Awareness campaign urges drivers to watch for motorcycles

- The month of May is recognized as National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The campaign is aimed at driving down the number of accidents involving motorcycles. It asks drivers to use extra caution and share the road.

“Unfortunately I feel like it’s getting worse for motorcycles. You'll see us riding in packs now just to go anywhere,” said motorcycle rider Gina Cook. 

On Fowler Avenue Tuesday, USF students posted 555 signs reminding drivers to "watch for motorcycles." The number of signs represents the number of Floridians killed in motorcycle crashes in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Of the 555 motorcyclists killed, half were wearing a helmet.

“The cell phone is part of our life today but it is part of a big problem: People not paying attention," explained Hans Klockes of Xtreme Powersports in Tampa. “We’ve done studies on this and I’m on a panel: Motorcycle Industry Council. Eighty percent of the time it’s the car, it’s not the motorcycle rider."

Riders can improve their chances of surviving a crash by wearing proper safety gear - including a helmet.

“Motorcycles get a bad rap because we are aggressive drivers. You have to constantly be looking out for yourself,” said Cook.

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