ND Public Notices
Mohall Lansford Sherwood School District
Glenburn School District
Keeping Youth Safe
GOVERNOR PROCLAIMS MAY
AS - MOTORCYCLE SAFETY
AND AWARENESS MONTH
As warmer weather is finally here to stay, the number of motorcycles on our roadways has increased dramatically. May has been proclaimed by Governor Dalrymple as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month.
Car and truck drivers on the roads need to remember two important things about motorcycles.
1. THEY ARE SMALLER THAN OTHER VEHICLES AND, THEREFORE, HARDER TO SEE.
This requires extra diligence to make sure you are looking for them and recognize them. One of the most common factors in vehicle versus motorcycle crashes is the motorist stating, “I didn’t see the motorcycle”.
2. OFTEN TIMES A MOTORCYCLE MAY LOOK FARTHER AWAY THAN IT ACTUALLY IS.
Judging a motorcyclist’s ACTUAL speed is difficult. A good rule of thumb is to practice thinking the motorcyclist is closer than it looks.
Here are a few more tips for motor vehicle operators to keep the roads safer for motorcyclists:
- Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or just rolling off the throttle, this will not activate the brake light so be aware and allow for more following distance.
- Be especially careful to check your blind spot, rearview, and side mirrors when changing lanes.
- Be diligent and look twice for motorcycles at intersections. Often times their speed of travel is misjudged.
- Recognize that while a motorcycle only uses a portion of their lane, they are entitled to the same amount of space a normal vehicle is. That extra space may be needed to move back and forth in their lane to avoid debris, road defects, etc.
Motorcycle riders must do their part to safely share the road too. All motorcyclists are encouraged to be aggressive in taking steps to make themselves be seen and safe motorcyclists.
Commitment to safety should be the first step when someone decides to ride a motorcycle. This requires recognizing that it takes more skill to ride a motorcycle through traffic than it does a car or truck.
Being safe requires the rider to recognize the early affect alcohol or drugs have when someone is on two wheels versus four, and how fatigue or distraction can have dire consequences on a motorcycle.
Here are some tips for motorcyclists to consider in their ongoing efforts to be safe on the road:
- Take a motorcycle safety course. If you haven’t ridden a motorcycle for a long time, take a course even if you already have your license. If you have been riding for years, consider taking an Experienced Motorcycle Safety Course to enhance/refresh your safety skills.
- Make sure your motorcycle is in good condition. Check your tires (proper tire pressure is critical), lights, and overall mechanical condition. Mechanical failure on a motorcycle can cause drastically different problems than with a car or truck.
- Take steps to make yourself extra visible to the motorists around you. Wearing reflective or high visibility clothing, lighting, and effective use of lane positioning can go a long way to make sure car and truck drivers see you.
- Wear and use good motorcycle safety protective gear.
- Ride responsibly! Speeding, riding beyond your ability, and impaired riding are the leading causes of motorcycle crashes.
Avoid drinking and riding. Motorcycling requires balance, judgment, coordination, and sensitivity to surroundings, all of which can be negatively affected by even relatively small amounts of alcohol.
Having a safe motorcycling season requires effort from all motorists – “Let’s Ride Together”.