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Let’s make 2014 a year of motorcycle safety in California

Whether traveling here in the Bay Area or anywhere else in California, the roads are almost always more dangerous for motorcyclists than for drivers in cars and trucks. Unfortunately, motorcycle accidents often lead to serious injuries or death even among riders who exercise all practical precautions.

Adding to the danger is the often adversarial relationship between motorcyclists and drivers of four-wheeled vehicles. Motorcyclists may say that drivers rarely keep an eye out for riders and give them too little room on the road. For their part, drivers often accuse motorcyclists of riding recklessly, speeding and weaving through traffic in ways that make them hard to see. Both sides may be equally right and equally wrong, but the California Highway Patrol wants to help these two groups share the road more safely.

The CHP is in the midst of a year-long campaign to reduce motorcycle accidents and injuries and to educate the public about motorcycle safety. The CHP’s efforts include plans to set up information booths and well-attended public events and to designate periods of extra traffic enforcement. The periods of increased enforcement planned for later this year will focus on behaviors (by both motorcyclists and drivers) that increase the risk of a motorcycle accident.

No matter what you drive or ride, we all have a part to play in maintaining road safety; particularly when it comes to preventing motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths. Riders can protect themselves by wearing a motorcycle helmet and high-visibility clothing and by riding defensively. Drivers need to stay off their cellphones, keep an eye out for motorcyclists and always give riders plenty of space within their lane.

Source: The Press-Enterprise, "PUBLIC SAFETY: Campaign revs up on motorcycle safety," Brian Rokos, Feb. 10, 2014

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