With More Motorcycles On the Roads, Police Urge Added Caution
Following a motorcycle crash that killed a 19-year-old Perth Amboy man Tuesday, state police are urging all motorists to use caution as warmer weather is prompting more motorcyclists to take to the roads in New Jersey.
On Tuesday, police say 19-year-old Hugh Rone was killed due to a motorcycle crash on the northbound side of the Garden State Parkway in Tinton Falls at 3:28 p.m. Tuesday. According to State Police Sgt. Jeff Flynn, Rone was in the center lane on a 1999 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, when he attempted to move to the right center lane and lost control of the bike. He crashed onto the roadway in the center lane of the parkway, Flynn said.
Rone was transported by emergency crews to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune where he was pronounced dead a short time later, Flynn said. According to police, the crash is still under investigation and no other vehicles were involved.
As the weather warms up, police say there will likely be an increase surge in the number of motorcycles on the roadways. According to NJ State Police data on fatal accidents, 62 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2014, up from 57 in 2013. Over the course of four years, however, the number of motorcycle crash fatalities has actually dropped, the data shows. with the highest number of deaths - 97 total - in 2011.
In the past two months, 10 people have died in fatal motorcycle crashes in New Jersey, many of them in the Jersey Shore area, according to NJ Advance Media. There were a total of seven motorcycle crash fatalities last month including Rone and 48-year-old Wallington Fire Dpeartment member Frank Stetz, who also died in a crash on the Garden State Parkway around the Memorial Day holiday.
"Obviously this is the time of the year for motorcycles, so it's a good time to remind people to look out for motorcyclists on the roads," Flynn said.
He advises drivers of four-wheel vehicles to be alert and give themselves extra room, especially if there's a motorcycle on the road in close proximity. This way, if the motorcycle topples over or crashes, the motorists will have enough room to stop so as to avoid hitting the downed biker.But the responsibility doesn't only fall to motorists. The bikers themselves also need to exercise caution and consideration as they share the road with other vehicles, police say. Flynn said all drivers and motorcyclists should be especially cautious on county and local roads where there are homes and businesses.For people living on back roads, Flynn said it's important to be extra careful when backing out of your driveway since a motorcyclist may be harder to spot than a larger vehicle
"Be cautious backing out of your driveway to look for motorcyclists coming down your roadways," Flynn said.
He said bikers should also take it slow on curvy county or local roads, be mindful of people pulling out of driveways and parking spaces, and negotiate turns carefully.
Flynn also said that like cars drivers, motorcyclists need to stay alert.
"They have to pay attention to what the cars are doing around them," he said.
Another safety measure for motorcyclists involves their gear. Flynn said bikers should wear DOT-approved helmets and riding gear. He added that the type of clothing a motorcyclist wears can also help prevent some types of injuries in the event of a crash.
"Good riding pants and jacket can save a lot of injury," he said.