MD Po­lice stresses safety dur­ing Mo­tor­cy­cle Safety Aware­ness Month

The Dundalk Eagle - - POLICE BEAT -

With spring­time comes warmer weather and more mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers out on the road, along with a re­minder from Mary­land State Po­lice to be safe dur­ing Mo­tor­cy­cle Safety Aware­ness Month.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Safety Coun­cil, 4,976 mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers and pas­sen­gers died and 88,000 other were in­jured in 2015. Although mo­tor­cy­cles make up just three per­cent of all reg­is­tered ve­hi­cles and only 0.7 per­cent of all ve­hi­cle miles trav­eled in the U.S., mo­tor­cy­clists ac­counted for 14 per­cent of all traf­fic fa­tal­i­ties, 17 per­cent of all oc­cu­pant fa­tal­i­ties and four per­cent of all oc­cu­pant in­juries in 2014, the Na­tional Safety Coun­cil re­ports.

In Mary­land, an av­er­age of 70 traf­fic fa­tal­i­ties and 1,400 in­juries as­so­ci­ated with mo­tor­cy­cles are re­ported each year, with 82 such fa­tal­i­ties in 2017 alone, ac­cord­ing to the Mary­land De­part­ment of Trans­porta­tion High­way Safety Of­fice. Com­mon fac­tors as­so­ci­ated in mo­tor­cy­cle crashes in­clude al­co­hol im­pair­ment, lack of hel­met use and ag­gres­sive driv­ing.

Here are some ba­sic tips for mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers:

• Get trained and prop­erly li­censed – A mo­tor­cy­cle li­cense is re­quired to ride on the roads in Mary­land. There are also Ba­sic Rider Train­ing cour­ses rid­ers can take in Mary­land prior to test­ing for the li­cense.

• Stay sober – Nearly one-third of rid­ers who died in a mo­tor­cy­cle crash in 2014 were al­co­hol-im­paired.

• Obey speed lim­its – In 2015, speed­ing was a fac­tor in more than 30 per­cent of mo­tor­cy­cle crashes.

• Wear proper pro­tec­tive cloth­ing, es­pe­cially a hel­met – Wear­ing a hel­met is the law in Mary­land. Vi­o­la­tors could be fined up to $500.

• Al­low for proper space for emer­gency break­ing on the road

• Don’t drive ag­gres­sively

Here are some ba­sic tips for gen­eral mo­torists:

• Be alert for mo­tor­cy­clists.

• Mo­tor­cy­clists have the same rights and priv­i­leges on the road as any other driver

• Yield the right-of-way to an on­com­ing mo­tor­cy­cle when turn­ing left

• Give mo­tor­cy­cle rid­ers plenty of space

• Use care when driv­ing near a group of mo­tor­cy­clists.

For more in­for­ma­tion about mo­tor­cy­cle safety in Mary­land, visit www.mva.mary­land.gov/safety/mhso/pro­gram-mo­tor­cy­cle-safety.htm.

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