The approach of the summer season that brings along warmer weather, also means a lot more motorcyclists and bicyclists on the streets across California.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, as well as National Bicycle Safety Month, therefore the Inglewood Police Department takes this opportunity to remind drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists to share the road safely and look out for one another, not just for the month of May, but for every month of the year.
“Motorcycle riders are out in the open and are harder to see,” Inglewood Police Department Chief Mark Fronterotta said. “Drivers and riders should take extra precautions by keeping their distance and watching their speed.”
This month, the Inglewood Police Department will step up enforcement specifically geared toward stopping drivers and motorcycle riders for traffic violations that increase the risk of crashes, with additional officers deployed on May 13, 16, 17, and 25, and 30.
With nearly 900,000 registered motorcycles in the state, Californians enjoy a hobby that can be challenging and dangerous. It also doesn’t have the same protections as drivers in the event of a crash. In 2017, 576 people were killed in motorcycle crashes statewide, a nearly 17 percent increase from 2015.
Fronterotta said. “The road belongs to everyone and we all share responsibility in making sure we all get where we are going safely.”
Bicycle riders must follow the same rules of the road as drivers, including stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians, and not riding distracted or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. California law requires drivers to allow at least three feet of space when passing a bicycle.
“With warmer weather, there will be more people out on bikes, so it is important that drivers anticipate more bike riders and exercise caution around them,” Fronterotta added.
The Inglewood Police Department suggests to follow these tips for drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists to ensure the safety of everyone using roadways:
Check your mirrors and blind spots, and look over your shoulders before making a turn at an intersection, especially if crossing into a designated bike lane. Make sure your vehicle’s rear and side view mirrors are adjusted properly.
Use extra caution backing up or leaving a parking space.
Use your signal for changing lanes. If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, make sure the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
Slow down behind motorcycles and keep your distance.
Never share a lane with a motorcycle.
Be aware of motorcycles lane splitting, which is legal. Give riders enough room to pass.
Always look twice at intersections and allow enough space for a motorcycle to clear the roadway before making a turn.
Always wear a helmet, bright colors, and protection 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, roadway, and weather conditions when lane splitting.
Avoid lane splitting next to larger vehicles such as big rigs, buses, and motor homes.
It is 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 light 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.
Drivers, bicyclists, and motorcyclists should avoid distractions like using their cell phone.
For more information, and how to enroll in the California Highway Patrol’s motorcycle training course (encouraged by the Inglewood Police Department), visit www.california motorcyclist.com.