May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
NMDOT reminds motorists to look twice for bikers
SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) reminds all motorists, Motorcyclist Safety Is Everyone’s Safety. Summer will soon usher in more roadway travel. Safe motorcycle riding and driving practices from all road users will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries on New Mexico roadways.
“New Mexico is a perfect place to ride, “said Transportation Sec. Ricky Serna. “The weather is great; the scenery is beautiful, and the roadways are vast. During the past legislative session, state lawmakers officially memorialized the month of May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in our state. House Memorial 45 supports the national initiative to drive home the importance of proper motorcycle training, certification, awareness, and safety measures for both bikers and drivers.”
According to the University of New Mexico crash data report, there were 54 motorcycle fatalities in New Mexico in 2022, 8 involved alcohol and 33 were not wearing helmets.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), per vehicle mile traveled, motorcyclists are about 28 times more likely than passenger vehicle occupants to die in a crash and were 4 times more likely to be injured.
Motorcyclists are exposed to dangers other drivers don’t experience. Below are safety tips for both motorists and riders.
Tips for motorcyclists
- Complete rider education courses and obtain a current motorcycle license
- Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear
- Follow the speed limit and adhere to all traffic safety signs, signals, and laws
- Signal properly to other drivers
- Never ride while impaired or distracted
Tips for motorists when sharing the road
- Observe all traffic signs, signals, laws and adhere to the posted speed limit
- Yield to motorcyclists, especially while turning at intersections
- Avoid distractions, including dangerous cellphone use behind the wheel
- Use turn signals when changing lanes or merging with traffic
- Check all mirrors and blinds spots before changing lanes
- Give more distance when driving behand a motorcyclist than other passenger vehicles
For more information on motorcycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles.
To legally operate a motorcycle in New Mexico, a driver must have a valid license with a motorcycle endorsement. New Mexico riders must pass a 50 multiple-choice question knowledge test as part of a required Motorcycle Safety Foundation Basic Rider Course if you are under 18. To sign up for a course, (successful completion waives both the MVD written and skills testing), visit the website at: https://www.nm-msp.org/ or you can call 505-312-8430 or 877-667-8880.