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Durham police urging drivers, motorcyclists to be attentive on the roads

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WATCH ABOVE: Durham police are urging drivers and riders to watch out for each other and to make sure their bikes are ready for the season. Aaron Streck has the story – Apr 22, 2019

The days are finally getting warmer and that means before you know it, there will be motorcycles on the roads.

Durham police are urging drivers and riders to watch out for each other and to make sure their bikes are ready for the season.

“It’s like Christmas all over again,” said motorcyclist Jeff Jessup.

For Jeff Jessup, it’s been a long time coming but he’s finally able to ride again.

He has been riding for over 40 years and knows the importance of being prepared for a new season.

“I take my time when I approach intersections or busy areas,” said Jessup. “I just slow it down and look around quite a bit.”

READ MORE: Guelph motorcyclist urges drivers to pay more attention after son, 11, injured in crash

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The start of a new season can be dangerous for motorcyclists. Bob Johnston, who has over three decades on a bike, says he always rides defensively because accidents happen and can happen quickly.

“Every time you go on a bike you got to be so careful, and really be aware of your surroundings, the other drivers — almost anticipate what they’re going to do,” Johnston said.

With more motorcycles on the road year after year, Durham Regional Police are seeing an increase in motorcycle-related collisions.

WATCH: Officials urge motorcyclists to be extra cautious early in the riding season

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Officials urge motorcyclists to be extra cautious early in the riding season – Apr 5, 2019

“You are the most vulnerable person on the road next to a cyclist or a pedestrian,” said Sgt. Matt Flower, Durham Regional Police Services Traffic Unit.

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With a late start to the riding season, Sgt. Flower says everyone needs to be paying extra attention on the roads.

“You’ve got no protection around you other than your helmet, so whether it’s the motorcyclist’s fault [or] the car’s fault, motorcyclists tends to pay the price at the end of the day. So we’re asking you, look both ways, keep an eye on your mirrors, look behind you, make sure you’re situationally aware of everything going on around you,” said Sgt. Flower.

READ MORE: Man charged with assault and arson after barricading himself in an Oshawa home that was set on fire

For new riders, Sgt. Flower suggests taking a motorcycle safety course.

Chris Hull at Mackie Harley-Davidson says making sure your bike is road ready should be the first thought before taking it for a spin.

“Most customers, riders don’t think about motorcycle tires — they’re summer tires. The ground is still cold and they have absolutely no grip,” Hull said. “On top of that, add sand and grit that’s out there due to the winter months and you have an accident waiting to happen.”

And while riders are eager to get on the roads, Jessup says a few checks will go a long way to stay safe.

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