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May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

NEW YORK — The New York State Police has reminded the public to use heightened awareness of motorcycles during the month of May, which is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

According to Captain Craig Hanesworth, acting Troop A commander, the month “coincides with the arrival of warmer weather and we see a dramatic increase in the number of motorcycles on the road.” He added that, as the number of motorcycles increases, so does the potential for crashes.

Most riders have not taken their bikes, onto the road, since last season. Many drivers are not accustomed to sharing the road with motorcycle riders.

The police warned that many new motorcycle riders lack experience and, in addition, “some riders, both new and seasoned, do not respect the speed and power of the motorcycle they have under them and, at times, exceed the traffic laws [that have been put] in place for everyone’s safety,” Hanesworth added.

Western New York saw many fatal motorcycle crashes, in 2012. The police have already reported a number of motorcycle-related accidents, this year.

Hanesworth gave the following suggestions:

– Thoroughly check personal protective equipment and ensure that bikes are in good condition.

– Do not neglect the rules of the road.

– Be alert and practice defensive driving. Anticipate and be prepared to react to any emergency situation.

– Check for motorcycles, before entering a roadway, crossing intersections or changing lanes.

“The state police will be focusing, this summer, on motorcycle safety, utilizing motorcycle safety checkpoints and roving details that not only focus on motorcycle operators’ driving habits, but also on vehicular traffic, around those motorcycles,” Hanesworth said. “We will continue to be alert for vehicle and traffic violations and will pay special attention to those involving motorcycles. We just want everyone to drive in a safe manner and be courteous, to others on the road.”

Most of this year’s Western New York incidents involving motorcycles have been caused by operator error.

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