliant helmet
-Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed
-Slow down. Excessive speed is the most common rider-related factor in motorcycle related crashes
-Follow at a safe distance – three to four seconds -Ride within your own limits – don't be a victim of peer pressure
-Use turn signals at every lane change or turn and don't forget to turn them off.
-Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
-Never ride distracted or impaired
-Ride defensively - assume other drivers don't see you
'By following these basic safety rules, we can all prevent crashes,” concluded Sergeant Ross. 'Everyone needs to share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe—always share the road.”
For more information on motorcycle safety, visitwww.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles.
Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross
Telephone: (831) 758-7250