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Erie County: Poloncarz, officials join to promote motorcycle safety, awareness

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Mon, May 9th 2016 03:50 pm
Riders roll out in brilliant sunshine in downtown Buffalo as the 26th annual ABATE motorcycle safety and awareness ride begins in front of the Edward A. Rath county office building.
Riders roll out in brilliant sunshine in downtown Buffalo as the 26th annual ABATE motorcycle safety and awareness ride begins in front of the Edward A. Rath county office building.

26th annual ABATE motorcycle ride kicks off new riding season with call for safety

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined Saturday in front of the Edward A. Rath county office building by Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs, elected officials, community members and officials from the American Bikers Aimed Toward Education of NY Buffalo-Erie Chapter to start the motorcycle season with a call for increased safety and awareness. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, with increased ridership and more bikes on the road.

"More motorcycles are on the road each year, and more drivers in general. It's always a good idea to practice good driving skills - especially as warm weather approaches - and be aware of road conditions and other drivers sharing the road," Poloncarz said. "It is incumbent on those of us sharing the highways with our friends driving their bikes to be aware of their presence at all times, and be extra cautious while driving."

ABATE has 25 chapters across New York dedicated to promoting motorcycle safety, awareness and education. The organization also pursues fair treatment for all motorcyclists, monitors proposed motorcycle-impacting legislation, and works for freedom of choice regarding safety equipment. ABATE advocates for individuals' "Right to Ride" while striving to keep members educated on all issues affecting motorcyclists.

"There are currently over 21,000 registered motorcycles in Erie County alone, in addition to the hundreds of thousands of motorists who travel on our roads throughout spring and summer season," Jacobs said. "In this era of distracted driving, all motorists must be aware of their vehicle's blind spots and alert to the presence of motorcycles so we can share the roadways together safely."

"Motorcycle safety is especially important when the warm weather arrives and more bikes are on the road. Motorcyclists are encouraged to be extra vigilant and other motorists should always be careful and look around to see who else is on the road with them," ABATE legislative director Tim Elling said. "Added safety awareness and caution with other motorists will lead to safer travel for all."

For more information on ABATE of Buffalo-Erie, visit www.buffaloerieabate.com; on the state motorcycle safety program, visit www.nysmsp.org.

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