SIDNEY — As the weather warms up, the Sidney Police Department is cautioning motorcyclists and motorists across the county to be safe.
“As much as our typical Ohio weather is trying to prevent it, the days are steadily getting warmer and this means a rise in motorcyclists on our streets,” Sidney Police Officer Rachel Croskrey said.
Croskrey said that there is no doubt that when motorcycles are involved in an accident the risk to bodily injury goes up exponentially. There are steps that both automobile drivers and motorcyclists can take to decrease those risks.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation offers the following tips to motorcyclists:
• Remember that motorists often have trouble seeing motorcycles.
• Make sure the motorcycle’s headlight works and is on day and night.
• Use reflective strips or decals on any clothing and on the motorcycle.
• Avoid riding in the blind spots of cars and trucks.
• If possible, flash the brake light when slowing down and before stopping.
• Have an escape route in case a motorist doesn’t see the motorcycle and violates the right-of-way.
• Wear a quality helmet and eye protection; a full-face helmet provides the best protection. Additionally, wear sturdy and protective clothing, such as a jacket and pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves. Bright clothing and a light-colored helmet increase the chances of being seen.
• Constantly search the road for changing conditions, and assess, adapt and respond to them accordingly.
• Give enough space and time to search for traps and escape paths.
• Give other motorists time and space to respond.
• Use lane positioning to see and be seen.
• Search for vehicles that may turn across the path, especially at intersections.
• Use turn signals for all turns and lane changes.
• Ride with the assumption of being invisible.
• Don’t ride when tired or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.
• Know and follow the rules of the road.
Additionally, Sidney Police Officer Matthew Dembski rides a motorcycle when not on duty and emphasized the importance of wearing protective gear and anything that makes a rider more visible.
“Remember that cars may not see you,” Dembski said. “Motorcycles are harder to see so (automobile drivers) need to make a good check before changing lanes or entering the road.”
These are simple steps but could help prevent life-changing accidents.
Last year, the city of Sidney had four crashes that were motorcycle-related. One that took place on the evening of June 12, 2021, involved Noah Colllins, who lost his leg when he was involved in an accident with a truck while riding a motorcycle.
“Pedro Anzaldo had placed a makeshift tourniquet on the victim’s left leg above Collins’s injury. This quick action from Mr. Anzaldo and Officer Bobby Benshoff helped save Collins from having more significant lifelong injuries and could have possibly saved his life,” Sidney Police Chief William Balling said.
Both Anzaldo and Benshoff received a plaque with the department’s appreciation for their quick thinking and willingness to make a difference.
Croskrey said that the Sidney Police Department is proud of drivers from last year for helping keep motorcycle-related crashes low and hopes in 2022 to lower that number even more.
“Regardless of your vehicle of choice, the Sidney Police Department encourages derivers to safely enjoy the warmer weather this year,” Croskrey said.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Police Department, 234 W. Court St., Sidney.