Photo by Chris Shadrock
State police said that while the number of crashes has gone down this year. The number of people who have died on Kentucky roadways continues to be up compared to the same time last year and that includes several motorcycle fatalities.
Many enjoy riding their motorcycles when it is warm and sunny, but police said other drivers do not always pay enough attention to motorcyclists. There have been two deaths in the last two weeks in Laurel County alone.
“Any crash with a motorcycle is going to be a severe crash,” said Trooper Don Trosper of the Kentucky State Police.
“We have had 31 crashes this year involving motorcyclists and sixteen of the victims were not wearing their helmets.”
Police said the most common accident occurs when other drivers cannot see the motorcycles, so they recommend being extra cautious.
“Don't just assume that a driver of a car or another vehicle sees you. Don't assume anything, when you are operating your motorcycle, operate it as if someone is going to pull out in front of you, someone is going to cross over into your lane,” said Trosper.
The law does not require riders to wear helmets, but officials recommend it.
“We would prefer everyone wear a helmet when they are operating a motorcycle and we would also like to see them wear proper safety gear,” said Trosper.
Trosper said it is a common misconception that everyone can ride without a helmet. Anyone under 21, anyone who has a permit or has had a license less than one year has to wear headgear on a motorcycle or moped as well.
Police said that while there are some provisions to the law that allow certain people to ride without a helmet, there is one rule that goes without exception in order to ensure that your vision stays clear. Eye gear is required for everyone.
“They have to wear some sort of u-s-d-o-t approved eyewear for any object that could fly up and hit them,” said Trsoper.
Officials said all drivers should just be alert.
“They need to pay more attention when pulling out from an intersection,” said Trosper.
“Watch for these people. They have less protection on a motorcycle than you do in your car.”
For more information on motorcycle helmet laws or safety, log on to http://www.lrc.ky.gov