Weekly Feature

2018-05-16 / Editorial

Remain vigilant about motorcycle safety

Bee Editorial

In Erie County alone, there are more than 21,000 registered motorcycle riders who use their cycles for commuting, touring and recreational activities.

We ask all motorists, especially new drivers, to be alert to the presence of motorcycles on the road and to share the road safely.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclist deaths occurred 27 times more frequently than fatalities in other vehicles, based on 2014 fatal crash data. To keep motorcyclists safe, we urge everyone to share the road and be alert, and we’re reminding motorcyclists to make themselves as visible as possible while in traffic.

Cyclists often ride to one side of the lane, and oftentimes the motorcycle can hide in your vehicle’s blind spot. Carefully check before turning or changing lanes and look two or three times before making a move. Allow more following distance for motorcycles — two or three car lengths is recommended, more if the roads are wet or visibility is poor.

Riders should take a moment to review the aspects of motorcycle safety, including wearing protective gear at all times — including a helmet. Details on how to choose the right helmet for your body can be found on the NHTSA’s website, www.nhtsa.gov.

Motorcyclists should ride within their skill limits, not be impaired and become a lifelong learner by regularly taking refresher rider safety courses.

Riders can benefit from any of the motorcycle safety programs offered for both new riders looking to learn the critical skills needed to ride safely and experienced motorcyclists who want to reinforce safe driving practices. Class locations and fees can be found at www.nysmsp.org.

Before hitting the road this driving season, we remind motorcycle riders to visit the Erie County Auto Bureau to get properly licensed and renew their motorcycle registration.

For more information on motorcycle licensing and registration, contact the Erie County Auto Bureau Call Center at 858-8866 or visit the county auto bureau online at www.erie.gov/clerk/autobureau.

In the most recent data provided by NHTSA, in 2014 the number of motorcyclist deaths was 4,586 — a decrease of about 100 from 2013. However, we feel there are still far too many lives lost in motorcycle incidents. We urge all motorists and motorcyclists to pay attention and be responsible while navigating the roads.

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