Alaska DOT&PF Recognizes Motorcycle and Motor Scooter Awareness Month
(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Alaska Statute 44.12.118 designates the month of May as Motorcycle and Motor Scooter Awareness month. During this time – and during the rest of the year – the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (ADOT&PF) would like to remind motorists and other road users to: Help share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, by safely “sharing the road.”
“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads,” said Tammy Kramer of the ADOT&PF Alaska Highway Safety Office. “And with that in mind, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers of all vehicles, including SUVs, passenger cars and trucks, need to be extra attentive and make sure they ‘share the road.’ A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a car or truck’s blind spot. Every driver needs to aggressively look for them before changing lanes or merging with traffic.”
Changing the driving habits of motorists and motorcyclists alike will help decrease the numbers of motorcyclists killed and injured in crashes. Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure that they are visible to motorists, and that they follow the rules of the road. All road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.
Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections. Pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.
“Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too,” said Kramer. “They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear protective gear.”
Research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicates that a motorcyclist is more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. Per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.
The Alaska Highway Safety Office offers tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.
To increase safety, motorcyclists should:
The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 255 airports, 11 ferries serving 35 communities, 5,619 miles of highway and 720 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”
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