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Eastern Pike Regional Police Department
Thursday April 29th, 2010 :: 10:18 a.m. EDT


Police Department Promotes “Sharing the Road” with Motorcycles By Joining Efforts with State and Federal Partners

Eastern Pike Regional Police Department Promotes “Sharing the Road” with Motorcycles By Joining Efforts with State and Federal Partners

May Proclaimed Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Matamoras, Pa – Motorcyclist fatalities have steadily increased over the past decade. In fact, there was a 2 percent increase in fatalities from 5,174 in 2007, to 5,290 in 2008.

That’s why the Eastern Pike Regional Police Department announced today that it is joining with other federal, State and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” All motorists and other road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists. All road users are reminded to never drive, walk or bicycle while distracted.

“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads,” said Chief Chad Stewart. “And with that in mind, pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers of all vehicles, including SUVs, passenger cars or trucks, need to be extra attentive and make sure you ‘share the road.’ A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Everyone needs to aggressively look for them.”

It’s crucial that motorists and bicyclists always make visual checks for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections. Pedestrians should also scan for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.

“Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too,” Chief Stewart said. “They should follow the rules of the road, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.”

Chief Stewart said that a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. He said that research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that per vehicle mile traveled; motorcyclists are about 37 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.

Chief Stewart offered several tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways:

* Remember, the motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane;

* Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections;

* Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic;

* Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed;

* Allow more following distance, three or four sec­onds, when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency. And don’t tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.

*Never drive while distracted.

Chief Stewart said motorcyclists can increase their safety by:

* Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions;

* Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet;

* Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it;

* Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves;

* Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity; and

* Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers.

*Never driving while impaired.

Our message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: make this the first year in recent years when motorcycle fatalities do not increase. Help to share in the responsibility and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”

Eastern Pike Regional Police Department
10 Avenue I
Matamoras, PA 18336

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 570-491-4040

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