Annual event promotes summer motorcycle safety - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Annual event promotes summer motorcycle safety

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With two motorcycle fatalities in Mahoning County already this year, an annual event looks show how cars and motorcycles can share the road together.

Dan Brothers is an experienced biker, but when he's out on the road he notices that some of his fellow riders are making some vital mistakes. That includes speeding and not wearing a helmet.

"Put on proper safety gear - boots, long pants, no shorts, helmets - and make sure you watch the intersections closely," he said. "Don't take for granted that someone is going to stop at the red light or stop sign because that doesn't always happen."

Saturday's ninth annual North Coast Motorcycle Safety Ride raised awareness about riding safe and smart. It also sends a message to auto motorists to look twice for motorcycles before making a turn or lane change.

"Most injuries and fatalities of motorcyclists are actually the motorists' fault. Someone's pulling out in front of them and that motorcyclist hits them and that's how they're either injured or killed," said Susan Viars, Mahoning Safe Communities Coordinator.

They started their route at the Canfield Fair Grounds and traveled north to Cortland where they had a picnic gathering.

Law enforcement says both car and bike drivers need to each do their part when sharing the road.

"If someone pulls out in front of them and they have to slam on their brakes, it's not like they can stop like a car," said Lt. Nakia Hendrix with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. "It's a little bit different mechanics, so just make sure they are being vigilant, respecting motorcycles out there. And for motorcycle drivers, same thing. Obey the speed limits, obey the laws."

Lieutenant Hendrix also says bikers need to get the proper licensing and training to ride their motorcycles.  Many bike shops offer riding lessons.
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