This month participants are asked to create a video or submit original art telling us how you share the road.
Submissions Due April 29, 2022
May is National Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month as well as National Bicycle Safety Month.
With nearly 850,000 licensed motorcyclists in Pennsylvania, PennDOT continues to focus on motorcycle safety.
Motorcyclists should always practice safe-riding techniques and know how to handle their motorcycles in adverse road and weather conditions. Training from the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program (PAMSP) can help teach new riders the basics and provide a refresher for experienced motorcyclists. All PAMSP's courses are free of charge to Pennsylvania residents with a valid motorcycle permit or license as required.
Riders can improve their safety on the road by following some simple safety tips:
- Wear a U.S. DOT-approved helmet, face or eye protection and protective clothing.
- Know your motorcycle and conduct a pre-ride check.
- Wear reflective clothing and put reflective tape on your protective riding gear and motorcycle.
- Use common sense by riding sober, obeying all speed limits and allowing enough time to react to dangerous situations.
- Practice safe-riding techniques and know how to handle your motorcycle in adverse road and weather conditions. Road conditions such as potholes, gravel, wet or slippery surfaces that usually pose minor annoyances to motorists are in fact major hazards for motorcyclists.
- Consider attending free training via PennDOT's Motorcycle Safety Program.
- During spring riding, be cautious of gravel buildup from winter road maintenance on the edges of roadways and near intersections.
And while it's important for riders to be aware of their surroundings, it's also crucial for motorists to share the road safely. Allow more following distance when driving behind a motorcycle (at least 4 seconds) and keep an eye on your mirrors and blind spots as motorcycles are small and may be difficult to see. Ultimately, respect a motorcycle as a full-size vehicle with the same rights and privileges as any vehicle on the roadway.
Fun fact: Bicycles are considered vehicles in Pennsylvania. It's true! And with that designation, cyclists have most of the same rights and responsibilities as traditional motorists on our roadways.
Biking is a healthy, accessible, and affordable mode of transportation. It offers a reduced environmental footprint with no fuel expenses or parking fees, low maintenance costs, and provides a cardiovascular workout. With these benefits, it's no wonder we're seeing more and more people choose to cycle on Pennsylvania's roads. We're also seeing more and more misconceptions about the rights of cyclists, as well as safety etiquette that cyclists should adhere to when sharing the road with motorists.
Pennsylvania's Vehicle Code considers "pedalcycles" as vehicles and provides that every person riding a pedalcycle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and responsibilities applicable to a driver of a vehicle, with certain exceptions discussed below.
Bikes may be ridden on the shoulder of the road (in the same direction as the flow of traffic) but are not required to do so.
- Bikes may also ride on the right half of the roadway in most situations and shall not ride more than two abreast (side-by-side).
- A bicycle or motor vehicle may, with good caution, treat an intersection with an inoperable or malfunctioning traffic signal as a stop condition when red or as a caution condition when green or yellow.
- Motor vehicles must allow 4 feet of space when passing a bicycle and travel at a careful speed.
- Cyclists may be injured or killed when a door is opened in their line of travel. Therefore, a 4-foot distance should be kept between parked vehicles and the line of travel.