Oak Ridge Police Department promotes Motorcycle Safety Awareness month

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (May 6, 2021) – The City of Oak Ridge Police Department (ORPD) is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office (THSO) to promote Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. Agencies participate by providing information and increasing awareness in their communities about the importance of sharing the road and looking twice for motorcyclists.

"Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why it is the perfect time for us to remind the community about the vulnerability of motorcycle riders," said Oak Ridge Police Sergeant and Tennessee Highway Safety Office Network Coordinator Matthew Johnston. "All motorists need to know how to anticipate and respond to motorcyclists to help avoid crashes."

Here are a few safe driving tips to prevent crashing with a motorcycle:

  • Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has all the rights of the road as any other motorist; allow motorcycles the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful. Motorcycle signals are often non-canceling. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Always allow ample follow distance - three to four seconds - when driving behind a motorcycle. This gives riders more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.

According to preliminary data provided by Tennessee’s Integrated Traffic Analysis Network (TITAN), there were 2,670 motorcycle crashes statewide last year. Of those crashes, 151 were fatal. For more information, please visit www.tntrafficsafety.org.