Police offers safety tips for motorcyclists

As warm weather returns, you may be anxious to take your motorcycle out of hibernation. But York Regional Police remind riders to use extra caution, especially on their few rides of the season.

“Motorcyclists are reminded that your riding skills have diminished over the winter months,” police say in a statement. “Use extra caution always but especially on your first few rides and be mindful that sand, salt and debris left over from winter may still be on our roadways.”

That’s among the safety tips police shared at a motorcycle safety event on April 25 at Richmond Green Sports Centre, where its team or motorcycle operators completed its yearly requalification. They also remind motorcyclists and their passengers to wear an approved safety helmet. Other tips:

• Protective wear, including glasses, can prevent or reduce the severity of injuries in a collision.
• Wearing reflective materials will help keep you visible at all times, including inclement weather or during times of low light and low visibility.

Police also urge other drivers to check blind spots twice for motorcycles before making turns or lane changes. Because motorcycles often reduce their speed by down shifting, you may not have the visual warning of a brake light when a motorcycle is slowing down.

“Remember, a motorcycle is a vehicle too,” police say in the statement. “Motorcyclists have the right to travel in a designated lane and all vehicles must share the roadway. In the event of a collision, the driver of a motorcycle does not have the same level of protection as the drivers of other types of vehicles. We all need to be mindful of their safety.”

More than one-third of motorcycle collisions occur at intersections. Approach slowly, ensure you look in all directions and proceed with caution. This caution applies to both motorist and motorcyclist alike. Go-peds, miniature motorcycle – often referred to as ‘pocket bikes’ – and other off-road vehicles are not street legal and must not be driven on the road, police remind.

Police invite you to contact the Road Safety Unit at 1-866-876-5423, ext.7703 and its tumblr page at http://officialyrp.tumblr.com/tagged/two-wheels-one-life for more motorcycle safety tips.

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