Keeping our roads safe is a shared responsibility, says Alberta RCMP

With the weather warming up, road users can expect to see an increase of motorcycles on the road.

With some fatalities already recorded, Alberta RCMP is reminding motorists that keeping the roads safe is a shared responsbility.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Alberta, and as the summer months approach and temperatures get warmer, road users can expect to see an increase of motorcycles on the road.

“Collisions involving motorcycles are a significant concern because there is a greater risk that it will result in a serious or fatal injury to the motorcycle driver or passenger,” said Inspector Steve Daley, acting officer-in-charge, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services. “All road users have a role to play in motorcycle safety. For drivers, it means being extra vigilant, especially at intersections. Many collisions occur when a driver fails to see a motorcyclist and then turns left in front of the motorcycle. Motorcyclists should always try to position their bikes to avoid a driver’s blind spot.”

Some safety tips for drivers and motorcycle riders are as follows:

· Staying safe means being visible. Motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles and can be difficult to see on roadways and in parking lots.

· Stay out of blind spots! Position yourself where other drivers can see you.

· Wear high visibility jackets and helmets. Colours such as orange, yellow and white instantly draws other motorists’ eyes to you.

· In Alberta, wearing a helmet is the law. You’re 37 per cent less likely to get a fatal injury in a collision if you have a helmet on, according to Alberta Transportation.

· Replace a helmet that has been damaged, and avoid buying a used one. A used helmet may have been involved in a crash and could be damaged in ways that are not obvious.

· Along with an approved motorcycle helmet, every rider should wear: shatter-proof eye protection, a durable, brightly-coloured jacket, long pants, leather footwear that protects the ankles, full-fingered, non-slip gloves, rain and cold weather riding clothes.

· Showing off and speeding do not pay off. Ride defensively and make every effort to enhance your visibility.

· Share the road look twice for motorcyclists at intersections or when changing lanes.

· Never underestimate the speed of a motorcycle. Their size makes their speed deceptive.

To kick off motorcycle safety awareness month, Alberta RCMP Traffic Services attended the Alberta Motorcycle Safety Society’s (AMSS) launch event earlier in the month. AMSS is a non-profit society that partners with the motorcycle industry, municipal and provincial governments as well as the media to promote, educate, and bring awareness to motorcycle safety in Alberta.

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