SACRAMENTO – As motorcycle fatalities and injuries have increased in California, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) have stepped up their efforts to promote safety and education, highlighted by Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May.
In 2013, motorcycle collisions resulted in 475 fatalities and 13,143 injured victims. In 2012, 467 people were killed and 12,617 were injured.
Nationwide, motorcyclists made up 14 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities in 2013, up from about 9 percent in 2004, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.
“Surviving the ride must be foremost in the mind of every motorcyclist,” says CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “This means taking a motorcycle safety course, wearing the proper gear, using a Department of Transportation compliant helmet and staying alert. Every vehicle has its place on the road, but motorcyclists face additional dangers because motorcycles require exceptional handling ability and are more difficult to see.”
During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month — and throughout the year — all road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcyclists, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. That message is most important in California, which is home to more than 830,000 registered motorcycles – the most of any state – and more than 1.4 million motorcycle riders.
“Californians increasingly get around by means other than cars and trucks. More are bicycling, walking, taking mass transit and motorcycling,” says OTS Director Rhonda Craft. “That also means that everyone needs to be extra cautious and looking out for everyone else, no matter what their means of transportation is.”
By participating in several major statewide events in May, the CHP will promote safety to thousands of motorcyclists. The Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month events include:
May 9: Motorcycle Safety Awareness Day at River Park in Fresno from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
May 21: Motorcycle Night with the River Cats, Raley Field, Sacramento
May 25: West Coast Thunder Memorial Day Bike Run, Riverside
More than 500 motorcyclists participate in the ride to raise funds for Riverside National Cemetery, specifically to support the burial of indigent and homeless veterans.
The CHP is statutorily responsible for California’s official motorcycle safety training program. The California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) trains approximately 65,000 motorcyclists every year. As of July 2014, nearly 945,000 motorcycle riders have received training at one of the authorized CMSP training sites since the program began in 1987.
For more information or to find a training site near you, go to www.californiamotorcyclist.com.
IMPORTANT SAFETY REMINDERS FOR MOTORCYCLISTS
- Wear the proper safety gear at all times, including a DOT-compliant helmet
- Obey the speed limit – excess speed is the most common rider-related factor in motorcycle related crashes
- Don’t drink and ride – DUI is a leading cause of motorcycle crashes
- Ride within your own limits – don’t be a victim of peer pressure
- Ride defensively – assume other drivers don’t see you
- Survive the ride
The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security to the people of California.