Warmer weather is here and a lot more motorcycles and bicycles are hitting the road.
With May being Motorcycle and Bicycle Awareness Month, we're reminding drivers, motorcycle riders and cyclists to share the road and look out for one another.
WPD will have extra officers on patrol this month looking for drivers, motorcycle riders and cyclists breaking the rules of the road and increasing the risk of crashes. Some of those violations include failing to yield, speeding, improper turning, riding a bike on the wrong side of the road or not following stops signs or signals.
Here are some safety tips to keep in mind before heading out:
- Check your mirrors and blind spots. Make sure rear and side-view mirrors are adjusted properly
- Use your signal when changing lanes. If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, make sure the motorcycle is turning before proceeding
- Slow down behind motorcycles/bicycles and keep your distance
- Never share a lane with a motorcycle
- Be aware of motorcycles lane splitting, which is legal
- Always look twice are intersections and allow enough space for a motorcycle/bicycle to clear the roadway before making a turn
- Always wear a helmet, bright colors, and protective gear
- Use your turn signal at every lane change or turn
- Turn lights on even during the day
- Keep your distance
- Consider the width of lanes, roadways and weather conditions when lane splitting
- Avoid lane splitting next to larger vehicles like big rigs, buses, and motorhomes.
- It’s more dangerous to split lanes at higher speeds. It is safer to split between the far-left lanes
- Go with the flow of traffic and let faster traffic pass
- Make yourself visible and wear brightly colored clothing
- Use lights from dusk to dawn (front white light and rear red flashing light or reflectors)
- Always wear a helmet and use hand signals when turning or stopping
- Avoid distractions like using a cellphone
Funding for the bicycle safety enforcement is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In 2017, nearly 600 people were killed in motorcycle crashes statewide- that’s almost a 17 percent increase from 2015.
We always encourage motorcycle riders, new and experienced, to enroll in the California Highway Patrol’s motorcycle training course. For more information, visit californiamotorcyclist.com