DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. -- With tens of thousands of bikers expected to roar into town for Biketoberfest this month, a local task force is launching a public information campaign to make the roads safer for motorcyclists and locals. The messages will be "Look twice, save a life" and "None for the Road."

Thirty-four billboards with the slogans already have been placed throughout Volusia County. Local firefighters and police officers will place2,000 temporary signs along roadways before bikers arrive.

The task force includes representatives from the Florida Department of Transportation, Institute of Police Technology and Management, Florida Highway Patrol, EVAC Ambulance and Volusia County Government.

According to national and local statistics, about half of motorcycle fatalities are caused by motorists, most often when a motorist turns left in front of a biker.

"Our basic message to local motorists is that they should use extra caution during Biketoberfest," said Kim Miller of the Florida Highway Patrol. "Motorcycles are everywhere, and sometimes they're hard to see. We're asking motorists to slow down and look twice before pulling into traffic or approaching an intersection."

Motorcycle accidents caused by bikers are usually related to impairment, speed or inexperience, Miller noted. The "None for the Road" campaign, developed by the Florida Department of Transportation, will target bikers.

This year's campaign was funded in part by the Florida Department of Transportation. Lamar Advertising Co. donated the billboard space for the campaign.

Safety Tips For Motorists
Sharing the roads with motorcycles requires special attention. The Biketoberfest Safety Task Force encourages motorists to follow these safety tips throughout the year, but especially during Biketoberfest:

  • Double-check traffic at intersections before you turn or pull out.
  • Check your blind spots before changing lanes.
  • Treat motorcyclists with the same respect you give to other motorists.
  • Stay focused on your driving. Avoid distractions such as talking on your cell phone, eating, or changing radio stations.
  • Leave at least a four-second distance between your car and a motorcycle in front of you. Note when a motorcycle passes a point in the road. If your vehicle passes the same point before you count "one thousand one, one thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four," you're following too closely.
  • When passing a motorcycle, give a full lane to the motorcycle.
  • Keep a watchful eye at all times. Because they're small, motorcycles are hard to see.
  • Remember that failure to yield right-of-way can result in the death of a motorcyclist. For additional comments, please contact:

  • Al Roop, Institute of Police Technology and Management, (904) 620-4784

  • Trenda McPherson, Florida Department of Transportation, (850) 245-1528
  • Kim Miller, Florida Highway Patrol, (407) 737-2300
  • Mark O'Keefe, EVAC Ambulance, (386) 299-2700
  • Pat Kuehn, Volusia County Community Information, (386) 748-3989