RCMP targeting motorcycle safety in July

Experienced motorcyclists Belt Drive Betty, Lou DeVuono and Maureen Sawatzkyline up for a photo during the Rocky’s Ride for Diabetes. RCMP are hoping all motorcyclists will developed road safe skills. Stephen Dafoe Photo

By MorinvilleNews.com Staff

Sturgeon County – With summer now in full swing many Albertans are revving up their motorcycles to take advantage of excellent riding conditions, but the Morinville RCMP are reminding motorcyclists that safe riding habits are important to keep summer roads safe.

The RCMP, together with Alberta’s Sheriffs, are targeting July to focus on motorcycle safety in support of Road Safety Vision 2010, a national initiative of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

The joint effort is aimed at reducing motorcycle collisions. Although speed and alcohol are often the root causes behind motorcycle collisions, the RCMP report that inexperience is also a factor.

Statistics from a four-year period spanning 2004 – 2008 show that 3,879 motorcycles were involved in collisions, resulting in 152 deaths and 4,001 injuries. The statistics show that the death and injury rate for motorcycle collisions is approximately two thirds, as compared to approximately one in ten for all collisions combined.

With so high a probability of injury, the RCMP believes it is imperative that new motorcyclists develop safe motorcycle operation skills, including taking part in driver training courses, using bikes that do not exceed their skill level and wearing proper safety equipment.

Beyond these recommendations, the Morinville detachment is recommending four points to keep in mind when winding down the highways this summer:

1. Stay out of blind spots to make sure other drivers see you.
2. When it comes to other drivers, your speed can be easily misjudged.
3. Be aware of what is going on behind you to avoid deadly rear-end collisions.
4. Showing off and speeding do not pay off.

Alberta’s Integrated Traffic Units have chosen July for their motorcycle safety awareness campaign because crashes are more likely to occur during the summer months, particularly in July, with almost half of the collisions occurring on weekends.

Additional information and resources can be found at www.saferoads.com/vehicles/motorcycle.html

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