Motorcycles become focus of safety in May

As temperatures continue to warm, many Idaho travelers are trading their cars and trucks for motorcycles and scooters. ITD and its safety partners encourage motorists to “Look Twice for Motorcycles” - a reminder that will be shared with hundreds of riders at free events Saturday (May 4) at safety rallies across the state for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The Boise Motorcycle Awareness Rally, hosted by the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety (ICMS), will start with a gathering at 11 a.m. at Sandy Point Park followed by a ride to the Capitol at 1 p.m.

“This rally is held every year to remind motorists that motorcyclists are back out on the roads,” said Lane Triplett, ICMS chairman.

“By taking part in this rally, all motorcyclists have the opportunity to participate in raising awareness of drivers about their presence on Idaho’s highways and byways. Everyone, please, look twice for motorcycles.”

Rallies also will take place on Saturday in the following locations:

  • Coeur d’Alene: Ride down Sherman Ave. to 23rd St. at 11 a.m. Riders will meet at the Kootenai County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m. Hosted by ABATE of North Idaho.
  • Idaho Falls: Ride to Freeman Park at 12:30 p.m. Riders will meet at Rocky Mountain Middle School at 11 a.m. Hosted by the ICMS.
  • Orofino: Ride to the Clearwater County Courthouse at noon. Riders will meet at the IGA parking lot at 11 a.m. Hosted by the Clearwater Chapter ABATE of North Idaho.

As drivers are encouraged to be alert and look for motorcyclists, motorcycle riders are also reminded to wear protective gear, be prepared for the unexpected and make themselves visible to other motorists while on the road.

Col. Ralph Powell, ISP director, offers advice to all drivers, “Motorcycles are sometimes difficult to see in traffic, so we encourage all drivers to look twice before turning, pulling out, or changing lanes. This simple behavior is something everybody can do to help reduce the number of crashes, and that means more riders coming home to their families at the end of the day.”

ITD is partnering with the Idaho STAR program, ICMS, the Idaho State Police, and local law enforcement agencies in recognition of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May to remind everyone to be extra alert and cautious when driving or riding to help keep everyone safe on Idaho highways.

“In motorcycle crashes that involve another vehicle, most drivers did not see the motorcycle, until it’s too late,” said Josephine O’Connor, ITD’s motorcycle safety program coordinator.  “This almost always leads to tragic consequences for the motorcycle rider, because they are exposed to a much greater risk of fatal or serious injury.”

Click here for a sound bite from ITD's Josephine O'Connor.

Click here for a sound bite from ISP Col. Ralph Powell.

Click here for a sound bite from Lane Triplett (Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety).

Published 5-3-13