In the month of May this year Governor Rick Snyder proclaimed the month of May 2012 as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month” to remind motorists of the seasonal return of motorcycle enthusiasts to Michigan’s highways.
I would like to bring this awareness back to everyone as we travel and rush to enjoy our holiday weekend. What’s the rush? Slow down and be safe this holiday weekend and be especially aware of motorcycles on the roadway. Peace and please read the awareness campaign below.
The awareness campaign seeks broader recognition of motorcycles in the overall transportation mix. The objective of the campaign is to reduce the number of motorcycle accidents and fatalities on state roadways. The target audience incorporates both vehicle drivers and motorcycle operators. The principle concerns are to increase driver recognition of motorcyclists in traffic, while encouraging motorcyclists to engage in the overall safe operation of their motorcycles.
Motorists are encouraged to always be aware of motorcycles, especially at intersections, when performing lane changes or passing other vehicles. Due to their smaller size, motorcycles may be easily overlooked in the traffic flow, especially if traffic is heavy or the driver is in a hurry. Motorists need to be especially alert at intersections and when making a left turn to insure that a motorcycle is not coming straight through. Motorists need to share the road and remember that a motorcycle is entitled to a full lane. Keeping a safe distance from the motorcycle allows the motorcycle operator the opportunity to maneuver the motorcycle to avoid road hazards or other traffic conditions.
Motorcyclists should always operate their motorcycles in a defensive manner and within the rules of the road, being prepared to take evasive action if necessary. They should be attired with the proper protective riding apparel including a DOT rated motorcycle safety helmet. Motorcyclists must be properly licensed with a motorcycle endorsement on their drivers license and are encouraged to participate in Motorcycle Safety Foundation training offered through the Michigan Department of State. Motorcyclists must keep in mind that weather conditions, road surfaces and fatigue pose greater problems to them than to other motorists. They need to maintain the motorcycle in good operating condition using safety and maintenance checks found in the owners manual. Motorcyclists need to avoid the use of alcoholic beverages before and during the operation of the motorcycle.
As highway safety supporters, Michigan motorcyclists ask that motorists get in the habit of looking for motorcycles as they drive, both during the safety awareness month and throughout the entire riding season. We are your neighbors, your friends and your families. Together we can share the road safely.
For additional information regarding Michigan Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, send an email to EricMLarson@ermichigan.com.