SANTA FE ― Today, the New Mexico Department of Transportation recognized the National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which runs throughout the month of May.
The Department encourages New Mexico drivers to share the road and look for motorcyclists as they travel the state’s roads and highways.
“It’s important that all motorists are always paying attention and on the lookout for motorcyclists,” NMDOT Cabinet Secretary Tom Church said. “We want everyone to feel safe on New Mexico’s roads and highways and to always remember one look can save someone’s life. We also encourage motorcyclists to be safe when they get on the road – make sure you have the proper training, endorsement, and riding gear.”
According to preliminary data, last year, there were 53 motorcycle fatalities statewide. So far this year, there have been five motorcycle fatalities.
The NMDOT would also like to remind motorcyclists how important it is that they attend the New Mexico Motorcycle Training Program. The motorcycle training program is a statutorily mandated program to institute and provide a statewide system of motorcycle training.
All motor vehicle operators are reminded to share the road – “Your Road is My Road” – and to be alert and watchful of motorcyclists when driving to keep all motorists safe. Motorcyclists are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot – it’s crucial that motorists always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections. Motorcyclists should also always wear proper protective safety gear.
Most often, crashes happen at intersections and on curves – paying closer attention in these spots can help create a safer environment for everyone on the road. The Department encourages all motorists to obey traffic laws to make the roads and highways safer.
“It’s easy for motorcycles to go unnoticed in a vehicle’s blind spot,” NMDOT Traffic Safety Director Franklin Garcia said. “As the weather starts to warm up and there are more motorcyclists on the road, we ask everyone to pay close attention to their surroundings and share the road with motorcycles.”
Governor Susana Martinez also signed a proclamation recognizing May as Motorcyclist Safety Awareness Month in New Mexico. The Governor’s proclamation has also been signed by all 33 counties in New Mexico.