Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

State police remind the public that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

“Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month coincides with the arrival of warmer weather and we see a dramatic increase in the number of motorcycles on the road,” announced Captain Craig Hanesworth, Acting Troop “A” Commander. Troop “A” is headquartered in Batavia and includes the Western New York counties of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans and Wyoming.

As the number of motorcycles on the road increases, so does the potential for crashes. The problem is multiplied by many factors.

Most riders have not taken their bike out on the road since last season and people are not accustomed to sharing the road with the less visible motorcycle rider

New riders lack experience

Some riders, both new and seasoned, do not respect the speed and power of the motorcycle they have under them and at times exceed the traffic laws in place for everyone’s safety.

In 2012 there were multiple fatal motorcycle crashes in Western New York. In 2013, the State Police have seen a number of bikes that have already taken to the road and unfortunately have seen a number of motorcycle related crashes. The traumatic after effects that accompany these tragic crashes are the reason for promoting increased awareness.

Captain Hanesworth makes the following suggestions:

For operators:

-Ensure your personal protective equipment is in good condition; second

-Make sure your bike is in good condition

-Do not over drive your ability or neglect the rules of the road.

-Be alert! You are not as visible to others as they appear to you!

-Be defensive minded, anticipate and be prepared to react to any sudden emergency situation.

For non-operators:

-All drivers need to take that critical extra second to look before entering the roadway, crossing intersections, or changing lanes. No one wants to live with the memory that they caused a fatal crash.

“The State Police will be focusing this summer on motorcycle safety, utilizing motorcycle safety checkpoints and roving details that not only focus on motorcycle operators driving habits but also on vehicular traffic around those motorcycles. We will continue to be alert for vehicle and traffic violations and will pay special attention to those involving motorcycles. We just want everyone to drive in a safe manner and be courteous to others on the road,” Captain Hanesworth added.

So far this year, the incidents in Western New York involving motorcycles have been caused mainly by operator error. Speed and poor decision making can produce fatal results.

The State Police are committed to promoting safe driving through education and enforcement efforts. Keep your mind on the road. Drive smart and drive safe.