HPD Offers Urges Motorcycle Safety Tips in Wake of Major Accidents
In the span of three days this week there have been four major motorcycle collisions on Hawai‘i Island roads killing two motorcyclists and critically injuring two motorcycle operators. In addition, a female pedestrian was killed in Kona on Tuesday, while crossing Queen Ka‘ahumanu Highway.
With traffic fatalities up more than 58% over the same time last year, Hawai‘i Police Department is strongly urging all motorists to drive safely and be aware of their surroundings as they travel on our island roads.
In addition to reminding car and truck operators to drive with aloha and be mindful of motorcyclists, HPD is providing the following motorcycle safety tips.
● Always wear a full face helmet when driving or riding as a passenger on a motorcycle, moped, or ATV.
Make sure you wear a helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218. Look for the DOT symbol on the outside back of the helmet. Snell and ANSI labels located inside the helmet also show that the helmet meets the standards of those private, non-profit organizations.
● Be visible. Wear brightly colored clothing with reflective material that will make you more visible to other vehicle drivers.
● Wear protective gear. Arms and legs should be covered when riding a motorcycle, ideally by wearing leather or heavy denim providing protection in a crash. Boots or shoes should be high enough to cover your ankles, while gloves allow for a better grip and help protect your hands in the event of a crash.
● Ride defensively. Be mindful that driving a car and riding a motorcycle require different skills and react differently to road conditions. Compared to a car, motorcyclists have a narrow profile on the road and can often be in a vehicle’s blind spot. Both vehicle and motorcycle operators need to be aware of each other on the road and double check before changing lanes, making a turn, or pulling out into traffic.
● Drive sober. Both motorcyclists and car drivers are reminded to drive sober or get pulled over. If you consume any intoxicating substance don’t drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous.
So far this year, 19 people have been killed on our island roadways, an increase of 58.3% from 12 killed this time last year. Of the 19 deaths, 21 percent have been motorcycle related with four motorcyclist fatalities.
Hawai‘i Island police wants everyone to arrive alive at their destination this weekend and throughout the year.