BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Bakersfield Police Department is urging drivers and motorcycle riders to share the road during Motorcycle Awareness Month.
BPD is stepping up enforcement throughout May and stopping both drivers and motorcycle riders for traffic violations that increase the risk of crashes.
Along with extra enforcement, BPD is releasing safety tips for both drivers and motorcycle riders.
BPD is urging drivers to:
- Check your mirrors and blind spots
- Make sure your vehicle's rear and side-view mirrors are adjusted properly
- Use your signal when changing lanes. If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, make sure the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
- Slow down behind motorcycles and keep your distance.
- Never share a lane with a motorcycle
- Be aware of motorcycles lane splitting, which is legal. Give riders enough room to pass.
- Always look twice at intersections and allow enough space for a motorcycle to clear the roadway before making a turn.
BPD is urging motorcycle riders to:
- Always wear a helmet, bright colors and protective gear.
- Use your turn signal at every lane change or turn.
- Turn lights on even during the day.
- Keep your distance.
- Consider the width of lanes, roadway and weather conditions when lane splitting.
- Avoid lane splitting next to larger vehicles such as big rigs, buses and motorhomes
- It is more dangerous to split lanes at higher speeds. It is safer to split between the far-left lanes.
BPD says 576 people were killed in motorcycle crashes statewide in 2017, a nearly 17% increase from 2015.
BPD also encourages motorcycle riders to enroll in the California Highway Patrol's motorcycle training course. For more information, or to find a training site near you, visit www.californiamotorcyclist.com.