DHSMV: May Is Motorcycle & Bicycle Safety Awareness Month


Florida - The month of May is the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles' (DHSMV) Motorcycle and Bicycle Safety Awareness Month where they are reminding drivers to share the road.

“We are almost never on the road alone- we share it with vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, bicycles and pedestrians,” says Terry L. Rhodes, DHSMV Executive Director. “Learn your roles and responsibilities on the road and look out for one another to ensure everyone can Arrive Alive.”

Last year in Florida, there were:

  • 10,297 motorcycle crashes
  • 6,580 bicycle crashes
  • 46 motorcycle/bicycle crashes per day
  • 501 motorcycle crash deaths
  • 133 bicycle crash deaths

30% of all motorcycle crashes involve motorcyclists under 30 and 82% are of them are male. Bicyclists ages 15 to 19 had the highest number of bicycle crashes and those ages 50 to 59 had the highest number of deaths, about a third of the total bicycle crash-related deaths.

“The Florida Highway Patrol is asking both motorists and motorcyclist to use caution and Share the Road,” says Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Safety is FHP’s number one priority and by staying alert, drivers and riders can help create a safer road environment for everyone.”

Some important reminders for drivers from the DHSMV are to:

  • Never share a lane with a motorcycle
  • Never follow motorcycles too closely
  • Always have at least a 4-second buffer zone between you and a motorcycle
  • Always give motorcycles more space during bad weather/road conditions

“To best equip Florida’s motorcycle operators for safe, responsible motorcycling, the DHSMV administers the Florida Rider Training Program,” says Robert Kynoch, Director of Motorist Services. “Through this statewide program, certified course providers educate motorcycle operators on the fundamentals necessary to ride safely and avoid crashes while sharing the road in Florida.”

“Sharing the road responsibly is critical, especially considering the number of police officers who work on bicycles and motorcycles to keep our residents safe,” says Coconut Creek Police Chief Butch Arenal, President of the Florida Police Chiefs Association. “Stay alert, watch for these vehicles and help us keep Florida’s roads and highways safer for all users.”

“Two-wheeled vehicles are some of the most vulnerable on the road, and that means we must be extra vigilant to ensure their safety,” says Ken Armstrong, President and CEO of the Florida Trucking Association. “Knowing the proper way to share the road with bicycles, motorcycles and commercial vehicles needs to be a priority for every motorist on the road."

This awareness month was created by the partnership between the DHSMV, Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Trucking Association and the Florida Sheriffs Association.

The President of the Florida Sheriff's Association, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings, is a proud sponsor especially because Orange County Deputy First Class Norman Lewis was killed in a crash on his motorcycle when trying to reach the scene of the murder of Orlando Police Sergeant Debra Clayton.

For more information on safety, refer to the Florida Driver License Handbook or go to the DHSMV's website.

Photo courtesy of Tonktiti and Shutterstock.com.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.