Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

May 2, 2011

Motorcycle safety Awareness Month News Conference

Wednesday, May 4, 2011
10 a.m.

LAPD Operations-Valley Bureau & Valley Traffic Division
7870 Nollan Place
Panorama City, CA  91402

Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, Commanding Officer, Operations-Valley Bureau
Captain Ivan Minsal, Commanding Officer, Valley Traffic Division
Detective William Bustos, Valley Traffic Detectives
Motorcycle Officer Arturo Ornelas, Valley Traffic Division

Warm weather is fast approaching, gas prices continue to increase and motorcycle enthusiasts take to the streets.  There are over four million motorcycles registered in the United States.  The popularity of this mode of transportation is attributed to the low initial cost of owning a motorcycle and its use as a pleasure vehicle.

All motorists and other road users are reminded to safely “share the road” with motorcycles and to be extra alert to help keep motorcyclists safe.  Motorcyclists are reminded to make themselves visible to other motorists.

Recent data indicates that deaths and injuries attributed to motorcycle collisions are becoming a larger portion of a grave public health problem.  Motorcycle crash-related fatalities have been increasing since 1997.  The latest vehicle mile travel data show motorcyclists are about 27 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic collision and 6 times as likely to be injured.

Visuals will include a damaged motorcycle previously involved in a traffic collision. Various legal and novelty helmets will be displayed.  A VIP will ride a motorcycle at the event. Motorcycle riding safety tips will be provided.

For more information, please call Media Relations Section at (213) 486-5910, or visit  

Motorcycle Safety Tips

Motorcyclists can increase their safety by following these guidelines:

*    Participate in a motorcycle training course.
*    Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.
*    Wear a brightly colored protective gear and a DOT-compliant helmet.
*    Use turn signals for every turn or lane change.
*    Combine hand signals and turn signals to draw more attention.
*    Use reflective tape and stickers to make yourself more visible.
*     Position yourself in the lane where you will be most visible to other drivers.

Drivers can help make motorcyclists safe by following these guidelines:

*    Road users are reminded to never drive, bike or walk while distracted.  Doing so can result in tragic consequences for motorcyclists.
*    Remember that a motorcycle has the same rights and privileges as any other vehicle on the roadway.
*    Allow the motorcyclist a full lane width.  Although it may seem there is enough room in the traffic lane for an automobile and a motorcycle, remember the motorcycle needs the room to maneuver safely.  Do not share the lane.
*    Motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see.  A motorcycle has as much smaller profile than a vehicle, which can make it more difficult to judge the speed and distance of an approaching motorcycle.
*    Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.
*    Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
*    Don’t be confused by a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle – motorcycle signals are often not self-canceling and riders sometimes forget to turn them off.  Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn before your proceed.