Safety campaign for Biketoberfest

Task force targets motorists and motorcyclists alike to encourage safety of event

By Staff, Oct. 06, 2008
With tens of thousands of bikers expected to roar into town for Biketoberfest this month, a local task force is launching a public information campaign to make the roads safer for motorcyclists and locals alike. The operation will include such messages as, ‘Look twice, save a life’ and ‘None for the Road’.

Thirty-four billboards with the slogans have already been placed throughout Volusia County, while local firefighters and police officers will place 2,000 temporary signs along roadways before bikers arrive to spread the slogans of safety.

The task force includes representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, Institute of Police Technology and Management, Florida Highway Patrol, EVAC Ambulance and Volusia County Government. According to national and local statistics, about half of motorcycle fatalities are caused by motorists, most often when a motorist turns left in front of a biker.

"Our basic message to local motorists is that they should use extra caution during Biketoberfest," says Kim Miller of the Florida Highway Patrol. "Motorcycles are everywhere, and sometimes they're hard to see. We're asking motorists to slow down and look twice before pulling into traffic or approaching an intersection."

Motorcycle accidents caused by bikers are usually related to impairment, speed or inexperience, Miller noted. The ‘None for the Road’ campaign, developed by the Florida Department of Transportation, will target bikers.

The Biketoberfest Safety Task Force encourages motorists to follow these safety tips throughout the year, but especially during Biketoberfest. Drivers are reminded to double-check traffic at intersections before pulling out, checking blind spots before changing lanes, treat motorcyclists with the same respect as other motorists, stay focused on driving, avoiding distractions such as talking on cell phones, eating, or changing radio stations. Motorists are also reminded that failing to yield right-of-way can result in the serious injury or death of a motorcyclist.