RCMP promote motorcycle awareness

The Kelowna RCMP wants you to remember that with the arrival of spring, driving habits change as many people ditch their car or truck to hit the road on their motorcycle.

The RCMP urge you to be aware of the fact that there will be a lot more motorcycles on the roads and that spring can be one of the most dangerous times to be a Motorcyclist.

Until all of the roadways have been swept, there is sand and gravel to deal with.

The biggest safety concern, for any motorcyclist however, is being seen by motorists who haven't been used to seeing motorcycles on the roads for several months.

It is especially important to think ahead and take extra time to check side mirrors, shoulder check, and use signals when changing lanes or making turns.

When making left turns across oncoming lanes, make double sure you've looked far down the oncoming lane for approaching vehicles before you cross it. This goes for motorcyclists as well as other drivers.

If you ride a motorcycle, it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to be visible.  Always wear a highly visible vest over your riding suit. You can get breathable mesh ones to help keep you cool on hot days.

For a motorcyclist, your trip must start long before you get on your bike. Plan your departure so you won't be in a rush, as many motorcycle riders have sped to their own demise because they didn't give themselves enough time to get where they wanted to go.

Ride like everyone is out to get you and don't assume anything.

In a car vs motorcycle collision, the motorcycle always loses, so make sure motorists know what you are planning to do. Using signal lights and having bright brake and headlights helps immensely, so does eye contact.

Don't just use your head, protect it by wearing an approved helmet. All motorcycle riders and passengers must wear a motorcycle safety helmet in accordance with the Motor Vehicle Act.

And size does matter. The more your head's covered by a helmet, the more it will be protected. The inverse is true as well.

Accident reports show that one of the greatest contributors to head injury, in a collision on a motorcycle, is the size of the helmet or lack thereof.

The Kelowna RCMP, along with Central Okanagan Traffic Services will be working hard, using education and enforcement, to ensure that our roadways are as safe as possible for all motorists whether they be on two wheels or more.

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