Press Release - 05-02-2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Thursday, May 2, 2019
GTSC, DMV TO FOCUS CAMPAIGN ON REDUCING MOTORCYCLE CRASHES
Safety Effort Aimed at Regions with High Incidence of Crashes with Cars
Kickoff Event is Part of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
The Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC) and the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) joined together Thursday with law enforcement and a motorcycle crash survivor to announce a focused campaign to reduce crashes between motorcycles and cars. The announcement at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island came at the start of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
Queens County, Monroe County and Erie County have been identified as “hot spots” for motorcycle crashes involving a motorcycle and another passenger vehicle. To raise awareness in those areas, GTSC will target a motorcycle safety awareness message to people living in those communities. Banner advertisements will appear from now through August as audiences in those areas browse the web.
GTSC is also promoting motorcycle awareness at 157 fuel filling stations throughout New York City and Long Island. These motorcycle awareness messages are affixed to fuel pump toppers and nozzle handles throughout the riding season. Those signs went up last month and will remain visible through October.
“As the weather warms, many motorcyclists look forward to getting back out to ride on New York’s many scenic roads,” said Acting DMV Commissioner and Acting GTSC Chair Mark J.F. Schroeder. “This campaign is designed to raise awareness in order to reduce crashes and make our roads safe for all users. We urge drivers to stay alert and watch for motorcycles.”
In 2016, a multi-agency Motorcycle Safety Workgroup was established in response to static trends in motorcycle crashes and fatalities. This workgroup has been meeting monthly to review data, identify trends, explore best practices and develop potential new countermeasures.
There are now almost 775,000 licensed motorcyclists in New York State.
During the press event, several speakers discussed how important it is for drivers to watch for motorcycles.
Motorcycle crash survivor Sandy LaPlante lost her leg in a 2014 crash in Coeymans when she was struck by a drunk driver who crossed a double-yellow line and hit her head-on while she was riding as a passenger on a motorcycle.
“He got 2 1/3 to 7 years and I got the life sentence,” she said.
Lt. Michael Franco of the Nassau County Police Department said motorcyclists enjoy the freedom of not being enclosed in a car but that also makes them vulnerable.
“The lack of vehicle size or visibility becomes a significant issue for motorcyclists. Simply put, it’s sometimes difficult to see a motorcycle,” he said. “If we all just slow down, concentrate on just driving and are courteous to our fellow motorists either in cars or motorcycles, we’ll become more aware and our roadways in the upcoming warmer months would be much safer.”