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Mountain City and Tennessee partner to promote motorcycle safety during the month of May

The Mountain City Police Department will be partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and the Department of Safety and Homeland Security to promote motorcycle safety during the month of May.  May is nationally recognized as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.  Agencies participate by providing information and increasing awareness in their communities about the importance of sharing the road and looking twice for motorcyclists.
“Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why it is the perfect time for us to remind the community about the vulnerability of motorcycle riders,” said Sergeant Jerry Huges, coordinator of Tennessee Highway Safety Office under Homeland Security.  “All motorists need to know how to anticipate and respond to motorcyclists to avoid crashes.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offfers general tips to drivers on preventing a crash with a motorcycle:  Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist.  Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all time.  Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.  If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful.  Motorcycle signals are often non-cancelling and could have been forgotten.  Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before processing.  Check all mirrors and blind sports for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.  Always allow more follow distance, three to four seconds, when behind a motorcycle.  This gives riders more time to maneuver or stop in any emergency.
Preliminary data reveals that in 2015, Tennessee experienced an increase in motorcycle fatalities.  There was also an increase in the number of those killed who were not wearing a helmet.  There were over 2,8000 crashes involving a motorcycle last year statewide.
“Most people underestimate the power of the vehicle they are driving,” said Tennessee Highway Safety Office Public Information Officer Amanda Brown.  “Vulnerable road users like motorcycle riders, bicycle riders, and pedestrians are no match against the 4,000 pound vehicle you are operating.  In the event of a crash, they are defenseless.  That is why we are asking that this month, and all year round, motorists take an extra moment to look twice.
For more information about the Look Twice Campaign or to learn more about motorcycle safety, visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.