Keeping motorcyclists safe on the roads, drivers urged to take caution

KCBD Newschannel 11 at 10 3/19/2019 Motorcycle safety

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - In 2017 more than 5,000 people died from motorcycle crashes across the country.

As the weather warms up, Lubbock Police Officers, and fellow riders, want to warn everyone on the road to be vigilant, and motorcyclists to be prepared, before someone else gets hurt.

“We were on Indiana coming up here and a Red Pathfinder came across three lanes and pushed us into the turning lane," says one rider as she pulls into the Harley Davidson. That scene is one that happens all too often.

“This group tonight will go out on a ride and I’ll guarantee you there will be six instances that we will have to look out for between here and where we’re going and it all has to do with people on the phone making turns ‚no turn signals, and they’re in a hurry," explains James Stone, a rider for more than 30 years.

While it’s vital for drivers to pay attention on the roads, Lubbock Police Department’s Motors Unit says it’s also important for riders to prepare before they hit the road.

“Go somewhere in the parking lot practice your braking skills, practice shifting through your gears you know," explains Corporal Shawn Knoblock with LPD.

That exercise one those officer practice themselves, even after years of experience.

“You need to drive very defensively on the motorcycle, always scanning traffic, making sure that no one is pulling out in front of you or stopping abruptly in front of you. Generally citizens to see you, they just don’t care and they pull out in front of you so you need to remember that.”

Stone’s own personal experience highlights the importance of those safety standards. “My niece and nephew were hit head on in Dalhart Texas. The driver even stated that he saw them coming and thought he could beat them and he didn’t. It left my niece without a husband and left his two children without a father.”

A tragedy that could have been avoided.

“You can take away family members so quickly," explains Stone. "We have no protection. You have airbags, we don’t. I mean we want to go back home just as much is you want to get back home, so you gotta pay attention and stay alert.”

Those riders add that, it might seem trivial, but it’s very important to use your turn signals. And if you’re a rider, LPD says don’t forget to inflate your tires before hitting the road.

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