Broome County Traffic Safety Program Promotes Motorcycle Safety Awareness this Summer

Motorcycle Awareness

BINGHAMTON, NY – During the spring and summer months it’s inevitable that drivers will see an increase in the number of motorcycles on the roadways. Motorcycles provide a fuel efficient and economical means of transportation and their popularity for recreation, touring and community continues to grow. In Broome County, 5,871 motorcycles were registered in 2009 which is 318 more than the year before and 883 more than the year before that. And as motorcycle registrations grow so do crashes. In 2008, 72 motorcycle/car crashes occurred in Broome County. The good news is, of the motorcyclists who were involved in these crashes, the majority were wearing helmets and protective gear. In some cases, simple actions like, wearing a helmet, can enormously affect the outcome of a crash. 

Motorcyclists and motorists need to both do their part in keeping everyone safe on the roadways. As always, motorcyclists need to take precautions to protect themselves unlike in a vehicle which offers seat belts, air bags and crush zones. In New York State, riders must wear an approved helmet and eye protection. Novelty helmets are illegal and provide little protection in a crash. In addition, riders should also wear ankle boots, full finger gloves with padding and jackets and pants with armor protection at impact points. Keeping your motorcycle in good working order and properly maintained is also key in safe handling and braking. Never drink alcohol and ride and always maintain a manageable speed. 
Motorists need to do their part too. There are a lot more cars and trucks than motorcycles on the road and some drivers don’t “recognize” a motorcycle. Because of its small size, a motorcycle may look farther away than it is, be easily hidden in a car’s blind spots or appear to be moving faster than it really is. Motorists should be especially careful at intersections when turning or when changing lanes. Motorcyclists often slow down by downshifting or merely rolling off the throttle, thus not activating the brake light. Motorists should allow more following distance, 3 or 4 seconds, to avoid colliding with the rider. When a motorcycle is in motion, think of it as a person, not as a motorcycle.
For more safety information, please visit the NYS Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee at or the Motorcycle Safety Foundation at


07/12/2010 - 11:23am