Tag Archives: Greene County Safe Communities

Greene County Safe Communities Promotes “Sharing the Road” During Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Motorcyclist fatalities increased slightly in 2010 to 4,502, accounting for 14% of total fatalities for the year. This increase in motorcycle fatalities for the year resumes the unfortunate overall increasing trend over the last 13 years, an upward trend that saw only a single one-year decline in 2009, when 4,462 motorcyclists were killed. However, the greatest decrease in the estimated number of injured people is among motorcyclists, with an 8.9% decrease.

In response to this increase, Greene County Safe Communities announced today that it is joining with other federal, state and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May as “Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.” During this time – and during the rest of the year – motorists and other road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles, and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe. Changing the driving habits of motorists and motorcyclists alike will help decrease the numbers of motorcyclist killed and injured in crashes. Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure that they are visible to motorists, and that they follow the rules of the road. All road users are reminded to never drive, ride, walk or bicycle while distracted.

“As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads,” said Laurie Fox, Safe Communities Coordinator. “And with that in mind, pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers of all vehicles, including SUVs, passenger cars and trucks, need to be extra attentive and make sure they ‘share the road.’ A motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads, often hidden in a car or truck’s blind spot. Every driver needs to aggressively look for them before changing lanes or merging with traffic.”

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. Pedestrians should also get into the habit of scanning for motorcyclists who might be hidden by other traffic.

Ms. Fox reminds all road users that, “Motorcyclists have responsibilities, too. They should obey traffic rules, be alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet and other protective gear.”

Ms. Fox said that a motorcyclist is much more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in the event of a crash. She said that research from DOT’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car occupants to die in traffic crashes.

Ms. Fox offered tips for drivers to help keep motorcyclists safe on our roadways.

• 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.

• Visually check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots
before changing a lane of traffic.

• Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.

• Don’t be fooled by a motorcycle’s flashing turn signal – 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

• Never drive while distracted.

Ms. Fox also said 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 them-

• Using reflective tape and stickers to increase conspicuity;

• Positioning themselves in the lane where they will be most visible to other
drivers; and

• Never driving while impaired.

Our message to all drivers and motorcyclists is: Help to share in the responsibility of keeping all road users safe, and do your part by safely “sharing the road.”

For more information on motorcycle safety, please visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/Safety/Motorcycles. For information on Greene County Safe Communities, please call 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org.

Motorists Are Encouraged to Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time.

Safety should be everyone’s top priority and Laurie Fox, Greene County Safe Communities Coordinator, today reminded all Greene County residents that saving a life is a snap. Buckle Up America encourages everyone on the road to use seat belts and restraints and to use them properly.

“Seat belts are the most effective lifesaving feature in a vehicle,” said Ms. Fox. “However, they only work if you use them and use them correctly. It only takes a second to snap the buckle on a seat belt, but the benefits can last you a lifetime.”

Nearly one in five Americans still fail to buckle up regularly and too many children still don’t use their seat belts or child safety seats.

In 1998, the U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), developed a national initiative to increase seat belt use to 85% by the year 2000 and to 90% by 2005. The latest national seat belt use rate was 85% in 2010.

“You have too much to lose if you don’t buckle up”, said Ms. Fox. “Using a seat belt will halve your chances of being killed or badly injured in a serious crash, and using the proper age-appropriate car seat in a passenger car will reduce your infant’s chance of fatal injury by 71% and your toddler’s by 54%.”

According to research compiled by NHTSA, from 1975 through 2009 an estimated 9,310 children under age 5 were saved by child restraints (car seats or adult seat belts).

All States have laws requiring infants and toddlers to ride in car seats, but children still ride unprotected, and the consequences are frightening. According to NHTSA, fully 31% of passenger vehicle occupants under 5 who were fatally injured in crashes in 2009 were riding unrestrained.

“Let’s use Buckle Up America! Commit to wearing seat belts on every trip, ensuring that everyone who rides in our cars is buckled up and that all children 12 and younger ride in the back seat in properly installed restraints appropriate for their age and size,” Ms. Fox said. “Remember; never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of an air bag. Drivers and front-seat passengers should maintain at least a 10-inch distance between themselves and their air bags. While we cannot always avoid a crash, we can take the responsibility to do everything in our power to protect ourselves and our loved ones.” Buckle Up America, Every Trip. Every Time.

The public is invited to attend the Click It or Ticket Kick Off set for Tuesday, May 22nd at 9:30am at The Greene in Beavercreek near Mimi’s Café. Remarks at 9:30am on the Click It or Ticket National Mobilization campaign will be followed by free vehicle maintenance inspections and free child safety seat inspections from 10am – 2pm. Partners for this event include Greene County Safe Communities, AAA Miami Valley, The Greene, Safe Kids Greater Dayton, Dayton Children’s and Ohio State Highway Patrol.

For more information on the Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, please call 937-374-5669 or email lfox@gcchd.org. For more information on seat belt safety, visit http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.