Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month events have taken on a somewhat somber mood this week, as reports of multiple motorcycle fatalities have been in the headlines in recent weeks.
Indeed, news that three motorcyclists had died in a collision last Saturday weighed heavily on participants in Sunday’s annual bike blessing at the Nikiski Church of the Nazarene.
“I’m sure when they woke up yesterday morning they were not thinking it would be their last day on Earth,” Nikiski resident Scott Hamann said at the event. “It serves as a somber reminder to make every day count and cherish your loved ones.”
It also serves as a wake-up call for all motorists to make themselves more aware while on the road, whether they’re riding on four wheels or two.
Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Mike Navarre issued a proclamation at Tuesday’s assembly meeting noting the increasing numbers of motorcycles on the road, as well as the fact that “motorcyclists everywhere face a constant threat to personal safety caused, in part, by lack of alertness on the part of the driving public.”
The Southern Peninsula chapter of A.B.A.T.E., Alaska Bikers Advocating Training and Education, recently reminded drivers to take a second look, use turn signals and avoid distractions while driving, such as cell phone use. A public service message from the Department of Public Safety urges motorcyclists to practice safe riding habits, including riding with the assumption that other drivers won’t see you. Likewise, drivers are urged to treat motorcyclists just as they would other vehicles, including giving adequate space when passing or following.
The borough’s proclamation urges 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 road.
We’d like to echo those sentiments, and wish everyone on the road safe travels this summer.