Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Area Briefs

May 11, 2014

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

State police urge drivers to be aware of motorcycles

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and state police urge drivers to be aware of motorcycles, especially at intersections and while making turns or changing lanes.

Even though, it’s not the law, troopers also urge all motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

According to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute, 113 motorcycle fatalities occurred in Indiana during 2013. Of those fatalities, 109 people were not wearing helmets.

Construction zones and uneven road surfaces can also be deadly for motorcyclists, state police warn.

Indiana State Police and the Indiana Department of Transportation encourage all motorcyclists to be extra vigilant while riding through these sites. Many roadways will be resurfaced over the next several months and motorcyclists should be aware of “edge traps,” which occur when one lane is higher than the other. An inexperienced or inattentive motorcyclist can easily lose control when encountering these areas.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are 30 times more likely than occupants of cars to die in a crash, and five times more likely to be injured.

“This campaign is aimed at all Hoosiers. We encourage riders to wear safe and appropriate gear. We also encourage motorists to be alert and aware of their surroundings while driving. Two-thirds of motorcycle accidents are caused by another vehicle violating a motorcyclist’s right of way. Too often, drivers simply fail to notice motorcycles on the road. It’s everyone’s responsibility to create as safe of an environment as possible when on our roads and highways,” said Donald Snemis, commissioner of the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles, in a news release.

As a part of the campaign, new safety posters designed for riders and awareness posters directed at drivers will be featured in all BMV branches. Additionally, new motorcycle safety and awareness information will be updated on www.myBMV.com. The BMV will also be participating in the fifth annual Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Rally on Monument Circle in Indianapolis, as well as the 21st Annual Miracle Ride for Riley Hospital on May 31.

ABATE (American Bikers Aimed Towards Education) offers motorcycle license testing sites throughout Indiana. To see a list of the sites logon to www.abateofindiana.org.

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