AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – As the weather warms up, more motorcyclists are taking their bikes to the road.
We spoke to motorcyclists and law enforcement about motorcycle safety.
“Be safe, be smart,” said Kristy Witt, who works at Timms Harley-Davidson. “Always assume the other person doesn’t see you, so make yourself known.”
Kristy Witt and John Johnson have been riding since their youth. They recommend fellow riders wear protective gear like eye wear, long sleeves and pants and closed-toed shoes.
They also highly recommend safety courses.
“Even if you are an experienced rider- been riding for years- we always recommend someone does take that class,” said Witt. “You will pick up some awesome tricks on the trade…and you also save money on insurance.”
In Georgia, all motorcyclists must wear a helmet. In South Carolina, bikers over 21 are not required to wear helmets, though South Carolina Highway Patrol Master Trooper Brandon Bolt suggests they be worn.
“We still would like for you to wear a helmet and any safety gear that you can,” said Bolt.
“Also…the initial, beginning part of a rain, that’s when it’s a little bit more slick out because the oil’s coming to the surface of the roads, so you want to be aware of that as well,” said Johnson, who also works at Timms Harley-Davidson.
Johnson also encourages people in cars to check their blind spots often.
“…because motorcycles are smaller, they’re easier to miss,” said Johnson.
Both bikers and law enforcement say the most important thing is to stay vigilant while driving.
“Always give motorcyclists a safe distance,” said Bolt. “You know, when in doubt, give them more distance. We have the slogan ‘look twice, save a life’. And, if you can, try not to ride alone. You know, it’s always better to ride in groups than it is by yourself.”
Rider safety courses are offered throughout the CSRA. For more details on courses or to sign up, visit the websites below.
Georgia Motorcycle Safety Program
South Carolina Rider Education Program