IRVINE, Calif. – Due to the overwhelming positive response of the California Highway Patrol, Office of Motorcycle Safety and CalTrans’ efforts last February, California drivers will once again be reminded to “SHARE THE ROAD, LOOK TWICE FOR MOTORCYCLES,” in coordination with the start of Motorcycle Awareness Month happening this May. The message, which will be posted on approximately 700 changeable message signs, commonly known as “Amber Alert” signs, will go up in lights during commute hours beginning today and run through May 11.
It was estimated that during the first posting of the signs in February, millions of drivers and riders saw and read the signs. The same impact is expected this week to highlight the importance of looking out for motorcyclists.
“Once again, we would like to thank the CHP, the Office of Traffic Safety and CalTrans for using this great medium to get across the message of being aware of others in order to enjoy the safest highways possible throughout the state,” said Robert Gladden, director of program administration for the MSF. “Motorcyclists throughout California should benefit from drivers being a little more conscious of their actions, which we believe will result in saving lives, of both riders and drivers alike.”
It’s more important than ever for motorcyclists to be seen by other roadway users. Since 2003, the number of motorcycles owned and used in America grew 19 percent to approximately 10.4 million, according to the 2008 Motorcycle Industry Council Owner Survey. Continuing a trend, that was a 58 percent increase since 1998, estimated then at 6.6 million. Drivers are also encouraged to visit www.forcardrivers.com to find more helpful hints on how to safely share the road with two-wheelers.
An estimated 25 million people swung a leg over a bike and rode in 2008, the survey said. That’s a 7 percent increase, from 2003, in the number of Americans who ride but may or may not own motorcycles. Motorcycling for Americans has primarily been about recreation and the pure joy of riding. But among the reasons given for motorcycling, transportation climbed to second place in the survey, now ahead of short-distance touring.
Along with encouraging all motorists to look out for motorcyclists, the MSF strongly suggests that riders wear brightly colored, or contrasting, helmets and upper-torso riding gear so that they are more conspicuous in traffic. Riders can find more safety tips and access online training modules by visiting MSF’s website at www.msf-usa.org.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes rider safety through rider training systems, operator licensing tests and public information programs. The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military, and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling. Standards established by the MSF have been internationally recognized since 1973.
The MSF is a not-for-profit organization sponsored by BMW, BRP, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, Piaggio, Suzuki, Triumph, Victory, and Yamaha. For RiderCourseSM locations, call (800) 446-9227 or visit www.msf-usa.org.