This weekend thousands of motorcyclists are anticipated to visit OceanCity, as the 2nd Annual Bikes to the Beach Spring Rally is scheduled to begin on Thursday, April 26. In correlation with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which begins May 1, the Ocean City Police Department is reminding motorists and motorcyclists to “share the road” with each other and be extra alert to keep motorcyclists safe.
Motorcycles are vehicles with the same rights and privileges as any motor vehicle on the roadway. Motorists and bicyclists should perform visual checks for motorcyclists by checking mirrors and blind spots before they enter or exit a lane of traffic, and at intersections. In addition, pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.
“As summer nears and special events such as Bikes to the Beach are held, more and more motorcyclists will be hitting the roads inOceanCity,” said Ocean City Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. “A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot. Every driver needs to aggressively look for them before changing lanes or merging with traffic.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. “Motorcyclists have responsibilities too,” continued Chief DiPino. “Motorcyclists should obey all traffic rules, be alert to drivers and pedestrians, never ride while impaired or distracted and always wear a helmet.”
In order to help keep motorcyclists safe inOceanCity, the Ocean City Police Department would like to offer the following tips:
- Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of any other motor vehicle.
- Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width—never try to share a lane.
- Perform a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
- Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
- Don’t be fooled by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before you proceed.
- Allow more following distance – three or four seconds – when behind a motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
- Never tailgate. In dry conditions, motorcycles can stop more quickly than cars.
- Never drive while distracted.
In addition, motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
- Avoiding riding in poor weather conditions.
- Wearing brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet.
- Using turn signals for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one will see it.
- Combining hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention to themselves.
- Using reflective tape and stickers to increase visibility.
- Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other drivers.
- Never driving while impaired or distracted.
In hopes of a safe and successful “Bikes to the Beach” event and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Ocean City Police Department reminds all drivers and motorcyclists to help share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”