OSHP: Watch for motorcycles

May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol would like to remind motorcyclists to ride endorsed, trained and sober, and be aware of an increase in motorcycles on the roadways.

In 2015, motorcycle-involved crashes resulted in 163 fatalities – a 16 percent increase – and another 3,362 injuries in the state of Ohio. Only 35 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes were wearing helmets. Ohio requires helmets for drivers under 18, drivers with less than one year of motorcycle experience, and passengers on motorcycles where the driver is required to wear a helmet.

Motorcycle rides can help protect themselves and others from injury or death by taking a training class and riding with proper endorsements. Of the 2,485 citations the OSHP handed out to motorcyclists in 2015, 20 percent were for operating a motorcycle without a proper license or endorsement. As a rider, simple things like ensuring a valid motorcycle endorsement, receiving quality motorcycle training, and wearing proper safety equipment can be key elements in staying safe.

For more information, visit www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/.

Riding sober is also important. Last year, 30 percent of the fatal motorcycle crashes were alcohol and/or drug related.

Other motorists should keep in mind that: a motorcycle is a motor vehicle with all of the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway; motorcyclists need a full lane of travel; motorcyclists should be observed on the highway, at intersections, and during lane changes; and allow plenty of space in front of the vehicle you are driving, and do not follow a motorcycle too closely.

A statistical map detailing citations and other motorcycle related information can be found at statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/Motorcycle_Bulletin_2015.pdf