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Sandy Grinnell, Staff Contributor
Sandy Grinnell, Staff Contributor
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National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is promoting May as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. With motorcycle deaths on a steady climb since 1997 to a total of 5,154 in 2007, NHTSA’s main mission is

aimed at getting motorists and motorcyclists to "Share the Road" with each other.

National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month has two target audiences: motorcyclists, or course, and the drivers of all other motor vehicles on the road.

For the motorcyclists, NHTSA has and always will be a big supporter of motorcycle riders wearing helmets. It is one of their main safety topics. Now I know that is a hot topic for a lot of motorcycle riders, but they should not overlook the other good things that NHTSA is trying to accomplish with this annual awareness campaign such as: getting motorcyclists to obey all traffic laws, promoting sober driving among their peers, increasing their visibility with bright colored clothing or reflective tape and requiring driver training to all new motorcycle riders.

NHTSA officials are also trying to make the drivers of other vehicles to be more aware of the motorcycles around them, which is one reason it’s called "Share the Road." More than 50% of all motorcycle accidents involved another motor vehicle and 40% of those were because a vehicle made a left-hand turn into the path of an oncoming motorcycle. They suggest drivers check their side and rear-view mirrors before changing lanes and to be alert and cautious when traveling the road with motorcycles.

There are several good websites devoted to motorcycle safety and they are:

Motorcycle Safety Foundation

www.forcardrivers.com/a new website for non-motorcycle riders

American Motorcyclists Foundation