Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Reminds Drivers to Share the Road

Montgomery 15th out of 95 counties for most wrecks 12:03 AM, Mar. 16, 2011 | Written by TAVIA D. GREEN As the weather warms up, more motorcyclists will be taking to the roads, and local law enforcement officials have put up signs to remind motorists to watch out for bikers. “We see a rise in motorcycle registrations in Montgomery County and more accidents involving motorcyclists,” said Deputy Ted Denny, spokesman for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. “Through education and law enforcement, we are trying to be proactive in reducing fatalities.” The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department strategically placed six signs. Sgt. Jimmy Brown said two signs were located on the 41-A Bypass and four on Highway 76/Martin Luther King Boulevard. “We put signs up to get awareness to watch out for the motorcyclists,” Brown said. “With summertime coming up and motorcyclist getting out on the road, drivers need to watch for them because they are not as easy to see and are a third of the size of a car.” Montgomery County ranked 15th in the state out of 95 counties for most motorcycle accidents in 2010. Brown said that statistic is based on the number of motorcycle registrations (11,673) compared to the number of motorcycle crashes in 2010 (129) and divided by 1,000. Polk County, with 1,220 registered motorcycles and 25 wrecks, ranked first. Wrecks involving motorcycles are usually high-injury wrecks because motorcyclists have nothing around them to protect them. Although most bikers wear Department of Transportation-approved helmets, their injuries in crashes are usually life-threatening. Cindy Davidson, state education officer for the Motorcycle Awareness Foundation of Tennessee, is a living example of the need for motorcycle safety. Davidson was riding her motorcycle and had the right-of-way when a woman making an illegal left turn hit her. “I believe God let me survive to speak for ones that didn’t make it,” Davidson said. “Three years, six surgeries and rehab, and the woman left with a $60 fine. Me and a few of and my friends got tired of going to hospitals and funerals and thought it’s time to educate the community.” Davidson said she goes to schools, churches and community events to educate people about things like looking four times before entering a roadway, checking your peripherals before changing lanes and allowing more distance between cars and motorcycles traveling down the road. “These signs will become a good reminder,” she said. Tavia D. Green, 245-0742 Crime/courts reporter

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