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Check Twice for Motorcycles: May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Date Posted: April 30th, 2021 @ 12:42 PM
Last Updated: April 30th, 2021 @ 12:45 PM
Oakland Police Badge

News from: Oakland Police Department

For Immediate Release

May 1, 2021

Oakland, Calif. — May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Oakland Police Department reminds drivers to check twice for motorcycles.

“It’s important for drivers to understand motorcycle rider behaviors and learn how to drive safely around riders,” Lieutenant Jeff Thomason said. “Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable and have much less protections as those in vehicles do, which is why it is critical for drivers to be mindful of those on two wheels.”

During May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Oakland Police Department Traffic Division will have officers enforcing motorcycle laws.

Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than vehicle occupants. In 2019, there were 474 motorcycle deaths on California roads.

To help protect you and your family, keep the following tips in mind while driving or riding:

Drivers

  • Always check twice for motorcycles, looking at all mirrors and blind spots.
  • Motorcycle riders have the same rights to the road as other vehicles. Allow motorcycles to always use the full width of a lane.
  • Never follow a motorcycle too closely. Always keep a safe distance.
  • If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful. The rider may have forgotten to turn the signal off. Be sure that the rider is turning before proceeding.

Motorcyclists

  • Always wear a DOT compliant helmet. Learn how to identify a safe helmet that fits on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.
  • Wear appropriate gear like leather clothing, boots with nonskid soles, and gloves. Consider adding reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.
  • Ride defensively. Don’t assume a driver can see you. Try staying out of a driver’s blind spot.
  • Always keep your lights on, even during the day.
  • Signal well in advance before changing lanes and watch for turning vehicles.

Lastly, both drivers and riders should never drive/ride under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

For more information, please contact the Media Relations Office at (510) 238-7230 or opdmedia@oaklandca.gov.