CHP Spotlights Motorcycle Safety Month, Rider Training

Published on May 02, 2016 10:42 AM
CHP Spotlights Motorcycle Safety Month, Rider Training

Motorcyles and riding through the California hills in spring go together. Anyone traveling in California must remain especially alert to avoid collisions with riders.

So states the Calfironia Highway Patrol as part of Motorcycle Safety Month, an annual driver awareness program sponsored with the California Office of Traffic Safety..

“Drivers must be aware that motorcycles may be closer than they seem and motorcyclists must always ride defensively.” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.  "Vehicle drivers and motorcyclists share responsibility for creating a safe roadway environment,” 

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, the state has more than 860,000 registered motorcycles and 1.4 million licensed riders. 

 “California is the best state for motorcycling, for both recreation and commuting,” said Rhonda Craft, director of OTS.  “To make it the safest state for motorcycling, both riders and drivers need to share the road with awareness and caution for all users.”

Most collisions occur when a vehicle driver fails to see a motorcyclist and turns left in front of the rider, the CHP stated.  Motorcyclists can help protect themselves by always using turn signals and avoiding riding in a vehicle’s blind spot.  

Estimates from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System show the number of collisions involving motorcycles increased in 2014, up more than 4 percent from 2013.  The number of people killed in motorcycle-involved collisions increased by nearly 11 percent, from 475 killed in 2013 to 527 killed in 2014.  

Motorcycle riders are encouraged to enroll in the California Motorcyclist Safety Program.  Initiated in 1987, the program has graduated its more than one million students.  CMSP offers courses for both the novice and experienced rider.  

“Through training and continued education, the CMSP’s goal is to make motorcycling safer and more enjoyable while helping to keep motorcyclists from becoming a statistic,” Commissioner Farrow said.