GSP Reminds Motorists to Watch for Motorcycles

May 26, 2010

(ATLANTA) - May is motorcycle safety month across the country and the Georgia State Patrol is calling on all motorists to exercise caution while driving to avoid collisions with motorcycles.  Troopers also remind motorcycle operators to take extra precautions to stay safe while traveling.

   Major Mark McDonough, Commanding Officer of the Georgia State Patrol, said crashes involving motorcycles last year claimed the lives of 117 people, a 30 percent decrease from the 167 recorded during 2008.  He attributed the decline to increased enforcement and education efforts. 

   He said the Georgia State Patrol is continuing Operation Full Throttle this year to take the message of motorcycle safety to civic organizations around the state.  "So far, Safety Education Troopers have presented the Full Throttle program to more than 5,000 people in Georgia," Major McDonough noted.  "The program not only highlights the importance of drivers watching for motorcycles but motorcycle operators conducting themselves responsibly while they travel."

   Working in partnership with the education outreach, Georgia State Troopers and local law enforcement agencies periodically conduct motorcycle round-ups that target unsafe motorcycle operators.  "We have seen motorcycle speeds well into the 100-plus range on our interstates during each joint enforcement campaign," he said.  Major McDonough said the specialized enforcement would continue this summer.

   The Georgia State Patrol reminds passenger vehicle drivers to remember that a motorcycle is harder to see and the riding pattern is different from a car or truck.  "Road debris which may not pose a hazard to cars can be deadly to a motorcycle operator.  Drivers should be alert to a motorcycle that is forced to take an evasive action," he said.  Driver should also keep a close check for oncoming motorcycles while turning left and while traveling around large vehicles.  Don't follow a motorcycle too closely.

   Major McDonough said motorcycle operators should ride fully aware and be prepared should a vehicle make an unexpected driving maneuver into their path.  Operators should also ride trained and possess the proper class license before taking to the roads.  "By all means, do not operate a motorcycle if you are impaired," he emphasized. 


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