Motorcyclists and vehicle drivers can both take precautions to keep riders safe

ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero Police Department (APD) announces that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and an opportunity to remind drivers to check twice for motorcycles.

“It’s important for drivers to understand motorcycle rider behaviors and learn how to drive safely around riders,” Lieutenant Robert Molle said. “Motorcycle riders are more vulnerable and have much less protections as those in vehicles do, which is why it is critical for drivers to be mindful of those on two wheels.”

During May’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Atascadero Police Department will be conducting additional enforcement activities with an emphasis on vehicle code violations associated with collisions involving motorcycles. Motorcycle riders are 28 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of a vehicle. In 2019, there were 474 motorcycle deaths on California roads. To help protect you and your family, keep the following tips in mind while driving or riding:

Getting through this together, Atascadero

Drivers

· Always check twice for motorcycles, looking at all mirrors and blind spots.

· Motorcycle riders have the same rights to the road as other vehicles. Allow motorcycles to always use the full width of a lane.

· Never follow a motorcycle too closely. Always keep a safe distance.

· If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful. The rider may have forgotten to turn the signal off. Be sure that the rider is turning before proceeding.

Motorcyclists

· Always wear a DOT compliant helmet. Learn how to identify a safe helmet that fits on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website.

· Wear appropriate gear like leather clothing, boots with nonskid soles and gloves. Consider adding reflective tape to your clothing to make it easier for other drivers to see you.

· Ride defensively. Do not assume a driver can see you. Try staying out of a driver’s blind spot.

· Always keep your lights on, even during the day.

· Signal well in advance before changing lanes and watch for turning vehicles.

Lastly, both drivers and riders should never drive/ride under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information on motorcycle safety, feel free to contact Lt. Robert Molle at (805) 461-5051.