While motorcycles have been seen on local highways as early as February this year, May is officially Motorcycle Awareness Month as proclaimed at the Tuesday, May 6th Borough Assembly meeting by Borough Mayor Mike Navarre. Alaska Bikers Advocating Training & Education (ABATE) has been a big promoter of the Motorcycle Awareness Month and were on hand at the Assembly meeting to receive the proclamation. “We work to get the word out so that people are aware that we have a big influx of motorcycles on the Peninsula this time of year and encourage everyone to use common sense, courtesy and safety to prevent tragic accidents. Practice the things you first learned in the beginning when learning to drive; look left, look right and look left again. If you see a motorcycle coming toward you don’t try to save a few seconds by running the light give the biker a break literally, they’re smaller you don’t see them as well and they are moving faster than they might appear to be even at the speed limit. So be aware of the optical disadvantage and don’t rush,” Eric Fine, vice president of ABATE told the Dispatch.
Bud Ashby also an ABATE member added, “You need to look twice, you know the saying ‘Look twice save a Life’ it really is true and does pay off if you make sure you look around your blind spot and pay attention to what might be there.” Allen Thye of the Harley Owners Group (HOG) said that they work on what the biker needs to know to stay safe, “We focus on motorcycle training for the riders and feel that everyone on a motorcycle should go through our training courses. We learn to watch out for those who can’t see us, it’s documented that 75% of vehicle/motorcycle accidents drivers of the vehicle claim they didn’t see the motorcycle until it was too late. So we concentrate on being aware and more visible so that vehicles see us,” he said.
Mayor Navarre’s official proclamation in part said, “Motorcycles are energy efficient vehicles that conserve fuel and are increasingly used as a mode of transport for commuting, touring, and recreational in the United States; and whereas, it is necessary to promote the safe operation of motorcycles due to the increased number of motorcycles on the roadways. Motorcyclist everywhere face a constant threat to personal safety caused, in part by lack of alertness on the part of the driving public; I Mike Navarre, Mayor of the Kenai Peninsula Borough proclaim Motorcycle Awareness Month on the Kenai Peninsula, and urge all residents to drive safely, exercise extreme caution to reduce accidents and casualties this summer and to remain sensitive to the increasing number of motorcycles on the roads and encourage all motorists to share the roads with motorcycles.”
May 4th at the Church of the Nazarene in Nikiski the annual Motorcycle Blessing was held with many bikers showing up for a special safety blessing in honor of Motorcycle Awareness Month.