The Easy Rider Rodeo will bring thousands of riders to the area
Roads in and around Ross County will be filled with motorcycles over the Labor Day weekend, and the Ross County Health District’s Safe Communities Program is asking automobile drivers and motorcycle riders alike to safely share the road.
"Those of us who drive cars need to be extra careful and considerate, but motorcycle riders need to ride smart and drive very defensively," said Vonda Kern, coordinator of the Safe Communities Program. "Whatever type of vehicle you’re driving, you need to look out for the other guy."
The Easy Rider Rodeo takes place during the Labor Day Weekend at the Ross County Fairgrounds, meaning bikers will not only be in that area, but also in Chillicothe looking for food and supplies, while also exploring the beautiful country roads of Ross County.
"Motorcycles can be harder to see and it can be more difficult to judge distances," said Kern. "For safety, the rest of us need to slow down and look twice."
Kern offered these tips for drivers:
ü Look twice before turning left across another lane of traffic and before pulling out onto the roadway. Oncoming motorcycles can be more difficult to see.
ü When driving behind a motorcycle allow more distance than you might for a car. Motorcycles can stop more quickly than a car and their brake lights might be harder to detect.
ü Don’t drive too close to the center line. Allow for a few additional feet when passing a motorcycle.
According to Lt. Virgil Conley, Commander of the Chillicothe Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, while automobile drivers do need to be alert, motorcycle riders have even more responsibility for their own safety.
"It’s a fact that helmets save lives. While it’s not the law in Ohio, it is a common sense thing," he said. "And by the same token, people who operate motorcycles while impaired are not only breaking the law, but they’re putting their lives at great risk."
Conley said his troopers will be very visible this weekend and there’s always a no-tolerance policy for drunk drivers - whether they’re driving a car or a motorcycle.
"We’re asking motorcycle drivers to take responsibility for their own safety and for everyone else to slow down and take a few extra precautions, so that we can have a safe and uneventful weekend on our area roads."
Both Kern and Conley pointed out that the weather can also have a negative impact on motorcycle safety, and that if the roads are wet everyone needs to slow down even more.
"We want everyone to stay safe and healthy, and not just this weekend but always," said Kern. "Our program aims to improve safety on our roads and to save lives not just by promoting motorcycle safety, but also by promoting seat belt use, and reminding our citizens about the dangers of impaired and distracted driving."