Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ocean City Police reminds citizens to share the road with motorcyclists

This weekend thousands of motorcyclists are anticipated to visit Ocean City and the surrounding area as the 3rd Annual Bikes to the Beach Spring Rally is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 25. In correlation with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which begins May 1, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” and be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe.

Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections. In addition, pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.

“Safety is a mutual responsibility for motorists and motorcyclists alike,” said Acting Chief Gregory Guiton. “Drivers must be aware that a motorcycle, as one of the smallest of vehicles on the road, can be ‘hiding’ in your vehicle’s blind spots. Always check blind spots, use mirrors and signal before changing lanes or making turns.”

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Motorcyclists should also remain alert to other drivers, never ride impaired or distracted and always wear a helmet and other protective gear.  

In order to help keep motorcyclists safe in Ocean City, the Ocean City Police Department would like to offer the following tips:
  • Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
  • Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
  • Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
  • Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a mo­torcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
  • Allow more following distance - three or four sec­onds - when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emer­gency.
  • Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
  • Never drive while distracted.
In addition, motorcyclists can increase their safety by:

  • Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions.
  • Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet.
  • Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it.
  • Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves.
  • Using reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility.
  • Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers.
  • Never driving while impaired or distracted.
In hopes of a safe and successful “Bikes to the Beach” event and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Ocean City Police Department reminds all drivers and motorcyclists to help share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely “sharing the road”.

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