This story was in today's (3/1/07) Plymouth Bulletin.
If you're interested in helping on this project to put 500 motorcycle safety/awareness signs up in your community on either private or public property, and aren't involved yet, e-mail
Paul W. Cote at email@example.com and Sarge at Sarge1955@aol.com. As of today, we have over 110 communities on board with this safety/awareness initiative.
Coming to a street near you
February 28, 2007 | Plymouth Bulletin
By Bobbi Sistrunk, CNC Newspapers
CARVER - Several local communities including Plymouth, Duxbury, Rochester, Mattapoisett, Pembroke and now Carver are working to keep motorcycle drivers safe on the roads in
their communities. Founded in 1974, the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA) is a very active group, which has been instrumental in raising awareness of motorcyclists
through its Motorcycle Safety Project. The group was able to help enact a bill in 2002, which led to Gov. Mitt Romney signing a proclamation in 2005 annually declaring the last week
of March through the last week of April as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period.
In November of 2006 MMA requested a grant from the Auto Insurer’s Bureau to help fund the erection of motorcycle awareness signs in Massachusetts communities. Plymouth
Rock Assurance Corporation awarded a $15,000 grant to the MMA to purchase and install 500 2-by-8-foot signs, which read “Check twice - Save a life, MOTORCYCLES ARE
EVERYWHERE!!!!!” The signs are constructed of Coroplast, a strong plastic material, in highly visible yellow with black lettering. A smaller version of the sign is already found along
Route 3 northbound, near Exit 6 in Plymouth.
Representatives of MMA are seeking permission to install at least one sign per community. MMA District II Coordinator Wendell Davis approached the Board of Selectmen at last
Tuesday evening's meeting seeking permission to erect a sign in South Carver in the vicinity of Tremont Street and Route 58.
Carver Police Chief Arthur Parker sent a letter of support to the board stating that “The proclamation will raise awareness to motorcycle use and can enhance motorcycle safety.” He
also asked “that the police chief be appointed as the public safety official to work with and coordinate this effort.” Many local police officers either own motorcycles or have
experience riding them. Parker estimates as many as a third of his officers are bikers.
“After 30 years in law enforcement, I am sensitive to the severity of motorcycle accidents. Clearly there is a need to reduce crashes between motorcycles and other types of
vehicles,” he added. He reflected on motorcycle accidents he has responded to in which fatalities occurred.
“We all know of someone who has been hurt or killed in a motorcycle accident. Operators of other vehicles need to become more aware with the warmer weather coming.”
He further said that in his role as public safety coordinator he intends to make sure that the sign will not impede the view of the motoring public.
“Maximum visibility with minimum negative impact on vehicle operators in the area,” he said of the signs location. “We recognize the fact that motorcycles present a unique
challenge to other motor vehicle drivers because of their size. Vehicle operators don’t see motorcycles easily as opposed to full-sized vehicles.” He cited the fact that motorcycles
are designed to have their headlights on at all times to maximize their visibility and that motorcycle operators have to drive defensively due to their vulnerability on the roadways.
Will Sinclair, owner of a Harley Davidson Electro Glide Classic, said he participates in several motorcycle runs each year and that most of them go directly through the main streets
of Carver. “It’s a great place to have this sign,” he said. “Most of the runs come through by way of Tremont Street and 58, to or from Plympton.” He further stated that as many as 80-
90 percent of the runs he joins raise funds for benevolent causes such as the fallen firefighters fund and other fundraising efforts. “Many start at the Upland Club in Plympton and
travel a route south through the town of Carver. Bikers are numerous; people always say ’I didn't see you.’ The truth is loud pipes save lives, that's why we say it. Raising
awareness can help to diminish the amount of permanent disabilities, loss of life and loss of vehicles,” he said. “Anything that can help us make the public aware that we are out
there is a good thing.”
According to Davis, Massachusetts is on the cutting edge of motorcycle safety programs. Davis owns a Honda Gold Wing. In addressing the board he said that even though he
rides a very large bike with several lights he has also been told “I didn't see you,” by drivers of other types of vehicles. “This sign will help not just motorcyclists, but pedestrians,
bicyclists, etc., by making people more aware overall,” he said.
Massachusetts is unique in the country. Davis said as far as he knows, this is the only state with such an active awareness program and that “Massachusetts is one of the few
states where (motorcycle) registrations have gone up and deaths have gone down.”
Construction of the sign was approved by the board and will be supplied and erected with no cost to the town.
Date: March 7, 2007
As of this morning, over 125 Massachusetts cities and towns have signed onto supporting motorcycle safety and awareness March 24-April 30th, the period our Governor proclaims
the State's Motorcycle Safety Awareness Period, to help reduce accidents and injuries.
Those towns and cities have issued their own proclamations and given us permission to post BIG 2' x 8' CHECK TWICE-SAVE A LIFE, MOTORCYCLES ARE EVERYWHERE signs
on their public property. The funding for these signs was provided by Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation.
Now, we need your help.
1.) This weekend, we will be 'framing' the signs with wood, at the old Lynn Ladder warehouse, 270 South Common Street (near Commercial Street, set back building) from 10 a.m.
to ? And we'll continue Sunday until complete. We need greater Lynn area riders and carpenters with their screw guns, hand saws, and hammers. If you can help either day, please
contact Paul W. Cote at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2.) We will have FREE* signs for riders and businesses who have private property locations, with high traffic volume, to post these signs upon your property season long. These
signs have a retail value of $50 and will be available for at a local pick-up location close to you.
*The MMA reserves the right to select sign locations as our first goal is for one sign to be in each city and town in Massachusetts. You'd erect the sign the weekend of March 24-25.
And we'd like a picture of you and the sign for media releases.
If you have a good location you own and want a FREE sign, please contact Paul W. Cote at email@example.com and/or Sarge at Sarge1955@aol.com before March 21, 2007.
Help us and Plymouth Rock promote motorcycle safety & awareness, to reduce accidents and injuries in Massachusetts.