2007-06-23 / News

Safe riding begins with preride checks, good judgment

COLUMBUS - Safe motorcycling starts even before the ride begins. Riding a motorcycle takes coordination, balance, and most important, good judgment. By taking just a few moments to conduct a pre-ride check of your motorcycle before you ride and choosing not to consume alcohol, you can increase the chances that nothing will go wrong while you are on the road.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol, American Motorcyclist Association and the Ohio Department of Public Safety's Motorcycle Ohio office recommend riders follow the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's "T-CLOCS" preride checklist to help make every ride safer.

+ T - Tires and Wheels: Check tire surface and pressure (when cold), check wheels for damage and wear.

+ C - Controls: Check the levers, pedals, cables, hoses and throttle for signs of damage or improper operation.

+ L - Lights: Check the lights, including brake lights, headlights and turn signals to ensure everything is in working order.

+ O - Check the oil and fuel, and if the motorcycle is liquidcooled, check the coolant levels.

+ C - Chassis: Check the chassis, including the frame, suspension, chain or belt and fasteners.

+ S - Stands: check the sidestand and centerstand to make sure they fold up properly and stay up.

Alcohol and motorcycles don't mix. Here's some points to considers from AMA's Ride Straight alcohol awareness program.

+ Alcohol & you - Even one drink can negatively impact your ability to ride safely. The dangers posed by a loss of skill and judgment can be a problem anywhere motorcyclists ride after consuming alcohol.

+ How much is too much? - Alcohol affects everyone differently, however it begins working on your brain and motor skills with the first drink.

What you can do - The safest and most responsible choice is don't drink and ride.

The goal of Ride Smart, Drive Smart is to help motorcyclists and other drivers share the road safely. Three key safety awareness themes to achieve this goal are:

1. Ride Trained (including knowing proper safety gear to wear)/Ride Licensed;

2. Ride Sober; and

3. Other drivers be award by looking out for motorcyclists.

For more information on Ride Smart, Drive Smart, visit www. statepatrol.ohio.gov/motorcycle. htm.

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