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Motorcycle awareness month

The following guest column was submitted by Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs.

This is a perfect time for motorists and motorcyclists to learn about safely sharing the road.

The warm weather is approaching, daylight hours are longer and spring is finally here. Motorcycle riders everywhere are polishing their bikes and getting ready for warm weather and the open road. Motorcycling is a popular choice, for economical and convenient travel. They are inexpensive to operate, fun to ride and easy to park. In Erie County alone, there are more than 22,000 registered motorcycle riders, who use their bikes for commuting, touring and recreational activities.

I want to remind all motorists, especially new drivers, to be on the lookout for motorcycles and to share the road with them. Vehicle operators must be alert to the presence of motorcycles on the road. Since motorcyclists often ride to one side of the lane and the bike can hide in seemingly empty areas, I encourage all motorists to be aware of the car’s blind spots. Carefully check, before turning or changing lanes, and look two or three times before making a move. Allow more following distance for motorcycles – two or three car lengths is recommended, more if the roads are wet or visibility is poor.

Unfortunately, many riders never learn the critical skills needed, to ride safely. Before hitting the road, this driving season, I encourage all motorcycle riders to visit any of the Erie County Auto Bureaus to get properly licensed and to register their bikes. For more information on motorcycle licensing and registration, contact the Erie County Auto Bureau Call Center at 858-7450 or visit us at www.erie.gov/clerk and click on the Auto Bureau tab.

Additionally, riders should also take a moment, to review the aspects of motorcycle safety. Wear protective gear, at all times, including a helmet, ride within your skill limits, ride unimpaired and become a life-long learner by brushing up, each year, and taking refresher rider courses. Together, the more we raise awareness, the more we keep motorcyclists and motorists safe. Riders can benefit from a Motorcycle Safety Program rider safety class that is offered at several local locations, for both new riders looking to learn and experienced motorcyclists who want to pick up tips. Class locations and fees can be found at www.nysmsp.org.

On behalf of all drivers, I urge everyone to use caution, when sharing the road, this summer. Let’s ride smart, ride safe and enjoy the season.




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