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Governor Kitzhaber Proclaims May as Oregon Motorcycle Awareness MonthBonnie King Salem-News.com
Safety is Priority #1 for motorcyclists in Oregon and across the Nation.
(SALEM) - Motorcycle season has returned, and there could be no argument if you were anywhere close to the Oregon State Capitol on Saturday.
Oregon motorcyclists met by the hundreds in front of the Capitol in Salem, in observance of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, as officially proclaimed by Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber.
It was a perfectly beautiful day for a ride and the smiles on the bikers faces as they visited and shared fellowship made clear they were glad to be a part of the day's events. There was music, a bike show and BikePac, ABATE and others spoke on safety and issues facing motorcyclists in Oregon. Many motorcycle clubs were in attendance as usual, giving the public the opportunity to talk with club members, and overcome motorcycling misconceptions.
Motorcycle safety affects everyone on the road, and off road as well. All drivers need to be aware of their two-wheeled comrades on the road and what they are faced with "out there".
There are 131,204 registered motorcycles in Oregon. That is only 3.2 percent of all registered vehicles, but motorcycles accounted for 11% of all fatal crashes (in 2008).
This is seriously out of balance.
It goes without saying that motorcyclists are more vulnerable than car drivers in a crash, motorcyclists face a higher rate of injury than car drivers. But, do you know just how much more at risk they are?
-Per mile, a motorcyclist is 35 times more likely to have a crash than someone driving a car.
If all those stats weren't convincing enough, riders are an incredibly 16 times more likely to receive serious injuries than car drivers.
Motorcycle crashes in Oregon almost doubled from 2002 to 2008.
Specifically, in 2008, there were 873 crashes involving motorcycles; 834 people were injured and 49 people were killed. 48 of those killed were motorcyclists. 98%. Luckily, things are improved somewhat since 2008.
Car crash victims have a 20% chance of injury or death in a car accident, unlike motorcyclists, who have a 80% chance of injury or death.
These aren't foolish kids we're talking about. These motorcyclists often have generations of riders behind them. They live to ride, they love riding. Most have years of riding under their belts. The average age of motorcyclists killed in crashes is 48.
Improving safety on the road is key. So, now for the Good News: In Oregon, our numbers have shown a change for the better. According to the Oregon Dept of Transportation (ODOT), our motorcycle safety ratings are extremely high and getting better each year.
In 2010, only 38 motorcyclists died on Oregon roads, a 2% drop from the year before. This drop has been attributed to the 2009 legislature requiring motorcycle safety courses for all riders.
These facts surely motivated Oregon's Governor to proclaim May as Oregon Motorcycle Awareness month.
The Proclamation was read aloud to the crowd of several hundred at high noon Saturday on the State Capitol steps, as follows:
MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH PROCLAMATION
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
STATE OF OREGON
WHERAS: Oregon is proud to be a national leader in motorcycle safety education; and
WHERAS: Motorcyclists in Oregon recognize the importance of riders to be properly trained in the safe operation of their motorcycle; and
WHEREAS: Education and safe riding habits are worthy of special recognition; and
WHEREAS: It is important that the citizens of our state should be aware of motorcycles on the highways and recognize the importance of sharing the roadway with these fuel efficient vehicles; and
WHEREAS: The designation of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month promotes public awareness of the energy-efficient motorcycle and its proper and safe use on the roads and highways of Oregon.
NOW, THEREFORE: I, John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., Governor of the State of Oregon, hereby proclaim May 2013 to be
MOTORCYCLE SAFETY AWARENESS MONTH
and encourage all Oregonians to join in this observance.
Bonnie King has been Publisher of Salem-News.com since August '04. She is a photographer and video producer, writer, editor and mother, which she considers her greatest position. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER).
Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers and readers alike. An lifetime activist for just causes, she continues to strive to present facts that support Truth, Justice and Peace, as we are in the world to change the world for the better. "TJP"
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