June 19, 2024

Motowndesserts

Automotive to Us

Motorcycle crashes continue to be deadly. Safety classes may be the answer.

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) -While overall traffic fatalities rose last year by nearly 18 percent, motorcycle related deaths were up by 32 percent. and already this year 6 have died.

“What’s really sad is motorcyclists only make up three percent of the motoring public,” says Scott Alquist, director for a motor safety program at Truckee Meadows Community College, “but we’re taking over some like 20 percent of the fatalities.”

Motorcycle accidents are, of course, more dangerous, as the rider has little protection in any mishap, but Alquist says the top three factors are impaired riding, speed and right of way violations, the last often the result of inattention. That’s unlikely to improve as the weather warms and rusty riders cooped up for the winter or the pandemic hit the road.

“They want to go out and have fun. but they have to realize that their riding skills have kind of gone to the back burner just because they haven’t used them in the last four or five or six months.”

Alquist’s been riding for nearly 50 years and speaks from experience. “There’s always a learning curve. The moment you think you know all you need to know about riding a motorcycle that’s when you should take a course.”

So, he’s helping others sharpen skills dulled by inaction as well as brand new riders eager to get licensed and join them. You may recall they had a setback last year when three of their bikes were stolen in the dead of the night. One bike was recovered. Insurance covered the loss of the other two.

So, the program continues and those stats show there’s work to be done to make the roads safer for all of us. There’s practical reasons as well for its popularity. Graduates jump to the head of the line when they go to get licensed. “When you go to get licensed you just take your card to DMV and I think it’s $10-$12 dollars and they grant you you’re endorsement,” And they may find they get a break on their insurance premiums as well.

Classes start up late next month and they fill fast. You’ll find more information on line at www.tmcc.edu.

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