May is known as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and the 28th annual American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE) Safety and Awareness ride drew dozens of motorcycles to downtown Buffalo for the awareness-raising run to kick off the 2018 riding season.
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined outside of the Edward A. Rath county office building by Commissioner of Central Police Services James Janewicz, officials from the ABATE Buffalo-Erie Chapter and several other elected officials and community members to call for increased safety and awareness.
“All motorists need to be vigilant and aware of other vehicles on the road, especially smaller vehicles such as motorcycles,” Poloncarz said. “With more motorcycles on the road each year, it is important for all to use extra caution and good judgment while paying increased attention to who is sharing the road with us. Safe driving habits will make for a better riding season for everyone.”
According to data from October 2017 from the Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research, there were 759 motorcyclist fatalities and more than 20,000 injury crashes in New York between 2012 and 2016.
The data also shows that riders from the ages of 21 to 29 account for almost 30 percent of all motorcycle fatalities and that 50 percent of all motorcycle fatalities occur on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
ABATE has 25 chapters across New York State and is dedicated to promoting motorcycle safety, awareness and education.