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National Roadway Safety Strategy Announced

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Thursday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a new national road safety campaign. The plan, known as the “National Roadway Safety Strategy,” comes in response to increased year over year fatalities on our nation’s roadways. In 2020, an estimated 38,680 people died as a result of a motor vehicle crash. Of those, approximately 9% were motorcyclists’ fatalities.

What is most alarming about the increase in fatalities, is that the total number of miles traveled on our roads decreased during the pandemic. Americans traveled 13.2% less miles in 2020 than we did in 2019, but we saw a 7.2% increase in deaths.

The preliminary numbers for the first 6 months of 2021 are also troublesome. From January through the end of June 2021 an estimated 20,160 people died in crashes. That is the largest number of projected deaths in that time frame since 2006.

To combat this trend the plan outlines five key objectives:

  • Safer People: Encourage safe, responsible behavior by people who use our roads and create conditions that prioritize their ability to reach their destination unharmed.
  • Safer Roads: Design roadway environments to mitigate human mistakes and account for injury tolerances, to encourage safer behaviors, and to facilitate safe travel by the most users.
  • Safer Vehicles: Expand the availability of vehicle systems and features that help to prevent crashes and minimize the impact of crashes on both occupants and non-occupants.
  • Safer Speeds: Promote safer speeds in all roadway environments through a combination of thoughtful, context-appropriate roadway design, targeted education, and outreach campaigns, and enforcement.
  • Post-Crash Care: Enhance the survivability of crashes through expedient access to emergency medical care, while creating a safe working environment for vital first responders and preventing secondary crashes through robust traffic incident management practices.

The recently passed infrastructure bill has components and funding to help achieve some of these goals. For example, $14 billion in new funding was specifically allocated for road safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also announced plans this week to increase the data it collects on crashes. The agency wants to boost the number of crashes investigated and add additional studies that examine crashes involving medium-duty trucks, pedestrians, and workers who are hit on the road.

We at the Motorcycle Riders Foundation are encouraged to see that the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking a complete view of traffic safety, incorporating multiple factors to make our roadways safer. We also remain committed to the theory of crash avoidance, as a crash that doesn’t happen is always safer than one that does.

To get more detail and read the 41 page report click here.

About Motorcycle Riders Foundation: The Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) provides leadership at the federal level for states’ motorcyclists’ rights organizations as well as motorcycle clubs and individual riders.
See website at: http://mrf.org/

The “Biker Lives Matter” Organization

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Rogue with his son Dale and grandson Reese – a family that rides together.

Click Here to Get Involved – http://www.bikerlivesmatter.com/

Article by Rogue – Founder of Biker Lives Matter, Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame

I have been asked a lot why I and some others started an organization named Biker Lives Matter and why it is important to me. My answer is simple, there is a need for an organization that calls attention to the tragic loss of lives and livelihoods from motorcycle crashes.

In the 1970s, I became involved in motorcycle rights and safety. At the time, motorcycle injury and death rate were high so the government and insurance companies began trying to pass laws that they hoped would help protect motorcyclists when crashes happened.

I have been riding motorcycles for 69 years and both my life and that of the others who ride has always been important to me.

I have seen many people injured and I know too many that have died.

I consider myself one of the lucky ones to still be riding at the age of 83 years old.

CLICK HERE To Read this insightful feature article on Bikernet.com

SUPPORT Biker Lives Matter – Visit website to know more: http://www.bikerlivesmatter.com/

Proposed new regulations for Autocycles in Massachusetts

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Proposed new regulations for 3-wheel autocycles

from https://www.bostonherald.com by Boston Herald Wire Services

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a three-wheeled motor vehicle that meets federal safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passengers. The driver and passengers are not required to straddle the vehicle like a motorcycle.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles including requiring the driver and passengers to wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts which must be worn by drivers and passengers, and barring children under eight from riding in one.

Anyone who operates an autocycle without wearing a safety helmet or safety belts would face a fine of no less than $25 under the bill.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Weigh New Regulations for Autocycles

from https://www.nbcboston.com by The Associated Press

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle

Proposed regulations of autocycles will be on the schedule when Massachusetts state lawmakers hold a virtual public hearing Tuesday.

An autocycle is a motor vehicle with three wheels on the ground that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards for a motorcycle. Unlike motorcycles, however, autocycles typically include a steering wheel, a seat for the driver and occasionally seats for passenger.

One of the bills under consideration would create new safety measures for autocycles. Those include requiring the driver and passengers wear helmets, requiring autocycle manufacturers to equip the vehicles with safety belts and barring children under eight from riding in an autocycle.

Why motorcycle lane-splitting is Legal in California but Not in 49 other states

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Why California lets motorcycles legally split lanes while 49 other states do not
from https://ktla.com by Tony Kurzweil

If you’ve ever been startled out of the doldrums of your afternoon commute by a thundering, lane splitting Harley Davidson and cursed whoever is responsible, you’re not alone.

But before you blast the California Highway Patrol with emails listing all the reasons why that congestion-cutting biker should be given a ticket and told to stay in his lane, there are some things you should know.

First, not only is lane sharing or lane splitting legal in California but the CHP wrote the safety guidelines as instructed in AB51, which was approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2016.

In fact, although lane sharing occurs in other states, California is the only place where the practice has been made legal.

But why?

Well, one reason is that lane sharing has been going on in California ever since motorcycles have been on the freeway, so it was important to set some ground rules, CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said.

The second, and maybe more interesting reason, is that it makes time spent on the freeway shorter, not only for motorcyclists but for us four-wheel motorists as well.

“As motorcycles are moving through, splitting the lanes … that’s one less vehicle occupying that lane,” CHP Motorcycle Officer Brian O’Toole said.

“It’s saving the average motorist in a car time … If we were to all of a sudden not allow lane splitting anymore, that’s a motorcycle sitting in the lane ahead of them,” O’Toole said.

But just because the motorcyclist has the CHP on their side when it comes to lane sharing, it doesn’t mean they can recklessly speed past you.

“It’s still a privilege … We’re the only state left, so it’s a privilege for us to do this,” O’Toole said

The CHP’s guidelines say bikers should only split lanes when the flow of traffic is 40 mph or less, and not travel more than 10 mph faster than the vehicles surrounding them.

However, nothing is set in stone, O’Toole said. It is always up to an officer’s discretion as to whether the motorcyclist’s actions are deemed unsafe.

Also, like motorists, motorcycles are not allowed to cross in and out of the carpool lane unless there is a designated opening.

“You’re not any more privileged than a car would be to jump into that carpool lane,” O’Toole said.

Motorcycles are supposed to be sharing a lane on one side or the other and cross over only when there’s a broken line marking an entry and exit point.

As for drivers, they can help out too.

“Move over to the left or right, depending on which lane you’re in, and create a little bit of a gap for motorcyclists to safely pass. It’s a win-win situation for both,” O’Toole said.

Ultimately, riders and drivers need to work together to save everyone time on the freeway.

Fact or Fiction – Helmet Use

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from Motorcycle Riders Foundation at http://mrf.org/

On a nearly annual basis the media in this country is inspired to report stories about motorcycle fatalities on our nation’s roadways. Invariably, these stories paint motorcycle rider deaths as a product of irresponsible riders who live in states that have some level of helmet choice. Frequently they report statistics that prove their narrative but fail to paint a full and complete picture. The lens with which these stories are reported often takes the naïve view that crashes can be made “safer” if only bikers somehow followed government helmet mandates.

The only true solution to motorcycle safety and reducing fatalities are proactive measures, which prevent a collision from occurring at all, rather than reactive steps that may or may not offer some level of injury mitigation only after a crash has already taken place. Rider education, which prepares motorcyclists to interact with other roadway users by learning and practicing the skills necessary for hazard avoidance and developing a strategy to deal with real world traffic, is the primary component of a comprehensive motorcycle safety plan. Additionally, educating all motor vehicle operators to be alert and free of impairment as they share the road with others is critical in deterring crashes caused by inattention.

When coming across these stories keep in mind some facts that are omitted from their reports.

Fact: Over the last decade motorcycle related deaths have varied between years but for the most part remain flat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data from 2019 shows 5,014 deaths, a decrease from the 2008 5,307 deaths NTSHA recorded. In that same time period registered motorcycles increased from 7.7 million in 2008 to 8.7 million ten years later. In other words, there are a million more bikes on the road and there were 300 less deaths.

Fact: Twenty-nine percent of motorcycle riders involved in fatal crashes in 2017 were riding without proper licensure at the time of the collision. A valid motorcycle license includes a rider having a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement or possessing a motorcycle only license. Proper training and licensing are fundamental parts of motorcycle safety, taking unqualified riders off the road is a commonsense solution to lowering motorcycle fatalities.

Fact: The lack of a helmet mandate in the 31 states who have allowed freedom of choice does not prohibit someone from choosing to wear a helmet. In fact, a 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation audit showed that states without mandatory helmet laws still saw 56.5% of riders choose to wear a helmet.

Fact: A 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation Fatality Analysis Reporting System report showed that in crash study data, where helmet use was known, 36% of motorcyclists killed were not wearing a helmet. Conversely 61% of motorcycle fatalities involved a rider wearing a helmet. The remaining 3% had unknown usage. These numbers closely mirror NHTSA data on overall helmet usage which shows 64% of riders wearing helmets.

Fact: Despite the constant drum beat from safety advocates, the media and Washington D.C. bureaucrats about the ills of helmetless riders, state legislatures continue to trust the judgment of bikers. Just last year Missouri passed a modified helmet law allowing the choice to ride without a helmet to those who are qualified. In at least three other states, West Virginia, Maryland, and Nebraska there are active campaigns to change their helmet mandates and let those who ride decide.

Ride With The Leaders ™ by joining the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF) at http://mrf.org/ or call (202) 546-0983

Oregon governor blocks motorcycle ‘lane splitting’ bill

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by Sara Cline from https://www.sfgate.com

Earlier this month, Oregon lawmakers passed a bill that would allow motorcyclists to drive between slow or stopped traffic.

However, despite bipartisan approval and hundreds of letters of written testimony — overwhelmingly in favor of the “lane splitting” legislation — Gov. Kate Brown this week vetoed the measure, citing public safety concerns.

“I have several concerns with the bill as currently drafted, particularly related to public safety and noncompliance,” Brown said in a Wednesday letter to the state Senate president and House speaker, which was obtained by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Senate Bill 574 would have permitted motorcyclists to drive between lanes, on multilane highways, when traffic slowed to 10 mph (16 kph) or less — also known as “lane splitting” or “lane filtering.” In this situation, motorcyclists riding between cars could travel no more than 10 mph faster than the flow of traffic.

States like California and Utah have enacted similar laws.

While this idea concerned some drivers, motorcyclists argued lane splitting actually improves safety.

“Perhaps one of the more dangerous situations for any on-highway motorcyclist is being caught in congested traffic, where stop-and-go vehicles, distracted and inattentive vehicle operators and environmental conditions pose an increased risk of physical contact with another vehicle or hazard,” Nicholas Haris, a representative for the American Motorcyclist Association, said in written testimony. “Even minor contact under such conditions can be disastrous for motorcyclists.”

According to the Oregon Department of Transportation, in 2018, the most recent data available, there were 78 deadly motorcycle crashes in the state.

“I have witnessed — during rolling traffic slowdowns on the Southern California freeway — motorcyclists cautiously, slowly and effectively moving through traffic and eliminating themselves from the traffic backup,” Kate Stoller, an Oregon motorcyclist, said in written testimony.

In Utah, legislation passed in 2019 allows for lane filtering. Prior to the law, in 2018 the state had 28 fatalities involving motorcyclists. The following year it reported 18.

Proposals to allow lane splitting have been introduced repeatedly in Oregon but stalled in the Legislature. This year the bill had a bipartisan group of sponsors from both chambers. In the House the bill passed 42-14, and in the Senate it passed 18-6.

But some disagreed that the bill would make roads safer — the latest being Oregon’s governor.

“Many stakeholders, including law enforcement agencies and members of the public remain concerned that lane filtering is unsafe for both the motorcyclists and the drivers sharing the road, due to the serious injuries and death that commonly result from motorcycle-involved accidents,” Brown wrote.

“Based on these concerns, I am returning SB 574 unsigned and disapproved,” the governor wrote.

A legislative override of her veto would require a two-thirds vote in each chamber.

Laws for riding motorcycles

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by Wells Foster, Chivon Kloepfer from https://www.wlns.com

Laws for motorcyclists are a little different than ones for regular cars. Local legal expert Bryan Waldman breaks down the differences in this Legal Edge report.

First, motorcyclists must have the correct kind of insurance. Then, they need a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s license.

Michigan does not require all motorcyclists to wear a helmet, but you first must reach a few milestones.

Everyone on a motorcycle under 21 must wear a helmet, regardless of their experience on a bike. They must also have had a motorcycle endorsement for at least two years and/or pass a safety test. You must also have extra insurance coverage to cover medical bills.

In Michigan, motorcycles are not considered motor vehicles, meaning insurance works a little differently. Motorcyclists don’t need to purchase any fault insurance. As long as a motor vehicle is involved, a motorcyclist is entitled to benefits.

For example, if a motorcyclist spins out and crashes on some gravel by themselves, no fault benefits will activate. However, if they are involved in a near-miss with a car, the benefits do activate.

Free Youth Leadership Program in Driver Education in Canada

By General Posts

Teens in Ontario can now apply for new Vision Zero Youth Network Program.

The Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN) by Teens Learn to Drive Inc. allows teens in Ontario ages 15-19 to gain experience and help make their communities safe.

ONTARIO, CANADA – Non-profit organization, Teens Learn to Drive Inc. (TL2D) is inviting media partners for the launch of its new leadership program for Ontario high school students called the Vision Zero Youth Network (VZYN).

In Ontario’s worst case scenario, a 16-year old could:
• Pass the G1 written test after taking 10 to 12 practice tests online. (This test concentrates on sign recognition of the rules of the road, and both are largely forgotten afterwards.)
• Drive back and forth to the grocery store for a year while parents are unaware of what their child is doing on the road.
• Practise the route of a road test a few times before taking the actual assessment – (perhaps in a much less busy region than where they live).
NOTE: During this time, the parent cannot let them drive on 400-series highways.
• On their 17th birthday, pass the 17-minute road test.
• Then pile their friends into the car and head out on the 401 – North America’s busiest road – while driving at high speeds alongside other cars, trucks, motorcycles and emergency vehicles.

If that sounds far-fetched, 62% of new drivers in Ontario do not take formal driver education (2019, MTO data). Instead, they learn from friends and family members who may have bad habits or outdated information.

Vision Zero is an idea that was developed in Sweden during the late 1990s. It aims to eliminate deaths on roads by using systems and infrastructure to lessen the damage when drivers make mistakes. Sweden also strengthened their mandatory driver education system to create safer drivers at the outset, thereby reducing the volume of serious driver errors in the first place. Compared to Sweden, most Ontario drivers start with a serious education gap about winter driving, space management, blind zones, scanning skills and behaviours that affect driving.

The VZYN will help to fill in that gap of driver education by empowering young people to work with police and other partners to create and share road safety messages about topics that concern their region.

This volunteer position is free to Ontario high school students and includes numerous benefits. Selected Ambassadors will earn their 40 Community Service hours, a $500 scholarship, and an expense-paid trip to the VZYN conference in Toronto. In addition, they will also strengthen their skills, portfolios, resumes and networks.

DATE: Wednesday, May 19
Time: 1pm
Location: Via ZOOM
Hosted by: John Derringer of Q107

More Motorcycle Safety Awareness campaigns by authorities

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California Highway Patrol asking motorists to drive with caution

from https://www.kget.com

The California Highway Patrol is recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The department says as the weather warms up, more and more motorcycles and cars are expected to be hitting the road. Preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System show more than 500 people were killed in motorcycle-involved crashes in California in 2020 and more than 11,500 people were injured.

Here in Kern County, at least eight people have died in motorcycle crashes so far this year.

The CHP is asking motorcyclists to be responsible and properly equipped. They’re also asking drivers to watch out for motorcyclists on the road.

CHP: Motorcycle safety requires everyone’s attention
by Jaime Coffee, Information Officer II, California Highway Patrol from http://antiochherald.com

The warming weather and increasing number of vehicles traveling on California’s roadways offer a timely reminder of the importance of motorcycle safety awareness for motorcyclists and motorists alike. By recognizing May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) emphasizes safe riding and driving practices for everyone.

“Motorcyclists who are responsible, informed, and properly equipped can help reduce rider deaths and injuries,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Motorists are also key to reducing crashes by being aware of the dangers and challenges of motorcycle riding. Taking the time to look twice for motorcyclists can save a life.”

“Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable out in the elements, which is why it is important for drivers to always be mindful of riders,” California Office of Traffic Safety Director Barbara Rooney said.

With more than 1.4 million licensed riders, motorcycles are a popular mode of transportation for Californians, another reason motorcycle safety awareness is paramount. Preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System show more than 500 people were killed in motorcycle-involved crashes in California in 2020 and more than 11,500 people were injured.

As part of its continual motorcycle safety program, the CHP strongly encourages all riders, new and experienced, to enroll in the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP). The CMSP has 98 training sites throughout the state and trains approximately 55,000 motorcyclists each year. For more information or to find a training site near you, visit californiamotorcyclist.com or motorcyclesafetyca.com.

Motorcyclists can help protect themselves by always wearing the proper safety gear, including a U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, observing the speed limit, riding defensively, and always riding sober. Drivers should always look at their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and always keep a safe distance.

The CHP promotes motorcycle safety with the Get Educated and Ride Safe (GEARS) program, funded by a $750,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All eight CHP field Divisions will hold outreach events to promote motorcycle safety throughout 2021 under the GEARS grant.

The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.

TxDOT urges motorists to ”Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles’
from https://www.heraldbanner.com

Despite less traffic on the road in 2020 and a 2% reduction in motorcycle crashes, safety officials are alarmed by a 17% increase in Texas motorcycle fatalities compared to 2019. On average, a motorcyclist is killed in a crash on Texas roads every day—last year 482 died. Motorcyclists account for 12% of all traffic fatalities statewide.

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Texas Department of Transportation’s annual “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign gets underway to call attention to the safety precautions motorists can take to protect motorcyclists and themselves. In 2020, in the 7,481 motorcycle crashes in Texas, 1,856 motorcyclists were seriously injured and 482 were killed.

“May through October is an especially dangerous period for motorcyclists in Texas,” said TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Of all the motorcyclist deaths in Texas during 2020, more than 61% happened in that period. It’s so important to remember that these motorcyclists don’t have the same protections that drivers in vehicles have, and that’s why we’re urging all motorists to stay watchful and alert when traveling alongside motorcycles so everyone can reach their destination safely.”

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) reports that fatal crashes between motorcyclists and drivers often occur when drivers misjudge the motorcycle’s distance and speed and make left turns in front of an oncoming motorcyclist. Last year, almost one-third of Texas motorcycle fatalities occurred in an intersection or were intersection-related. TTI also points to driver inattention as a contributing factor to motorcycle crashes.

TxDOT has these safety tips for drivers to protect motorcyclists and prevent crashes:

  • Take extra care when making a left turn. It’s safest to let the motorcycle pass to avoid turning in front of the rider.
  • Pay special attention at intersections. Nearly one in three motorcycle fatalities happens at a roadway intersection.
  • Give driving your full attention. Even a momentary distraction, such as answering a phone call or changing the radio station, can have deadly consequences.
  • Look twice when changing lanes. Check mirrors, check blind spots, and always use turn signals.
  • Give motorcyclists room when passing them. Move over to the passing lane and don’t crowd the motorcyclist’s full lane.
  • Stay back. If you’re behind a motorcycle, always maintain a safe following distance. When a motorcyclist downshifts instead of applying the brake to slow down, it can catch drivers off guard since there are no brake lights to signal reduced speed.
  • Slow down. Obey posted speed limits and drive to conditions.

The “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” campaign is a key component of #EndTheStreakTX, a broader social media and word-of-mouth effort that encourages drivers to make safer choices while behind the wheel, like wearing a seat belt, driving the speed limit, never texting and driving and never driving under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. November 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways. #EndTheStreakTX asks all Texans to commit to driving safely to help end the streak of daily deaths on Texas roadways.

Texas Motorcycle Fatalities Increased by 17% in 2020
by Demetrius Harper from https://www.nbcdfw.com

More than 2,300 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured on Texas streets and highways last year.

The Texas Department of Transportation says the number of motorcycle riders killed on Texas roadways spiked in 2020.

TxDOT said 2,300 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured on Texas streets and highways in 2020. Of the nearly 7,500 crashes involving motorcycles that were reported in 2020, 482 were fatalities — a 17% increase over the year before.

The Irving Police Department made a similar plea last month after a motorcycle officer was seriously injured when he was struck by a driver who turned in front of him.

Nov. 7, 2000 was the last deathless day on Texas roadways.

Authorities remind people about safety and motorcycle awareness

By General Posts

State Authorities in California, Maryland and Wisconsin announce recommendations for safety and awareness on Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

DMV reiterates safe riding practices in respect to Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
by The Bakersfield Californian from https://www.bakersfield.com

The California Highway Patrol is emphasizing safe riding and driving practices in May as part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

In a news release, the CHP said that more than 500 people were killed in motorcycle-involved crashes in California in 2020 and more than 11,500 people were injured. There are more than 1.4 million licensed riders in the state, the CHP said.

With those numbers in mind, the agency strongly encourages all riders to enroll in the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. The CMSP has 98 training sites throughout the state and trains approximately 55,000 motorcyclists each year. For more information or to find a training site near you, visit californiamotorcyclist.com or motorcyclesafetyca.com.

The CHP added that motorcyclists can help protect themselves by wearing proper safety gear including a U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, following the speed limit, riding defensively, and always riding sober. Drivers should always look at their mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes and always keep a safe distance.

The CHP promotes motorcycle safety with the Get Educated and Ride Safe program, funded by a $750,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. All eight CHP field divisions will hold outreach events to promote motorcycle safety throughout 2021 under the GEARS grant.

“Motorcyclists who are responsible, informed, and properly equipped can help reduce rider deaths and injuries,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Motorists are also key to reducing crashes by being aware of the dangers and challenges of motorcycle riding. Taking the time to look twice for motorcyclists can save a life.”

May Is Motorcycle Safety Month Maryland State Police Urge Extra Caution
from Maryland Government

(PIKESVILLE, MD) – The Maryland State Police are urging drivers to keep safety in mind during “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” being observed in May.

As the weather gets warmer, more motorcycles are on the roads, and more traffic crashes are reported between vehicles and motorcycles. About 15% of all fatal crashes in Maryland involve motorcycles according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. On average, more than 60 motorcyclists die in traffic crashes on Maryland roads every year, and an additional 1,700 people, both riders and passengers, are injured in Maryland traffic crashes, according to statistics provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation.

If you are driving a car;

  • Share the road. Allow motorcycles the full width of the lane at all times.
  • Use care when driving near a group of motorcyclists.
  • Check mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles, especially before changing lanes, merging, and at intersections. The motorcycle’s size makes it difficult to judge their speed and distance.
  • Always signal if changing lanes so others know your intentions.

If you are operating a motorcycle;

  • Always wear a helmet and protective gear.
  • Carry your license with you and obey all traffic laws.
  • Stay in the middle of the traffic lane for better visibility.
  • Obey speed limits. Speeding is a factor in about 30% of motorcycle crashes according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

Everyone on the roads should use extra caution during inclement weather, and never drive while impaired or distracted. Try to anticipate the moves of other vehicles on the road. Recognizing Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month will keep everyone safer on Maryland roads.

State Patrol reminds motorists to look twice, share the road with motorcycles
by Racine County Eye from https://racinecountyeye.com

Motorcycle fatalities increased 40% in 2020 over the previous five years’ average. May is national “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” and the Wisconsin State Patrol is asking motorcyclists and all other motorists to share the road, be alert and safe. 2020 preliminary data for Wisconsin shows there were 2,095 motorcycle crashes, 1,788 motorcyclists injured, and 112 motorcycle fatalities.

As warm weather returns, more motorcyclists will be on Wisconsin roads. “Drivers must be in the habit of looking for motorcyclists,” Wisconsin State Patrol Captain Jason Zeeh said, “and motorcyclists should watch for other vehicles and get properly trained and licensed. Together we can save lives.”

Motorcycle crashes often occur when a car or truck driver changes lanes, turns left or pulls out in front of a motorcycle. Motorcycles are smaller and more difficult to see, especially in your blind spot. Failure to yield the right of way to another vehicle (state law 346.18) can result in a $175 citation, but penalties are much more severe if the violation results in someone getting injured or killed.

Motorcyclists can do their part by getting properly licensed, wearing visible and protective equipment, and carefully scanning ahead for potential hazards such as gravel, debris or wildlife in the roadway.

Motorcyclists have two options to get the required Class M license: pass a motorcycle driving skills test after making an appointment at a Division of Motor Vehicles service center or successfully complete a WisDOT-approved rider education course. Motorcyclists who successfully complete an approved safety course earn a skills test waiver used to obtain their Class M license.

“Whether a person is brand new to motorcycling or a returning rider, a safety course is a wise investment,” Captain Zeeh said. “Safety along our roadways requires all drivers to share the road, watch their speed, eliminate distractions and be alert.”