May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the California Highway Patrol (CHP) along with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) will work together to help reduce the number of fatal and injury collisions involving motorcyclists by encouraging roadway safety through education and awareness.
“Vehicle drivers and motorcyclists share equal responsibility for roadway safety,” said CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley. “It is important for drivers to understand the safety challenges faced by motorcyclists. Look twice for motorcyclists and leave plenty of space between your vehicle and the rider.”
Recent data from the California Department of Motor Vehicles shows there are more than 900,000 registered motorcycles in the state and more than 1.4 million licensed riders. According to preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, last year 466 motorcyclists were killed in traffic collisions, and more than 14,000 motorcyclists were injured.
In 2016, there were 560 motorcyclists killed and more than 14,400 injured.
Motorists can do their part by sharing the road. The majority of multi-vehicle motorcycle collisions are caused when other drivers simply did not see the motorcyclist. Staying alert, sharing the road, and looking twice for riders will help reduce the number of injuries and deaths on our roadways.
“As the weather begins to warm, we’ll start to see more motorcyclists out on our roads, and we want to make sure other motorists see them too,” said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “It can be easy to overlook a motorcycle due to their smaller size. For this reason, it’s all the more vital we put forth extra effort in keeping watch. We encourage all motorists to remember to share the road.”
Motorcyclists can also help protect themselves by always wearing the proper safety gear, including a U.S. Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, obeying the speed limit, riding defensively, and always riding sober. -MORE-
The CHP administers the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) and strongly encourages all riders, new and experienced, to enroll. The CMSP was developed in July 1987 and has training sites throughout the state. The CMSP trains approximately 60,000 motorcyclists per year and has trained more than 1.1 million motorcycle riders. For more information, or to find a training site near you, visit californiamotorcyclist.com.
In 2017, the CHP was awarded a grant from OTS through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to develop the Have A Good Ride IV (HAGR IV) program, promoting motorcycle safety and awareness. The HAGR IV program’s goals are to reduce the number of motorcycle-involved collisions and victims of these collisions, statewide. The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.