(June 25, 2019) - It’s another “Traffic Tuesday” and today we’re going to discuss safety for those of you on two wheels. No, we don’t mean you car drivers (“cagers”) taking turns too fast and coming up off the pavement…our Patrol and Traffic Units are already out there looking for you. This is for the motorcyclists out there enjoying our blue skies and sunny weather, which we want you to do safely. The following are some of the major points of motorcycle safety and some tips to make sure that your ride goes smoothly and safely.
Know how to ride a motorcycle, and we mean officially. You MUST have a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license to operate a motorcycle in the state of Florida. An endorsement on an out-of-state license IS reciprocated by Florida (except for Alabama which requires AL riders to present a safety course certificate also). A safety course is required to obtain your FL motorcycle endorsement, as described in F.S.S. 322.12(5)(a).
Wear your safety equipment! A helmet is your most important piece of safety gear, and it is required by FL law unless your insurance policy covers at least $10,000 in medical coverage for motorcycle injuries. Regardless of this loophole, a helmet can save your life in a crash. According to the CDC, helmets lower risk of death in a crash by 37% and lowers serious head injury risk by 69%. Wearing a helmet with a face shield also suffices as eye protection, which is also required by Florida law.
Safety equipment doesn’t end at your head. We all know how hot it is in Florida, but motorcycling is not unlike law enforcement…wearing that hot and heavy body armor is less uncomfortable than a bullet. Wearing proper riding protection (jacket, leathers, gloves, impact gear, footwear, etc.) can help mitigate the risk of injury. Broken bones, internal injuries to organs, road rash, and the like are very serious, painful and possibly life-threatening injuries. Wearing that nice, cool T-shirt and flip flops is asking for trouble. Anyone who rides should practice a “not if, but when” mentality when it comes to crashes, and “dress for the slide, not the ride.”
Equip your motorcycle properly. Florida requires a headlight in operation even in daylight. The bike must have functional turn signals (USE THEM!) and at least one rearview mirror. Make sure your bike is in safe, working order.
OBEY TRAFFIC LAWS! Motorcyclists must abide by all the same traffic laws that those in automobiles do. Speed and reckless driving has even more grave consequences for a motorcyclist; there’s no body frame, seatbelt, or airbag to help you if your poor choices result in a crash. Using your turn signals, while always critical, becomes more so on a motorcycle. Communicating to other drivers what your intentions are helps keep you safe.
Lane-splitting, while legal in many states, is not legal in the state of Florida. Riders are permitted to ride two abreast in the same lane.
Use extreme caution when operating a motorcycle and take all possible precautions to make sure you have a long and healthy life of motorcycling enjoyment. Ride courteously and safely, and equip yourself and your bike properly. Car drivers, watch out for motorcycles! These simple safety tips can help you, your loved ones and everyone else on the road get where they’re going SAFELY.
Traffic Crash weekly summary:
Monday, June 10 through Sunday, June 23 2019 (a two week span), there were 171 traffic crashes worked by the Cape Coral Police Department.
REMINDER: If you have traffic concerns, you can submit them here: www.capecops.com/traffic. Your concern will be routed directly to the Traffic Unit for follow-up. Please be as detailed as possible to include things like days of week, times you are seeing the issue, or specific cars (if it is a particular vehicle with which you are having an issue).
CAPE CORAL POLICE DEPARTMENT | Public Affairs Office | 1100 Cultural Park Boulevard | Cape Coral, FL 33990 | (239) 242-3341