When it comes to traffic safety, some actions bear repeating. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) reminds all motorists to safely share the road and look twice for motorcyclists.
California is home to more than one million licensed motorcycle riders and an environment that lends itself to near perfect riding conditions year round. For this reason, it is important that every motorist remain vigilant while traveling on the state’s roadways.
“Whether a driver is at an intersection or changing lanes, they should always keep an eye out for motorcyclists. Because motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles, it can be difficult for drivers to judge the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle,” said Commissioner Joe Farrow.
In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 361 people died in California and nearly 11,000 others were injured as a result of a crash involving a motorcycle.
“In addition to outfitting themselves with the necessary safety equipment and riding gear, it is highly recommended that motorcyclists seek proper and professional training before beginning to ride,” added Commissioner Farrow.
Administered by the CHP, the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) offers the Basic RiderCourse for beginning motorcyclists and Basic RiderCourses 2 for riders who are interested in improving their skills. The CMSP expects to train 65,000 motorcyclists this year and operates more than 120 training sites throughout California. Course information and locations may be found at http://www.ca-msp.org/.
Helping the CHP spread the word about motorcycle safety awareness throughout the month of May, the California Department of Transportation will display an important message statewide on their changeable message signs: “Share the Road, Look Twice for Motorcyclists.”