Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

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Motorcycles, bikes, choppers, hogs, whatever you call them, they're quickly flooding Michigan's streets. After a period of cold weather and snow, the roads are now ripe for riding. So Secretary of State, Terri Lynn Land, says a few reminders may be necessary.

"Our message to you is simple, but serious. To all of you motorcycle enthusiasts we want you to respect the ride. What we want to do is remind folks that motorcycles are out there and to share the road."

According to Michael Prince, Director of the Office of Highway Safety Planning, bike accidents have been rising the past couple of years.

"Last year Michigan experienced a dramatic rise in motorcycle fatalities from 79 in 2004 to 122 in 2005. That's an increase of more than 50 percent."

Still riders aren't the only ones that need to be on the lookout. Motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians should also heed the advice. Dr. Dan Lee, of Michigan State University, has been riding bikes for more than 20 years. And he's in charge of MSU's Pylon Raiders Precision Riding team.

"Motorists get lax in seeing motorcycles during the winter months. So we have to train not only cyclists but auto drivers."

Despite arguments regarding the mandatory helmet law, he says it's important to implement every safety measure when taking your hog on the highway.

"A helmet properly designed is not going to offer any problems to a cyclist. So I think it's just another of many excuses for some individuals in terms of their desire not to wear a helmet."

But essentially it's up to drivers and motorcyclists to make the right decisions and hopefully prevent accidents by looking out for each other.