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‘Share the Road’ Campaign Aims to Increase Motorcycle Safety Awareness for All Road Users

Date Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
Categories:  Kent County New Castle County News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security Sussex County

Dover –The Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS), along with state and local law enforcement are reminding motorists to Share The Road, and reminding motorcyclists to Respect Your Ride. From May 22nd to June 6th, law enforcement across the state will be patrolling high crash roadways ensuring that both motorists and motorcyclists are sharing the road and ensuring that motorcyclists are complying with the state’s motorcycle safety laws.

The Share The Road campaign is aimed at motorists to be extra alert and to keep an eye out for motorcyclists on Delaware roadways.   Motorists are reminded to allow for more following distance between you and the motorcyclists and allow a motorcyclist the full lane width, do not try to share the lane. Although it may seem that there is enough room in the traffic lane for a motor vehicle and a motorcycle, the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely.

The Respect Your Ride campaign, aimed at motorcyclists, directs riders to www.MotorcyclesafetyDE.org, where they can find information about the proper tools and training to make them the safest rider they can be, as well as popular riding routes in Delaware and links on how to apply for a motorcycle license. OHS also posted a series of interviews with riders about their riding experience, training, and tips for other riders to promote safe riding and to also give insight to motorists about what it is like to ride in Delaware.

Over the last five years, motorcycle fatalities averaged 12 percent of all total fatalities in Delaware. Delaware has seen 4 motorcycle fatalities this year compared to 7 at this time last year. Saturday trends as the day when most fatalities and injuries occur on a motorcycle. Alcohol use among riders is also a contributing factor to crashes and fatalities. Thirty-six percent of motorcycle riders who were killed in the last five years were impaired.

“Wearing a helmet is an important way for a motorcyclist to stay safe, but we all play a part. It’s up to all motorists and motorcyclists to make our roads safer,” said Jana Simpler, Director for the Office of Highway Safety. “All road users need to share the responsibility of keeping the roadways safe. By following road signs, obeying speed limits, and always staying focused on the road, deaths will be prevented.”

Tips for drivers to prevent a crash with a motorcycle:

  • Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful. Motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could have been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Always allow more following distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

Motorcyclists must also take precautions to remain safe on the road. Increase your safety by following these steps:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.

“By following basic safety rules, we can all help prevent crashes,” said Simpler. “Our message is for all drivers and riders: Share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe—always share the road.”

Law enforcement agencies participating in the May 22nd to June 6th mobilization include Blades PD, Camden PD, Clayton PD, Dewey Beach PD, Dover PD, Laurel PD, Milford PD, Millsboro PD, New Castle City PD, New Castle County PD, Newark PD, Newport PD, Rehoboth Beach PD, Seaford PD, Smyrna PD, and DSP.

For more information on any of the OHS campaigns visit www.ohs.delaware.gov and follow regular campaign updates on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe and Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.

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