Campaign to Share the Road Safely with Motorcycles Kicks Off
Look twice for motorcycles before entering the roadway or turning left, especially at intersections.
COLLEGE STATION, TX. — Texas has over 431,000 registered motorcycles and more than its share of motorcycle crashes. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) preliminary crash data, 526 riders died last year on Texas public roads. “Because there are a lot more motorcycles out there, we’re seeing more motorcycle crashes,” says Associate Research Scientist Patricia Turner with the Center for Transportation Safety at the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). “Motorcycles can easily be overlooked and a crash often results in an injury or even death,” says Turner.
For the past three years TTI has partnered with the TxDOT and the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) to develop educational materials and messages for both drivers and riders to help improve the safety for motorcyclists and reduce the number of motorcycle crashes and injuries.
Because of its smaller size, drivers often don’t see or misjudge the distance and speed of a motorcycle.
In conjunction with the 18th International Ride to Work Day in June, TTI launched the Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign message to remind drivers to be more aware of motorcycles on the roadways as they travel and to share the road safely.
The message speaks straight to the issue as 50 percent of all fatal crashes involve a motorcycle and another vehicle. More often the vehicle turns left in front of the motorcycle or hits the motorcycle while the rider is passing or overtaking the car. “I never saw the rider,” is one of the most common responses the driver says after they’ve struck a motorcyclist. “We want all drivers to look for motorcycles every time they’re on the road and pay particular attention when they’re turning left, especially at intersections,” Turner said.
Capital Metro transit bus displays new motorcycle safety campaign message in Austin, Texas.
The Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign message will reach residents via billboards, transit bus wraps and radio and television public service announcements (PSAs). The message also incorporates the “Share the Road” decal displayed on TxDOT roadway signs across the state.
“We want to reach as many people as we can,” explains TxDOT Motorcycle Program Manager, Gonzalo Ponce. “Registered motorcycles are at an all-time high in Texas. A motorcycle may not have been there when you looked before.”