City Councilor, Motorcycle Group Spread Awareness of Safe Driving across Tulsa

City Councilor, Motorcycle Group Spread Awareness of Safe Driving across Tulsa

New signs warning drivers to watch out for motorcycles are being put up all over Tulsa to increase awareness.

The American Bikers Aimed Towards Education (ABATE) motorcycle club and a council member from Tulsa came up with this idea and claim that the signs are necessary to try and reduce the number of fatalities and accidents on the roads.

At 21st and Yale on Wednesday in the late afternoon, one of the signs was formally unveiled close to the Tulsa Expo.

The people behind the sign say there are a lot of crashes there as well as a lot of toy runs starting in the area.

The sign in front of the Tulsa fairgrounds was formally unveiled by City Councilor Crista Patrick of Tulsa.

She is passionate about motorcycle safety. Earlier in 2020, her mother Mary Anne perished in a collision.

“She was hit by a car that failed to yield at a stop sign and we lost her instantaneously,” Patrick said. “It will all be worthwhile if I can spare just one person from receiving the news that their mother, father, brother, sister, or other loved one has passed away over the phone.”

Tulsa is ranked as the 22nd most dangerous city in the country for motorcycle riders according to a recent Forbes Advisor survey.

According to statistics from Oklahoma Highway Safety, there were nearly 1,300 motorcycle accidents in the state in 2021, 76 of which resulted in fatalities.

A motorcycle accident near 23rd and Riverside just last weekend resulted in one death and two hospitalizations.

James Chambers Clark is from ABATE, the organization that pushed for the signs to be used in Tulsa.

“A lot of times they’ll look you right in the eye and and they’ll go pull right out in front of you, and I don’t want my epitaph to be, ‘Oh I’m sorry I didn’t see you,'” Clark said. “People should not only look at us; they should also hear us, share the road with us, and see us.”

In areas of the city where there have been more collisions, like on Memorial and Brookside, five additional signs are planned.

In front of Tulsa Powersports, at Yale and 21st, is one of the signs. The sign was put up about ten days ago, according to Bo Wedlake, who owns the business, and it has already had an effect.

“The cars do seem to check up a little bit, and especially for the entrance of our store, and we see it most in our customers have noticed it, so we can only hope that people driving past have noticed it as well,” Wedlake said.

Patrick is optimistic that the signs will be effective.

“Signs don’t always work but sometimes they do, and if it saves one person, then it’s not for nothing,” Patrick said.

After gathering information on the areas in Tulsa where crashes occur most frequently, the initiative took about 18 months to complete. The project’s backers say they hope to increase the number of signs in those areas.

It’s Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and riders are asking for nothing more than for people to keep an eye out and pay attention for them.


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