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RIDOT Revs Up Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month


Motorcycle Crash Reconstruction and Crash Survivor' Tale Highlight Event

The motorcycle range at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI) Knight Campus in Warwick was the setting this afternoon for an event to raise awareness of motorcycle safety issues for both motorists and motorcyclists. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) welcomed law enforcement professionals and motorcycling enthusiasts to the event in observance of Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month, which takes place each year in May.

A demonstration of crash reconstruction at a simulated motorcycle crash was given at the event. The event also served to introduce someone who was in a real crash. Dana Garlock, a 2007 motorcycle crash survivor, was injured when a motorist made a left turn into his right of way and he had nowhere else to go but straight into the oncoming car.

“Dana Garlock is one of the lucky ones,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “Last year, we lost 13 motorcyclists on our State roadway system. Now that the weather is getting warmer, motorists need to adjust to driving with motorcycles again. At the same time, motorcyclists need to become acclimated to driving in traffic again. Both need to share the road safely and responsibly.”

In 2006, there were approximately 500 motorcycle crashes on Rhode Island roadways. To address this problem, RIDOT has developed a Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program. This is composed of three distinct components: awareness, education and enforcement. Awareness focuses on re-educating the public on who the biker is. Motorcycle riders are not the renegade biker gangs of the past. They are everyone and everywhere. Education includes reminding motorcycle riders to be alert, wear the appropriate safety gear and ride with care. Education also encourages motorcyclists to take advantage of motorcycle safety training classes offered through CCRI.

Enforcement is the third component of RIDOT’s Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Program, yet it also goes hand and hand with education. RIDOT continues to partner with the law enforcement community to stress enforcement as a vital component of any successful highway safety campaign, including motorcycle safety, and to educate law enforcement officers. To that cause, RIDOT helped fund the motorcycle crash reconstruction class being held this week in Cranston. Understanding crash dynamics can lead to prevention of future crashes, or the prosecution of the driver/rider responsible, if warranted.


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Department or agency: Department of Transportation