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Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and National Bicycle Safety Month share the road in May

Motorcycle and bicycle safety months coincide

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.-May is National Bicycle Safety Month and Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

California Highway Patrol Pubic Information Officer Jonathan Guttierrez said the months serve as a reminder to share the road with those on two wheels instead of four.

Drivers of a motor vehicle must give at least three feet of clearance when they pass bicycles or slow down to for the safety of the bicyclist. (21760 CVC)•

People under 18 years of age are required to wear bicycle helmets when riding a bicycle, and as a passenger on a nonmotorized scooter (21212(a) CVC)•

Guttierez said bicyclists must ride as close as practicable to the right curb when traveling under the speed of traffic.

Driver should also be aware that bicycle riders are permitted to use the full lane when driving at the speed of traffic.

MOVE Santa Barbara County's Heather Deutsh said they call this month CycleMAYnia. She said people can found out about cycling events at

MOVE's community Bike shop called Bici Centro located at 434 Olive St. in Santa Barbara has refurbished bikes for sale as well.

Jared Straub, who owns and manages Santa Barbara Motorsports in Goleta, said they try to instill safety tips year round.

People can buy motorcycles in neon and other vibrant colors and gear that is intended to stand out.

"We  really try to help new riders learn how to do certain skills correctly before they leave here," said Straub, " Wear helmets all the time and gear up safely so we try to encourage people t wear jackets gloves the correct shoes everything like that you never know what is going to happen out there."

Straub was aware of a fatal motorcycle accident involving a mail truck in Hope Ranch on Tuesday.

He said its important to ride safe and defensively by assuming people don't see you on your motorcycle.

The CHP also shared motorcycle safety information today.

They said it is important for motorcyclists to minimize risks by riding responsibly; wearing a protective gear; and never riding after consuming alcohol or drugs or when too fatigued.

The CHP recommends riders take part in the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (CMSP) before hitting the rode for the first time.

Guttierez said helmuts mut be Department of Transportation (DOT)-compliant.

He also recommends bright colored/reflective protective gear and use high beams even during daylight hours to help drivers see you.•

Watching your speed is also essential since a motorcycle crash is more likely to cause injury or death.

When traveling by motorcycle stay out of blind spots of large vehicles and trucks.

And learn about lane splitting.

The California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 21658.1 (a) defines lane splitting as driving a motorcycle between rows of stopped or moving vehicles in the same lane, on both divided and undivided streets, roads, and highways

Drivers should know that blocking or impeding a motorcyclist is dangerous and illegal [CVC Section 22400(a)].   

California has the more licensed motorcyclists than any other state.

The goal of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month is to increase awareness of motorcyclists during good weather when more riders are on the road.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County

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Tracy Lehr

Tracy Lehr is a reporter and the weekend anchor for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Tracy, click here


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