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Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month: LAPD reminds drivers, bikers to share the road

May 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the LAPD is joining forces with other organizations to get the message out to drivers and bikers to share the road.

The goal of the campaign is to lower the number of crashes involving motorcycles. In 2010, 361 bikers died and nearly 11,000 were injured in California.

"It comes down to training and proficiency, being able to practice with what you're riding. Motorcycles and technology have improved over the years, but you need to be familiar with your equipment," said LAPD Officer Jeremy Yamamoto.

Authorities said one of the biggest safety tips for motorcyclists is knowing their bike's capabilities, specifically its braking capability during a panic situation.

Also, the most dangerous spot on the road for motorcyclists isn't the freeway, but at intersections to make a left hand turn. This is usually because drivers waiting to turn don't see motorcyclists due to unintentional blindness, according to LAPD Officer Troy Williams.

"We might be looking right at a motorcyclist, but because my mind is saying, 'I'm looking for the driver of a car,' I won't see it," he said.

The other aspect of the campaign involves bicycle awareness. The LAPD says they are seeing bikes as a mode of transportation becoming more common. As a result, they are also seeing more accidents involving bike riders. They say the best thing to do to avoid an accident is to ride with the flow of traffic, not against it, to be seen by other drivers.

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