It is no coincidence that May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Pennsylvania. This is often the first full month of the year when weather is pleasant enough for seasonal riders to join year-round bikers on state roads. The more motorcycles there are in traffic, the greater the likelihood of
and catastrophic injuries.
Like school buses, motorcycles often disappear from Pennsylvania streets and highways for months at a time. Passenger car and truck drivers grow accustomed to traffic without motorcycles and forget that bikes are legitimate, street-legal vehicles. Riding skills also decline a bit for motorcyclists who haven't used motorcycles in several months.
The statewide motorcycle fatality rate inched up between 2001 and 2012, from 199 to 210 deaths. The motorcycle accident rate took a significant leap during the same period. In 2011, there were over 3,600 motorcycle-related accidents. The crash total neared 4,000 last year.
According to the state Department of Transportation, some of the reason has to do with volume. There were less than half the motorcycle registrations in Pennsylvania a decade ago than there are now.
More than 854,000 licenses and over 409,000 registrations were recorded by PennDOT in 2011. Licenses were up 13 percent. Registrations increased 54 percent.
A new state law was enacted last year that requires young permit holders to pass a state-sponsored safety course. The 15-hour Basic Rider Course for motorcyclists under 18 includes five hours of classroom study and 10 hours of riding instruction. Permits become licenses when riders accumulate 65 hours of motorcycle training. Similar and advanced courses are also offered for adults.
Awareness and law enforcement campaigns are positive measures to help motorcyclists and drivers of other vehicles coexist peacefully. Liability attorneys and civil juries help make sure drivers pay for ignoring safety messages that help prevent motorcycle injuries and deaths. Victims and families have the right to be compensated for someone else's negligence.
Source: republicanherald.com, "
Corbett proclaims Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
" Mark Gilger, Jr., May. 11, 2013