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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hawaii motorists reminded to 'Share the Road'

Advertiser Staff

With motorcycle fatalities increasing in Hawaii, the state Department of Transportation is urging drivers to watch out for others who also use the roadways.

The department, along with Leeward Community College, Cycle City and motorcycle safety advocates, lined Nimitz Highway today, waving signs to remind motorists to "Share the Road."

"The DOT would like to remind all drivers to remain alert to other types of vehicles and roadway users," Transportation Director Brennon Morioka said in a statement. "By following basic safety practices, many of these unnecessary deaths and injuries can be avoided."

According to the state, there were 30 motorcycle fatalities in Hawaii in 2009, a 36 percent increase from 2008.

The Transportation Department issued the following tips to drivers and motorcyclists.

Drivers need to:

Remember that motorcycles have the same rights and privileges as any other motor vehicle on the roadway. Always allow a motorcyclist the full lane width; never try to share a lane.

Always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.

Always signal your intentions before changing lanes or merging with traffic. This allows the motorcyclist to anticipate traffic flow and find a safe lane position.

Motorcyclists need to do their part, as well:

Get properly trained and licensed. Every new rider should enroll in a Basic RiderCourse.

Wear protective gear, such as a DOT-compliant helmet, eye protection, boots, long pants and a riding jacket.

Do not ride while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Government studies show that 46 percent of riders killed in motorcycle crashes had been drinking.

Ride within your own skill limits and obey traffic laws.

Be a lifelong learner by taking refresher RiderCourses.