May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month
Motorcyclist participating in the 2021 Motorcycle Safety Class.
May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. In San Francisco, motorcyclists remain some of the most vulnerable road users. Over the last few years, the number of registered motorcycles has increased consistently, and it is now common to see motorcycles and scooters in every neighborhood of the city. This presents benefits in the form of reduced congestion and fuel consumption versus private automobiles, but also safety challenges for people who ride motorcycles. In 2020, motorcyclists comprised 23% of all traffic fatalities, reversing two years of decline for motorcyclists.
To reduce severe and fatal motorcycle crashes, the Vision Zero SF Motorcycle Safety Program was created in 2016. Over the years this program has worked to raise awareness of motorcycle safety through outreach, safety ambassador trainings, and marketing campaigns. The Vision Zero SF Motorcycle Safety Program also increases capacity building within the motorcycle community, partnering with the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) Traffic Company to provide free hands-on motorcycle skills classes to riders. Classes are conducted by SFPD motorcycle instructors, and participants get one-on-one feedback for how to improve their riding.
Riders learn techniques that improve defensive riding and practice drills like:
- Crash-avoidance drills
- Emergency maneuvers
- Going slow with control
- Proper braking
- Turning techniques
- Urban riding drills
Participants cite the class as beneficial in improving their skills and “totally worth it” to learn from experienced motorcyclists from SFPD. The motorcycle classes are funded by the Office of Traffic Safety and is in its third year of offering hands-on classes. Classes begin in May and will run through August.
More information can be found at Motorcycle Safety | Vision Zero SF