May is motorcycle safety month in Alberta

Heads-up for motorcycle safety

The RCMP are reminding Albertans that May is Motorcycle Safety Month, and are providing some practical tips for staying safe on your two-wheeler.

According to RCMP Traffic Services spokesperson Cst, Mike Hibbs, “Today marks the start of Motorcycle Safety Month in Alberta. As warm weather welcomes motorists across the province, it is important to work together to ensure driver and passenger safety. In keeping with our goal of keeping Albertans safe on roads and highways, the Alberta RCMP encourages motorcyclists to adopt safe driving behaviours that reduce the risk of collisions.

“Safe motorcycling begins long before hitting the pavement. By planning ahead, you can ride towards a safer future for you and everyone else on the road. Here are some safety tips for drivers and motorcycle riders:

“Wear a helmet. By wearing an approved motorcycle helmet, you are, according to the Alberta Ministry of Transportation, 37% less likely to sustain a fatal injury in a collision. If your helmet has been damaged, replace it with a new one. Used helmets could be broken in ways that can’t always be seen.

“Gear up! The right gear will protect you and keep you comfortable while you ride. Along with a helmet, riders should wear shatter-proof eye protection, a durable, bright coloured jacket, long pants, leather footwear that protects the ankles, full fingered, non-slip gloves and all weather proof riding clothes.

“Stay bright and in sight! Wearing high visibility safety gear in colours like orange, yellow and white instantly draws other motorists’ eyes to you. Remember, motorcycles are smaller than most vehicles. Staying out of blind spots on roadways and in parking lots will help keep other vehicles aware of your presence.

“Showing off does not pay off – but driving defensively does. Never underestimate the speed of your motorcycle. Its size makes speed deceptive. Driving defensively means being aware of your surroundings, sharing the road, changing lanes with extreme caution.

“Practice makes perfect. Riders should practice on safe roads away from high traffic areas and highways to make sure they are comfortable and confident in their skills on the road.

“The Alberta RCMP is launching a four-month summer vehicle safety campaign to promote general traffic safety tips for motorcyclists, ATV riders and boaters as well as educate and raise awareness of the dangers of distracted and impaired driving. Police remind the public to stay engaged and share these messages with family, loved ones and friends using the hashtag #RCMPSummerSafety. “

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

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