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DC Insider: May is Motorcycle Awareness Month

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The month of May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, which is one of the most important months of the year for the safety of all road users -- especially motorcyclists.

As the largest motorcycling rights and event-sanctioning organization in North America, the American Motorcyclist Association urges drivers to avoid crashes with motorcyclists by taking extra care and looking twice to spot motorcycles in traffic -- especially at intersections – and respect the motorcyclists' space on the road and not follow too closely.

The AMA recognizes that distracted or inattentive driving has become a major concern for all road users. Far too many cases have been documented of motorcyclists being injured or killed as a result of other vehicle operators being distracted or inattentive.

Recently, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood issued voluntarily guidelines that encourage automobile manufacturers to limit the distraction risk associated with electronic devices built into their vehicles. High-tech devices designed for communications, entertainment and navigation, known as “infotainment systems,” will inevitably increase distracted driving and add to the ever-increasing number of crashes and fatalities attributable to distracted and inattentive vehicle operation.

The AMA sent a letter applauding LaHood for issuing the guidelines to combat distracted driving because we share his view that “Distracted driving is a deadly epidemic that has devastating consequences on our nation’s roadways.”

Responding in a letter on behalf of LaHood, the National Highway Safety Administration expressed pleasure that the AMA supports efforts to curtail distracted driving. Furthermore, the NHTSA pointed out that in-vehicle technologies distract driver attention and increase the risk to all motorists, including motorcyclists.

To view AMA position statements on distracted and inattentive vehicle operation and rider education, as well as other subjects, visit

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