DOVER, Del.- Delaware highway safety officials are urging motorcycle operators and automobile drivers to use caution to prevent crashes.
The state Office of Highway Safety said that across the nation, motorcycle crashes continue to be on the rise. To date this year, Delaware has seen 22 motorcycle injury crashes and one motorcycle fatal crash. That is why the OHS said it continues to promote both motorcycle safety campaigns Share The Road and Respect Your Ride.
The Share The Road campaign is aimed at motorists to be extra alert to keep an eye out for motorcyclists on Delaware roadways. Motorists are reminded to allow a motorcyclist a full lane width and allow for more following distance between you and the motorcyclists. Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, officials said the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely. Do not share the lane, share the road.
Education and outreach efforts for the Share The Road campaign include billboards, bathroom mirror clings, radio ads, stickers and window clings with the share the road message.
The Respect Your Ride campaign, aimed at motorcyclists, directs riders to www.MotorcyclesafetyDE.org, where they can find information about the proper tools and training to make them the safest rider they can be, popular riding routes in Delaware, and links on how to apply for a motorcycle license.
Education and outreach efforts for the Respect Your Ride campaign include billboards, distribution of information and brochures to motorcycle dealerships, online ads, and distribution of Guardian Bells to motorcycle riders at motorcycle events. The Guardian Bell is a small bell that attaches to the motorcycle and the legend of the bell is that it will trap evil road spirits in the bell and protect the rider.
Beginning April 15, law enforcement across the state will be patrolling high crash roadways ensuring that both motorists and motorcyclists are sharing the road and ensuring that motorcyclists are complying with the state's motorcycle safety laws including having the proper motorcycle endorsement on their license. Enforcement and awareness activities will be conducted through April, June, July, August, and September.
Radio and Internet advertisements will remind motorcycle operators that rider training courses are available for beginner and advanced riders throughout the state. Additionally safety brochures, bumper stickers, and incentive items are being distributed by OHS's partners, including motorcycle rider groups.
The OHS said it is continuing its partnerships with these groups through its membership on the State's Motorcycle Rider Education Advisory Committee, co-chaired by Sen. Bruce Ennis and Rep. Danny Short. Other members include DMV, the Dover Air Force Base, local motorcycle businesses, and members of motorcycle rider groups. The committee's Motorcycle Awareness Day (Event, Parade and Bike Show) will be Sat April 27th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at Legislative Hall and there will be vendors, displays, judging and presentation of awards. The event is open to the public.
Additional safety tips:
A motorcyclist can be hidden in a vehicle's blind spot because of its smaller size. Always check your mirrors and blind spots twice for motorcyclists before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
Always use your turn signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows motorcyclists to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.
Never ride impaired. Of the 15 motorcycle drivers killed last year, 7 were under the influence of drugs &/or alcohol.
Wearing the proper motorcycle safety gear serves many purposes including protection from the elements, injury, and if it is reflective, making you more visible to motorists.
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