The Jemez Riders Motorcycle Association has posted a banner on the pedestrian overpass near Los Alamos High School. Courtesy photo
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
You may notice a banner on the pedestrian overpass by the Los Alamos High School that reads, “Don’t Drive Intexticated – Watch for Motorcycles”. The banner is one of the safety initiatives undertaken by the Jemez Riders Motorcycle Association, which was established in 2015 to raise safety awareness throughout northern New Mexico.
Association President Richard Sturgeon said the group has also set out satirical election yard election yard signs to raise awareness of motorcycles as part of the traffic world.
“Anything to get people thinking and talking about motorcycles is a win,” he said. “We are blessed to be able to ride our bikes in Los Alamos and northern New Mexico. We appreciate all the vehicle drivers who watch out for motorcycles and help keep us safe.”
May is Motorcycle Awareness Month in Los Alamos and throughout the state. Sturgeon has authored state and county proclamations for several years and in 2018, he succeeded in having officials from all 33 counties sign proclamations, something he believes no other state has yet accomplished.
Another awareness project organized by the Jemez Riders was the adoption sections of the highway on the way into Los Alamos and White Rock which now have signs asking drivers to watch for motorcycles.
“Everyone driving into or out of our home communities sees a motorcycle awareness message,” Sturgeon said. “It also lets motorcyclists from other places know that we are a motorcycle-friendly county.”
NMDOT allowed us to designate the section of highway leading into Los Alamos as having been adopted by “Watch For Motorcycles”. Now everyone that drives into and out of our home town receives a motorcycle awareness message. It also lets touring motorcyclists know that Los Alamos is a motorcycle-friendly community.
The U.S. Department of Transportation says, “Motorcycle crashes involving another motor vehicle continue to account for nearly half of all motorcyclist fatalities in the nation. Motorcyclists are inherently at more risk than motor vehicles because they lack many of the same safety features of automobiles. From a statistical perspective, motorcyclists are 27 times more likely to die in a crash than other motorists. Even the smallest momentary lapse in a vehicle driver’s awareness can result in the death of an unseen motorcyclist.”
For more information on JMRA, go to https://jemezriders.com/