JAMESTOWN – As spring inches closer, many motorcyclists are looking to get back on the road.
The Director of the American Legion Riders of Western New York, David Anthony, shared his tips on keeping everyone safe on the road this time of year, and why it is more important than ever.
“The NTSB reported last year there were 8.5 million motorcycles on the road. Anybody who sees the gasoline prices right now knows that they’re rising. Motorcycle sales are up, that’s gonna mean a lot more novice riders,” says Anthony.
The Director emphasized the importance for riders to make sure they are seen, by wearing reflective clothing and by staying out of other drivers’ blind spots. He also says to follow the flow of traffic, and adhere to traffic laws and speed limits.
“When you’re driving automobiles, don’t rely just on your mirrors and the cameras,” says Anthony. “Check your blind spots, physically look and see. Motorcycles so easily can be lost in a blind spot, and it happens faster than you know it can.”
He also urges drivers to remove all distractions while driving, including cell phones and pets.
Road conditions should also be examined before riding, as well as paying attention to potholes and other dangers. Novice motorcyclists should also ride with more experienced drivers until they are confident in their ability.
“For homeowners, the biggest thing I always say is, we’re gonna be mowing the grass soon. Cut grass clippings facing away from the road. How much debris that gets on the road is really hard for any kind of driver,” explains Anthony.
The group has a full slate of events this year, including a ride to honor Vietnam Veterans.
“This year, the Living Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is gonna be over in Erie. We’re gonna provide escort duty the day of the 28th from Chautauqua Mall over to the wall for Veterans,” says Anthony.
The Wall That Heals exhibit features a three-quarter scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It includes a mobile Education Center which features a timeline of The War and The Wall, a display of items representative of those left at The Wall along with digital screens with photos and information on local heroes.
The group will escort a shuttle bus to the exhibit, a task they say is an honor.