May is Motorcycle Awareness month and rallies are planned across the state so the Idaho Transportation Department is partnering with Idaho STAR and Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety to encourage drivers to "Look Twice for Motorcyclists, They are Everywhere."
Throughout May, motorists will be reminded to be extra alert and cautious when driving to help keep motorcycle riders safe on Idaho highways.
A pre-ride rally begins at 11 a.m. on May 1 at Sandy Point Park in Boise, followed by an escorted motorcycle ride to the Idaho Capitol at 1 p.m. The Christian Motorcycle Association will host a barbeque following the motorcycle rally at Municipal Park. For more information about the Boise ride, call Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety member Justin (208) 863-4280 or Lane at (208) 336-0052.
That same day, a pre-ride rally in Idaho Falls will begin at 11 a.m. at Rocky Mountain Middle School, followed by a parade ride to Freeman Park at 1 p.m. A post-ride rally and barbeque will be held at Freeman Park. For more information about the Idaho Falls ride, call Justin (208) 863-4280 or Terry (208) 220-3491.
A northern Idaho pre-ride rally sponsored by American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (A.B.A.T.E.) takes place also on May 1, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse in Coeur d'Alene. A motorcycle parade follows at 11 a.m. and will travel down Sherman Avenue. For more information, contact Dave at (208) 765-3527 or Norman at (208) 582-2262.
Thirty-four motorcycle fatalities occurred in Idaho last year -- an increase from 29 in 2008. For Idaho, the economic cost of crashes involving motorcyclists was $285 million in 2009.
The top five contributing circumstances for motorcycle crashes are: failing to yield, inattention, improper turn, following too closely, and alcohol/drug impairment.
All motorcyclists and roadway users are encouraged to make responsible driving choices," said Cecilia Arritola, ITD motorcycle safety coordinator.
"Motorcyclists are more vulnerable than passenger vehicle drivers in the event of a crash. They are often hidden in a motorist's blind spot," Arritola said. "Too often a driver will say, 'I just didn't see him.' "
For more information about motorcycle safety or other ITD Toward Zero Deaths highway safety initiatives, please contact the ITD Highway Safety Office at (208) 334-8100.