Putting the brakes on motorcycle collisions | TheUnion.com

Putting the brakes on motorcycle collisions

Submitted to The Union

Fatal collisions involving motorcyclists have been increasing in California over the past few years. In an effort to change this disturbing trend, the California Highway Patrol and Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) are hoping to save lives through a month-long motorcycle safety and awareness campaign in May.

With more than 1.3 million licensed motorcycle riders in California, most drivers are likely to find themselves sharing the road with a motorcyclist on a regular basis.

"Regardless of your mode of travel, safety comes first," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. "By staying alert and using common sense and courtesy, drivers and riders alike can help to create a safer roadway environment for everyone."

According to 2011 data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, fatal motorcycle collisions accounted for nearly 16 percent of the total number of fatal collisions in California.

SWITRS data also indicated the number of people killed in motorcycle-involved collisions increased nearly 20 percent from 2010 to 2011. An additional 8-percent increase was noted between 2011 and 2012, when 467 people died in motorcycle-involved collisions.

"Motorcycle riders must be mindful of their skills and vulnerabilities," said OTS Director Rhonda Craft. "Meanwhile, other vehicle drivers must be mindful to always look for motorcycles. Getting home safely involves concentration on driving and consideration for everyone on the road."

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A key component to reducing the number of motorcycle-involved collisions is training. Regardless of a motorcyclist's skill level, the CHP encourages all riders to seek life-long training opportunities.

The California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) is the state's official training program. With more than 130 training sites in California, the CMSP offers courses for both new and returning riders. To enroll in a CMSP course, call 1-877-RIDE-411 or visit the website at http://www.ca-msp.org.

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