Motorcycle Safety Stressed by Police and Riders Alike

Wednesday, June 14th 2006, 3:57 pm
By: News On 6

National studies show fatal crashes that involve motorcycles have increased more than 100% in the last decade.

The trend is the same here in Oklahoma and it's only expected to get worse.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler investigates a deadly trend in motorcycle accidents.

You've probably seen slick motorcycles that look like they could go from 0-to-60 in seconds... because they can.

Sport bikes are growing in popularity, partly because of movies, partly because of a growing number of websites where visitors submit daredevil stunts each one more dangerous than the last.

Assistant Chief Mike Carter says Sand Springs Police see too many accidents like the one that injured Jordan Schultz.

He says the 18-year-old and another motorcycle were racing over 100 miles per hour when Schultz collided with a car.

He was flown to the hospital in critical condition. Carter says Schultz wasn't wearing a helmet.

Carter says, "We always encourage the safety equipment but when you engage in drag racing on public streets, I think that negates the purpose of your safety equipment."

Mark Webster says, "I wear gear. I try not to be too much of a hooligan."

Webster says his Italian racer sometimes begs to be tested but he resists the temptation.

"When you're in the city streets you really don't want to do that," says Webster. "When I really get the urge, I go to the race track, the drag strip.

Marcus Bowlin has felt the rush of taking his Suzuki to the limit but now that he has a family, there's too much to lose.

Bowlin says, "Well I think if you stay within the speed limit it makes it easier for others to see you and also, if someone comes in front of you you can maneuver much better and avoid the situation."

He has advice for those who may think they're bulletproof, "Think about tomorrow. It doesn't take long for a car to pull out in front of you. You can lose your life, just like that."

Oklahoma motorcycle registrations have increased more than fifty-percent over the last decade.

Fatal motorcycle accidents have gone up at the same rate - about 75% involved collision with a passenger vehicle.

The riders say they'd like to see more training so drivers and riders can safely share the road.

With skyrocketing gas prices, we can expect more motorcycles on the road.