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TxDOT kicks off National Motorcycle Safety and Bicycle Awareness Month to save lives, prevent crashes

By: Karen Threlkeld

SAN ANGELO – A press event was held at the Texas Department of Transportation district office in San Angelo on Monday, May 6 to announce May as both Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and Bicycle Safety Month. Community partners who joined TxDOT at the event where Brian Bylsma- Blue Knights San Angelo Texas XXXV; Sgt. Justin Baker- Texas Department of Public Safety; Jerry Middleton- San Angelo Bike Association; Jon James- city of San Angelo; Sgt. Cade Solsberry - San Angelo Police Department Motorcycle Unit and Mark E. Jones, P.E. – TxDOT San Angelo District Engineer.

As spring weather draws more motorcyclists onto roadways the risk of fatalities increases. Last year 417 motorcyclists died on Texas roadways, an average of more than one fatality a day. It’s a number the Texas Department of Transportation is working to reduce by asking motorists to be extra vigilant. In 2018, the number of motorcycle crashes in the city of San Angelo totaled 27. These crashes resulted in five motorcyclists being seriously injured. In our 15- county district, there were 65 crashes, 16 serious injuries and one motorcyclist death.

TxDOT launched “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” – a campaign supporting National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May. “Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles” urges drivers to be extra cautious, since motorcyclists are more difficult to see while on the road and are less protected than other motorists.

TxDOT is urging motorists to:

• Look twice for motorcycles, especially at intersections.

• Always assume motorcycles are closer than they appear to be and avoid turning in front of an oncoming motorcycle.

• Use turn signals and check blind spots before changing lanes.

• Always maintain a safe following distance.

• Give motorcyclists a full lane, especially when passing.

• Obey posted speed limits.

As for bicycle safety, Jerry Middleton, with the San Angelo Bicycle Association, covered the topics of proper bicycle maintenance, safety, and riding with the proper attire. This includes wearing bright colors, so the rider is visible, always wearing a helmet, and wearing proper shoes. City of San Angelo representative Jon James talked about the city’s bicycle plan and how they are incorporating more bike lanes into new construction projects.

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