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Patrol focuses on motorcycle safety, enforcement

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COLUMBUS — May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and troopers of the Ohio State Highway Patrol remind motorists that there will be an increase in motorcycles on the roadways with the warmer weather and encourage motorcyclists to ride endorsed, trained and sober.  

From 2010 to 2012, motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in 509 fatalities and more than 11,480 injuries in the state. Last year, there were 165 motorcycle-related fatalities, and of those deaths, the motorcyclist was at fault 71 percent of the time.

Taking a training class and riding with proper endorsements as a motorcycle rider can help protect yourself and others from injury or even death.

Out of the 8,571 motorcyclist citations issued by troopers from 2010 to 2012, 20 percent were for operating a motorcycle without a proper license or endorsement. As a rider, simple things like ensuring you have a valid motorcycle endorsement, receiving quality motorcycle training and wearing proper safety equipment can be key elements in staying safe.

Riding sober is also very important. From 2010 to 2012, 50 percent of the fatal motorcycle crashes involved an impaired motorcyclist.

Of course, motorcycle safety is not solely the responsibility of motorcyclists. Motor vehicle drivers share in this important effort and can improve safety on the road by following these tips:

• A motorcycle is a motor vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway.

• Give motorcyclists a full lane of travel.

• Look for motorcyclists on the highway, at intersections, and any time you are changing lanes.

• Allow plenty of space in front of the vehicle you are driving and do not follow a motorcycle too closely.

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