Billboard promotes motorcycle safety

Courtesy photo A couple of motorcycle crashes in recent months and concern drivers aren’t used to sharing the road with motorcycles helped inspire the idea for the sign located on Prince Street near 13th Street. The billboard bears the message, “Summer means motorcycles: Take a 2nd look, Give a 2nd chance.”

By Sharna Johnson: CNJ staff writer

Warm summer days are perfect for riding, but no day is perfect for a crash.

That’s what prompted local businesses to come together with a safety message for motorcycle riders.

Carla DuBois, who serves as director of Clovis’ Harley-Davidson Owners Group, said 17 motorcycle groups and a slew of businesses and private donors recently came together to create a billboard reminding bikers and drivers to take a second look on the road.

After a harsh winter such as the one experienced this year in eastern New Mexico, motorcycle riders are taking to the road in large numbers with the onset of nice weather, DuBois said.

A couple of spring motorcycle crashes in and recent months concern drivers aren’t used to sharing the road with motorcycles helped inspire the idea for the sign located on Prince Street near 13th Street. The billboard bears the message, “Summer means motorcycles: Take a 2nd look, Give a 2nd chance.”

“I think from a driver’s point (of view), when we’re not seeing them all the time, we forget about them,” DuBois said. “Basically, the message is it’s summertime now. We understand that we’ve had a hard winter.

“Just take a second look, we’re small (and) we’re not always visible … sometimes a second look may make a difference on a collision.”

DuBois said efforts to raise $1,700 for the billboard spanned six months and garnered support from local businesses and riders’ groups.

Zia Power Sports General Manager Wendy Swaim said her company contributed $125 and thought the sign was a good idea, “just to participate in getting awareness out there to the public.”

“It’s just very important to us that people watch out for motorcycle riders,” she said. “This is the time of year that people start riding more and people need to be more aware of motorcycles out on the highway.”

Swaim said a large number of her store’s clientele are airmen from Cannon Air Force Base.

While Cannon has strict safety guidelines for personnel — such as wearing of full-cover clothing, helmets and reflective gear — Swaim said her company recommends similar safety standards for all riders and encourages new riders to take a safety course offered at Clovis Community College.