(COLUMBUS) – Preliminary data from the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) shows that 2010 has been deadlier than at this time last year on Ohio’s roadways. ODPS wants to remind everyone using the roads that they can play a role in reversing these numbers.
ODPS’ Ohio Traffic Safety Office (OTSO) has been closely monitoring motorcycle fatalities for several years after seeing a nearly 35 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities between 2006 and 2008. This trend started down the right path in 2009 with a reduction of 52 motorcycle fatalities from 2008; however, so far this year, Ohio has witnessed 88 motorcycle fatalities, up from 82 at this time last year – a seven percent increase.
“It is important that both motorcyclists and motorists pay attention to one another while on the road,” said Thomas J. Stickrath, ODPS Director. “We are watching fatalities very closely and it is crucial that we continue to educate everyone that riding and driving ALERT will save lives.”
Motorcycle Ohio (MO), an office within the OTSO, gathered with partners in April to kick off the Ride SMART motorcycle safety campaign, which works to address all aspects of motorcycle safety including: Ride Sober. Ride Motorcycle Endorsed. Ride Alert. Use the Right Gear. Ride Trained. Ride SMART. This year, the focus is on Ride ALERT, which reminds motorcyclists to:
· Be ALERT to motorcycle’s capabilities and condition: Tires and Wheels, Controls, Lights and Electrics, Oils and Other Fluids, Chassis and Chain, and Stands. (TCLOCS).
· Be ALERT to weather and road conditions.
· Be ALERT during group riding; arrive prepared, ride in formation, be aware of intersections, interstates and freeways, passing, riders’ skills, riders’ motorcycles, distance between motorcycles.
· Be ALERT to motorists; remember to search, evaluate and execute.
· Be ALERT to your condition (fatigue, medicated, emotional, etc.).
· Be ALERT while riding at night (animals, headlights, etc.)
Motorists also need to do their part by watching for motorcycles and sharing the road.