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5/04/13: Poloncarz, Officials Join in Call for Motorcycle Safety


Kick off New Riding Season with ABATE’s 24th Annual Safety and Awareness Ride

ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined on the steps of the Edward A. Rath county office building by Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott, elected officials, community members, officials from American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (“ABATE”) of NY Buffalo-Erie Chapter, and representatives of the New York State Motorcycle Safety Program/Motorcycle Safety Foundation to start the motorcycle season with a call for increased safety and awareness. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, with increased ridership and more bikes on the road.

“All motorists need to be vigilant and aware of other vehicles on the road, especially smaller vehicles such as motorcycles,” said Poloncarz. “With more motorcycles on the road each year, it is important for all to use extra caution, employ good judgment, and pay increased attention to who is sharing the road with us. Safe driving habits will make for a better riding season for everyone.”

ABATE has 25 chapters across New York state dedicated to promoting motorcycle safety, awareness and education. The organization also pursues fair treatment for all motorcyclists, monitors proposed motorcycle-impacting legislation, and works for freedom of choice regarding safety equipment. ABATE advocates for individuals’ “Right to Ride” while striving to keep members educated on all issues affecting motorcyclists.

“At the start of the season, riders can be overconfident of their skills and the condition of the road surface they are riding on,” said Peter Campanella, President of ABATE of NY Buffalo –Erie chapter. “Also, drivers are not used to seeing motorcycles that may be smaller and harder to determine the speed of. This year, ABATE is asking riders and drivers to take the time to ‘Look Twice and Save a Life’, because we all know someone that rides.”

Commissioner of Central Police Services John Glascott said, “As a former accident investigator, one of the things I learned was that in the event of an accident involving a motorcycle, the motorcyclist usually loses. It is incumbent on those of us sharing the highways with our friends driving their bikes to be aware of their presence at all times, and be extra cautious while driving.”

Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs said, “In an era of distracted driving, I want to remind all motorists to stay alert and watch for motorcycles. There are more than 22,000 registered motorcycle riders in Erie County, and we need to have an increased awareness and make sure we share the roads safely this season.

“We are asking all motorcyclists to get trained and licensed by completing an MSF RiderCourse at a New York State Motorcycle Safety Program training site, with more than 50 sites throughout the state to serve riders,” said Ben Zadrozny, Program Manager for the NYS Motorcycle Safety Program. “It’s also important that car, truck, and SUV drivers are extra vigilant for motorcyclists. Don’t drive distracted, and please make driving your number one priority when you are behind the wheel. Not only is talking on your phone or texting when driving illegal, it can be fatal to yourself or others on the road.”

For more information:

On ABATE of Buffalo-Erie, visit   www.buffaloerieabate.com

On the NYS Motorcycle Safety Program, visit   www.nysmsp.org