Recently, Durham Region has had two unfortunate motorcycle fatalities. A 51-year-old male from Ajax and an 18-year-old female from Clarington succumbed to their injuries this past weekend. With the nice weather more motorcycles have been seen on the road and DRP wants to remind motorcyclists to make sure that bikes are road ready and all rules are obeyed.
Before you start your engines consider the below safety tips.
• Check the tires and wheels thoroughly to ensure the pressure is correct after the winter. Motorcycles are required to have two (front and rear) brakes. Mufflers should be in good condition so they do not make unnecessary noise or smoke. Like any vehicle, the engine oil and fuel levels should be checked before you ride your motorcycle.
• An approved, undamaged helmet should be worn at all times. This is a violation of the Highway Traffic Act, failure to do so can result in a fine. Riding gear should also be worn such as a jacket with shoulder and elbow padding, leather gloves, leather pants and boots to protect you in case of a collision.
• Be aware, not all motorists may see you so approach intersections with caution. Check over your shoulder and leave space between your bike and other vehicles. Wearing bright coloured clothing can help motorists see you better. Headlights and rear lights must always be on. Also, ensure turn signals and brake lights work properly, if not you must use hand signals.
• Alcohol should be avoided when operating a motorcycle. It can impair your judgment and affect your driving, which can result in a collision.
• Over half of motorcycle accidents are caused by speeding. Obey the speed limit, watch the signs and road conditions carefully.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, in 2005, the number of fatalities involving motorcyclists increased by 27, from 47 in 2004 to 74 in 2005. The number of injuries among motorcyclists also rose from 1,404 in 2004 to 1,568 in 2005.
DRPS wants motorcyclists to be cautious and safe while driving to avoid serious collisions and fatalities.
For more information on motorcycle safety, please visit the Ministry of Transportation website.
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