May 2021 – On May 2, drivers crossing the Sunshine Skyway Bridge enjoyed a scenic crossing decked in green in honor of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. The Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition teamed up with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to light up the bridge to promote motorcycle safety through its “Ride Smart Florida” program.
Other transportation planning agencies supported the effort as well. USF’s Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR) used the bridge as a backdrop for its motorcycle safety awareness posters. The TPO launched a more intimate approach: restroom ads.
“It will definitely grab attention and point out the best tips for motorists,” Gena Torres said. Ms. Torres is an executive planner for the TPO and the agency’s project manager for Vision Zero.
“Hillsborough is often one of the top three counties in the state in motorcycle deaths,” Ms. Torres said. “Since Vision Zero has a good handle on pedestrian safety, I figured we could do something as an agency for motorcycle safety. Indoor ads in popular spaces are perfect because they reach both motorcyclists and drivers.”
Ms. Torres led TPO’s effort to sponsor the green and black posters which were posted in popular restaurants along high motorcycle crash corridors such as the Westshore area, Ybor City, and Causeway Blvd. in Brandon. A total of 45 posters were placed in men’s and women’s restrooms across 25 locations. Each poster lists seven tips drivers can follow to drive safely around motorcyclists.
According to the Florida Motorcycle Safety Coalition, “a large portion of motorcycle crashes involve (…) poor speed and spatial judgment.” Sometimes drivers don’t see motorcyclists at all due to a phenomenon called motion induced blindness. For more safety tips including a nifty way to gauge how motion induced blindness works, visit Motorist Responsibility – Ride Smart Florida.