With the warmer months of the year approaching, the cities of Sherman and Denison are asking motorists to be aware of motorcyclists on Texoma roads. Both cities signed proclamations Monday night naming May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The council chambers in both Sherman and Denison were filled with people were dressed in biker-style vests and jackets, sporting a variety of patches and emblems. In his proclamation, Denison Mayor Jared Johnson noted that motorcycles are relatively unprotected compared to most other forms of transportation. In Sherman, council member Shawn Teamann read the city’s proclamation before presenting it to the Texoma Chapter of American Bikers Aimed Towards Education.

“It is the responsibility of all who put themselves behind the wheel to become aware of motorcyclists, regarding them with the same respect as any other vehicle traveling the highways of this country,” Teamann read. “And it is the responsibility of riders and motorists alike to obey all traffic laws and safety rules.”

As part of both presentations, Skee Dodson, representing Texas ABATE, spoke regarding motorcycle and transportation safety. For the past several years, Dodson has spoken before both cities’ councils each year regarding the month. He said May typically is the month people start to ride more heavily following the winter months.

“Every year I come up here and I hope to share good statistics with everyone,” Dodson said in Denison. “But 2016 was not a good year for statistics and not just for motorcycles.”

Dodson said 2016 saw increases of automotive-related fatalities in several categories. He said motorcycle-related fatalities increased by 4.2 percent, while passenger vehicle fatalities increased by 3.8 percent. Pedestrian fatalities also increased, Dodson said.

“It is not just motorcycles that are affected by awareness by the community,” he said.

Dodson thanked the councils for the proclamation and, in Sherman, said he hoped it would bring awareness to the community.