Local Bikers Urge Safety Following Fatal Wrecks - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/03/05

Local Bikers Urge Safety Following Fatal Wrecks

A string of motorcycle accidents have fellow riders speaking out about motorcycle safety. But what they have to say might surprise you. Most of the recent accidents involving motorcycles weren't caused by the drivers of other vehicles. They were caused by the motorcyclists, and that has bikers banding together.

Police say the number of people killed on motorcycles is climbing at an alarming rate. And other riders are taking notice.

"A lot of times it's because people don't see us and they're not paying attention and that's sad," said Sherry Sherouse with the group Bikers for Christ.

Bikers say what's even sadder is that the most recent fatalities involving motorcycles could have been prevented. Investigators say the driver of a three-wheeler turned into oncoming traffic on April 25. Another rider was going way too fast and lost control on April 18 near Interstate 95, and yet another motorcyclist lost his life driving way over the speed limit on Interstate 516 on April 16.

Bikers gathered today at John's V-Twin Cycles in Savannah say enough is enough. "We've had three people killed in a week's time and it needs to be brought under control," said biker "Junkyard" Jackson of ABATE.

One of the biggest problems bikers say these days is that there's a lot of young riders out there not riding responsibly.

"You got these guys out here on these rice burners and they're standing them upon the back wheels and going down the highways on the back wheels going 100 miles per hour and that's just ridiculous," said Jackson.

Another problem: people riding without the proper driver's licenses and not enough experience to handle the bikes they're on.

"What they're doing is basically they're getting out and wanting to see how fast the bike will go," said JJ Etzle of the  Gold Wing Riders. "And instead of doing it in a place where it would be legal to do it they're doing it on the highways."

Bikers say with the number of young riders increasing on the roadways, new riders need to beware.

"Roebling Roads Raceway has a thing if you want to go out there and run your bike on a road course you can do that, just keep it off the highways," Jackson told us. "It's getting to that time, it's summer, lots of vehicles on the road and we want to have a safe summer."

If you're interested in taking motorcycle training classes contact:

JJ Etzle, Gold Wing Riders, 912-826-0912

or

Motorist Awareness Division
21423 N. 11th Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85027
1(800)843-9460

or log onto

http://www.gwrra.org

For more information on where to race your motorcycle, contact:

Roebling Road Raceway
Non-Spectator Track
1135 Roebling Road, Bloomingdale
912-748-4205

Savannah Speedway
4704 Ogeechee Rd, Savannah
912-234-1965
912-659-9707

Reported by: Nicole Teigen, nteigen@wtoc.com

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