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Education, enforcement key to stopping Ohio motorcycle accidents

Troubling statistics in Lorain County, Ohio, have led Ohio Highway Patrol representatives to focus on motorcycle safety and awareness. Troopers and other officers throughout the region have bolstered their efforts to prevent Ohio motorcycle accidents by participating in educational campaigns and other programs. Those initiatives appear to be working, according to officers. The programs were ostensibly launched in response to a shocking statistic; four years ago, about 50 percent of the county's fatal wrecks involved motorcycle collisions.

The initiatives have been remarkably effective. In 2013, there was not a single fatal motorcycle accident in Lorain County. Officers say that does not mean they can sleep on the job, however, as the first fatal motorcycle accident of 2014 has already occurred. That wreck happened in early April when a motorcycle struck a vehicle head-on in Grafton Township.

Motorcycle injuries are still high on the list of priorities for local law enforcement agencies, as dozens of riders are injured every year. A large number of those wrecks include alcohol or drug intoxication as a factor. Officers say they are increasing enforcement efforts in areas that have been proven to have a high risk of motorcycle crashes.

Although many riders say that motorcycle collisions are caused by inattentive drivers, officers say that everyone could stand to improve their awareness on Ohio roads. Responsible motorcycle riding and responsible driving are both critical to maintaining safety throughout the state. Motorcyclists are encouraged to brush up on their safety techniques and skills every year.

Even the most conscientious motorcycle rider can be victimized by a distracted driver or intoxicated motorist. The consequences can be devastating, with motorcyclists suffering catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities. Motorcyclists should be able to travel the state's roads safely, so irresponsible drivers should be held accountable for the accidents they cause.

Source: The Morning Journal, "Ohio Highway Patrol focuses on motorcycle safety, education" Eric Bonzar, Apr. 10, 2014

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