CHP: Motorcycle safety is two-way street |

CHP: Motorcycle safety is two-way street

Special to The Union

California motorcyclist deaths are on the rise. The increase in motorcycle-involved collisions reverses a trend of significant decline in such collisions since 2008.

In response, the California Highway Patrol asks for the motoring public's assistance in preventing future tragedies involving motorcycles from happening on our roadways.

"Everyone on the highway plays an important role in preventing collisions," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "Motorcyclists are encouraged to ride safely and defensively, while drivers need to look out for motorcyclists who are sharing the road."

California is home to more than 1 million motorcyclists. Each year hundreds of these motorcyclists are killed in collisions, and thousands are injured. According to preliminary data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 20 percent more motorcyclists were killed in 2011 than in 2010.

A high percentage of deadly collisions involving cars and motorcycles occur in intersections. The CHP reminds drivers that when making a left turn, look for traffic, then look again for motorcyclists.

"A little extra vigilance can go a long way," Farrow said. "By looking twice, you may save the life of a motorcyclist."

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Speed is another big contributor to the majority of motorcycle-involved collisions that result in death.

Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than drivers, and they are encouraged to minimize their risk by riding responsibly and wearing proper safety equipment.

The CHP also encourages all motorcycle riders — new riders and those looking to sharpen their skills — to register for the California Motorcyclist Safety Program.

For information, go to

"Even though the fall and winter months are upon us, areas of California have optimum riding weather year-round," Farrow said. "Remember, whether you drive or ride highway safety is a shared responsibility."

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