Rallies to support motorcycle-car safety planned Saturday

Motorcycle rallies in support of greater motorist awareness of motorcycle and scooter riders are planned across Idaho for Saturday (May 7).

The rallies coincide with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month so ITD is partnering with Idaho STAR Program, Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety, the Idaho Army National Guard and the Idaho State Police to encourage drivers to "Share the Road."

Throughout May, motorists will be reminded to be extra alert and cautious when driving to help keep motorcycle and scooter riders safe on Idaho highways.

"This year's motorcycle season has already opened in tragedy," said Cecilia Awusie, with ITD's Office of Highway Safety. On April 22, a rider died from injuries sustained in a collision with a minivan in Boise.

"Lives can be saved if all of us make smart and safe driving choices on our highways," Awusie said.  Motorist awareness and motorcycle safety messages are being promoted statewide.

A pre-ride rally begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Sandy Point Park in Boise, followed by an escorted motorcycle ride to the Idaho Capitol at 1 p.m.  The Christian Motorcycle Association will host a barbeque following the motorcycle rally at Municipal Park.  For more information about the Boise ride, call Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety member Justin (208) 863-4280 or Lane at (208) 336-0052.

That same day, a pre-ride rally in Idaho Falls will begin at 10 a.m. at Rocky Mountain Middle School, followed by a parade ride to Freeman Park at 11:30 a.m.  A post-ride barbeque will be held at Freeman Park.  For more information about the Idaho Falls ride call Cinda at (208) 529-5477.

A northern Idaho pre-ride rally sponsored by American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) takes place also on May 7, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse in Coeur d'Alene. A motorcycle parade follows at 11 a.m. and will travel down Sherman Avenue.  For more information, contact Dave at (208) 765-3527 or Norman at (208) 582-2262.

Twenty-eight motorcycle fatalities occurred in Idaho last year - a slight decrease from 34 in 2009. The top five contributing circumstances for motorcycle crashes are failing to yield, inattention, improper turn, following too closely, and alcohol or drug impairment.

"Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than passenger vehicle drivers in the event of a crash.  They are often hidden in a motorist's blind spot," Awusie explained. "Too often a driver will say, 'I just didn't see him.'"

For more information about motorcycle safety or other ITD Toward Zero Deaths highway safety initiatives, please contact the ITD Highway Safety Office at (208) 334-8100.

Published 5-6-2011