The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) offered a reminder on motorcycle safety, recognizing the month as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
“Due to Florida’s exceptional weather and roadways, many Floridians enjoy motorcycles as a means of transportation. While safety is the number one priority for FDOT throughout the year, during May, the Department is placing an additional focus on this important issue to encourage all road users to share the road and watch for motorcycles,” FDOT noted on Tuesday.
“We are committed to creating a safe environment for all road users,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin Thibault. “It takes everyone working together to create a positive roadway experience. When all users share the road safely, we create a better Florida.”
FDOT has partnered with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and several motorcycle training providers to offer classes across the state.
“FDOT will pay $75 toward an experienced rider motorcycle course at the following training sites: Brandon Harley Davidson, Jacksonville Motorcycle Safety Training, Adventure Rider Training, Bert’s Harley Davidson and Motorcycle Training Institute Inc. Please visit ridesmartflorida.com for more details,” FDOT noted.
“Whether you operate a vehicle or motorcycle, take responsibility for your role on the road,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry Rhodes. “Drivers should always look twice, use caution when changing lanes and give others plenty of space. We all share Florida’s roadways, so always look out for one another to Arrive Alive.”
“Reducing the number of motorcycle-involved crashes goes beyond training and prevention on the part of the motorcyclist,” FDOT insisted. “Vehicle drivers should also focus on driving and be more responsible by driving undistracted, unimpaired and with awareness and respect for all road users.”
FDOT released safety tips for motorcyclists:
• Say no to drinking and riding. (30 percent of motorcycle fatalities involved a rider that’s drunk)
• Make yourself more visible to motorists. (Wear bright colors or add lights)
• Always wear your gear, including a DOT-compliant helmet.
• Ride in control. (Many single motorcycle crashes occur due to a rider riding off of the roadway, such as riding too fast for a curve)
• Train regularly and get endorsed. (Keep up your skills is an important role in crash avoidance)
FDOT also released safety tips for drivers:
• Always look for motorcycles. If you don’t look for motorcycles, you can’t see motorcycles.
• Check for motorcycles at intersections; if you see one approaching, let them pass before you turn. (Motorcycles may look like they are traveling slower than they are)
• Check your mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic
• Do not tailgate; allow more following distance when following a motorcycle. (Motorcycles do not always use their brakes to slow down; sometimes they down shift, therefore brake lights are not on.)
• Don’t drive distracted.
• Always drive sober.