by Michael Hone
Department of Transportation aims to increase motorcycle safety in state
RIO DE JANEIRO – The Department of Transportation (DETRAN) kicked off an educational program on Tuesday aimed at increasing motorcycle safety throughout the state, reported the Globo network.
Official statistics prove what we all see every day on the road: the number of motorcycles in the state keeps growing, and with that growth comes an increase in the number of accidents. DETRAN wants to utilize driving schools and public service announcements to educate the public, and especially motorcycle riders, on what is safe and lawful conduct on two wheels.
Currently, 222,258 motorcycles circulate on the streets of Rio. The quick and cheap mode of transportation constitutes 13% of the vehicles in the state. Those who ride motorcycles are eager to explain their preference, saying that motorcycles are cheap to buy and easy to maneuver in and out of traffic.
The convenience motorcycles offer comes at a cost: according to the Ministry of Health there were 2,863 accidents in Rio in 2010 involving motorcycles. Through May of this year, there were already 1,258 accidents.
Recklessness is a major cause of accidents. Most riders, for example, do not know that lane-splitting—driving between other vehicles—is not allowed as it is in some other places.
Marcos de Jesus Pessoas is one of those who didn’t know that it is forbidden to drive in a lane of his own making. “I didn’t know, and I’ve been licensed for almost 20 years,” he told Globo.
DETRAN is hoping that the educational campaign will make life on the road safer for motorcycle riders. “We have to increasingly enhance the education of these drivers, demanding that schools prioritize better teaching safe motorcycle riding,” said Janet Bloise of DETRAN.
Motorcycling is more popular than ever in Brazil and tourists do not have to miss out on the fun. There exist companies that provide expertly guided motorcycle tours through the most popular and beautiful areas of the country. The best part is, you don’t even have to bring your own bike as they provide them as rentals.
Brazilian online news source for this article: O Globo