By William Tauro
Over a hundred motorcycles from all over the state assembled on New Washington Street in Somerville on Thursday morning to ride into Boston to the steps of the state house for the annually “Storm the State House Rally.”
The bikers enjoyed a breakfast provided to them by the Somerville Lions Club as well as from Cindy Hickey, one of the major organizers of “Toys For Local Children” before their run into Boston.
The Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) has played a key role in the success of the “Toys For Local Children Charity” since its formation in Somerville a few years ago.
The MMA supports motorcycle safety programs and wants to remind riders that inspections are due.
May is national Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, which is a perfect extension to the Massachusetts Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period which runs through the Month of April. This period also concludes with all Annual Motorcycle Safety Inspections due on the last day of May. The MMA has been heavily active in promoting motorcycle safety and would like to remind motorcyclists to renew their motorcycle inspections as well as joining in with all motorists to “check twice” because the life they save may be their own.
Motorcycle safety is something that affects all of us, regardless of whether we are in the saddle, or on four or more wheels. It is hard to come across someone who has not been impacted by someone they know who has been in a motorcycle accident. Yet, as much as we are aware of these concerns, aggressive driving seems to be at an all-time high. Accidents involving motorcycles are increasing, in part due to inattention and in part due to aggressive driving behaviors, not always on the part of the “other” driver.
Safety in traffic is a responsibility shared by everyone. According to the Massachusetts Rider Education Program (MREP), 65% of the time when a Motorcycle is involved in a collision with another vehicle it is because the other vehicle turned left in front of the motorcycle. Most experts would agree, however, that most crashes can be avoided with proper mental and physical preparedness. Such techniques are taught by the MREP schools, and yet in approximately 80% of the fatalities involving motorcycles the cyclist had no rider education at all.
Because of statistics like these, coupled with an unusually high early-season accident rate in the western part of Massachusetts, the North Adams Police Department began a campaign to promote motorcycle safety. The North Adams Police Department has posted signs asking all motorists to “Check Twice, Save a Life.”
The NAPD campaign, sponsored by the North Adams PD with support from the MMA, is aimed at creating greater awareness and respect between motorists and also asks motorcyclists to ride with respect in the local community referencing the MMA’s “When in Town, Throttle Down” campaign.
Other signage around the state has been visible on the highways. For example, signs on I-495 asking motorists to “Share the Road” and “Look Twice for Motorcycles.”
The program, supported by MREP and MassDOT, is initiated every year in support of the MMA’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period, and will continue to run sporadically through the major North East Motorcycle Bike Weeks at Laconia and Americade in June.
The National Motorcycle Awareness Period, which ends May 31, is also the end of the annual Motorcycle Safety Inspection period. The MMA reminds all riders to renew their Motorcycle Inspections annually by visiting a local Motorcycle Inspection station. Authorized Motorcycle Inspection Stations for Massachusetts can be found here: