Introduction of Crossing with Care Program to Increase Motorcycle Safety Awareness
Lexington, SC – Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher is introducing the Lexington County Coroner’s Office Crossing with Care Program, which is intended to increase motorcycle safety awareness. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
The warmth and beauty of May in South Carolina is sure to bring many motorcycles out of hibernation and we must keep safety at the forefront of our thoughts. For those of us who don’t partake in the sensation of being enveloped by only the wind as we travel with little more than an engine and two wheels beneath us, it is especially important that we remain aware.
Motorcycles have long been synonymous with freedom and adventure, but they present no advantages in regard to safety. Anyone who operates a motor vehicle or motorcycle should do so with vigilance and caution at all times to ensure the safety of themselves and those with whom they share the roads. Being inattentive, if only for a fraction of a second, can result in tragedy.
In Lexington County, seven people were killed in 2015 while operating or riding motorcycles, eleven were killed in 2016, and another five fatalities have already been recorded in 2017. Unfortunately, nothing can be done to reverse these tragedies or lessen the impact that they have had on so many others. Lives have ended abruptly and lives of family members and friends have been forever changed. All of these losses were preventable and it is our goal to create heightened awareness that will lead to the prevention of additional tragedies.
Along with several other Coroners’ Offices in South Carolina,the Lexington County Coroner’s Office will be painting a marker on the roadway at the scene of each fatal traffic collision. For fatalities of motorcyclists, a white cross surrounded by the words “LOOK TWICE, SAVE A LIFE," and only the white cross for other fatalities, will be left as a symbol of remembrance and will hopefully be a sobering reminder of how quickly a tragedy can occur.
The “white cross program” began in 1989 under the direction of the late Sue Townsend, the first female coroner in Aiken County and in South Carolina. Coroner Townsend was known for her service to the community and her commitment to protecting citizens. At the time of her death in 2004, the white cross program had been established in 10 SC counties, and she had received requests for information about the program from as far away as Argentina.
We have dubbed our contribution to this effort “Crossing with Care” because of the care that we hope everyone will exhibit as they traverse the roadways. Also, it is a reference to the care that the members of this office have for each decedent, their loved ones, and the people of Lexington County. We have painted one marker thus far, and we sincerely hope that no more will be needed.
Please remember, throughout May and every month, to look twice and remain attentive and aware so that everyone can go home safely!