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Fact or Fiction – Helmet Use

By General Posts

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

More Motorcycle Safety Awareness campaigns by authorities

By General Posts

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.

$25-m motorcycle simulation centre for Westmoreland

By General Posts

Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang

GRANGE HILL, Westmoreland — Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang says the Government is constructing a motorcycle simulation centre in Westmoreland at a cost of $25 million.

The facility is expected to begin accepting students by the end of next month and each batch of students will receive training for three months. On successful completion of the programme, which is aimed at saving lives, each participant will be given a certificate, driver’s licence and helmet.

Dr Chang said bikers are eager to get into the programme, but he was unable to provide details on the numbers expected to be enrolled.

“They are dying, that is the reality. They are crashing every day, so, anything to improve their skill set [will be good]. You are talking about improving their riding skills, getting them to know the road code and at the same time, teaching them some skills on how to maintain the bikes. And we will give them helmets to begin to introduce some behavioural changes that will hopefully be maintained long term,” he explained.

“Most of the guys who don’t wear helmets, they ride without shoes. They ride almost [in] T-shirts and shorts. So when they crash, the chances of them surviving are very, very low, and when they survive, they are physically challenged for the rest of their lives,” added the minister, who is also a medical doctor.

The bike riders’ vocational training facility, which is currently being constructed on the grounds of Petersfield Vocational Training Centre in the parish, will offer first class training in the driving of motor bikes, as well as classes on their care and maintenance.

According to Dr Chang, the programme forms part of the Government’s offering to divert young men from a life of crime. It is similar to an articulated truck simulator programme currently being implemented in St James and Kingston.=

With 44 deaths in 2019, Westmoreland recorded the highest number of the 119 road fatalities that year for the Area One Police Division, which also includes the parishes of Trelawny, Hanover, and St James.