DES MOINES, Iowa – Des Moines Area Community College and Iowa State Patrol are partnering together to educate people on safety for motorcyclists.
DMACC offers a motorcycle rider course known as BRC for beginners and BRC ll for experienced drivers.
Iowa requires anyone under the age of 18 to complete and pass the rider education course before obtaining a motorcycle license.
DMACC requires students to take the MDF E-course and get a certificate before registering for the BRC course.
Iowa State Patrol Sergent Nathan Ludwig said the partnership gives them the opportunity to promote safe driving.
“You have a lot of motorcycle riders, operators, that have been out of it for awhile and they want to get back on a motorcycle. They get their license and take their test, but this refresher course that DMACC offers really kind of brings back those things that you may forget as a former motorcycle operator,” Ludwig said.
Different skills taught in the course include normal stop, sharp left turn, cone weave, right-u-turn, quick stop, and obstacle swerve.
DMACC provides people in the BRC course with materials and helmets. If someone chooses to bring their own helmet, they need to be certified by DOT.
“Iowa is one of two states that doesn’t have some sort of a motorcycle helmet law. We tell people no matter how short or how long the trip, make sure you put that motorcycle helmet on. The majority of the crashes are vehicles turning left in front of motorcyclist just because they are not paying attention,” Ludwig said.
According to the Iowa State Patrol on average there are around 40 fatalities from motorcycle’s each year. Many of the accidents happen in the month of August.
In 2018 there were 42 fatalities and 41 crashes. Thirty-one of those motorcyclists were not wearing a helmet.
Ludwig said it is important for vehicle drivers to be paying attention at all times.
“Paying attention. Putting your phone down. Watch for motorcycles, it’s that time of the year. People think that motorcycles are dangerous, but it is actually other drivers that create those accidents because they are not paying attention that makes it dangerous for motorcyclists,” Ludwig said.
As of May 15th, there have been five motorcycle-related deaths this year.
Click here to review the full motorcycle operator manual.
LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. – A biker from Pennsylvania is trying to find the driver who hit him in Lancaster County.
He’s also looking for anyone who might know something about it.
Charles Werth says it happened Sunday morning on Route 72 near Graystone Road.
Upon impact, he says his bike slid across the road into bushes, and the driver left him there bloody and bruised.
“Initially, I didn’t think she was going to stop. I thought she was going to, once I fell off the bike, I thought she was going to run me over on top of that!” exclaimed Werth.
Charles was driving to work in Lancaster County to make some Easter overtime, but now, all he has is more bills.
“It’s a week worth of wages I’ve missed so far, and it’s also the other costs, the medical expenses I’m going to have to pay for, plus the deductible, insurance deductible for the motorcycle. It’s not fair,” explained Werth. “The woman had actually followed me all the way from Lebanon. She’s doing this back and forth thing. She’s right on top of me, back off… on top of me, back off.”
Charles said he could see the woman’s headlights in the mirror up until the point she got so close he says he couldn’t see the lights anymore.
Then he felt the impact.
“I’m airbound, and then I’m rolling on the ground. You feel the pain. I can feel the bike, and I’m thinking, ‘oh this isn’t going to be good,'” he told WPMT.
Charles says the woman got out of her car and asked if he was okay.
“I did have some choice words for her. I asked her if she could please call 911,” explained Charles.
Instead of doing that, he says the woman just took off.
Now, he’s asking business owners on Route 72 to check their surveillance footage
He is hoping to identify the woman who left him swollen, bloodied, and bruised or, at the very least, give her this message.
“Just step up… I’m not trying to get anything out of you, just step up and admit you did it!” said Charles.
East Hempfield Township Police are investigating.
They say the woman is in her fifties, has white hair, and drives an older silver Ford Focus.
If caught, she’ll be facing a number of charges, including careless driving.
Six motorcycle fatalities reported in Utah so far this year; drivers and riders urged to be cautious
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — With a record number of motorcycle deaths in Utah in 2018, law enforcement worries this year will bring even more devastating numbers.
Last year, 47 people died on motorcycles in Utah. Retired law-enforcement officer Aaron Zimmer is lucky he wasn’t one of them.
At the beginning of his career, Zimmer’s first fatality call was a motorcycle crash.
In Orem last fall, a car rear-ended his motorcycle while he stopped for an emergency vehicle.
“I flipped backwards and just flipped up into the air,” Zimmer said. “I kind of did a backwards summersault [then] hit the car and hit the ground.”
Zimmer underwent a month of rehabilitation. One week before, a person died in a similar situation.
According to the Department of Public Safety, 2018 brought the highest number of motorcycle fatalities in five years.
Utah Department of Transportation spokesman John Gleason said 2019 is on par to meet or beat that record.
“The number has continued to climb,” Gleason said. “We are just moving into the spring months and already we’ve lost six people.”
The cause, according to Utah Highway Patrol Sergeant Nick Street, is more motorcyclists on the road and more distractions behind the wheel.
As the weather warms, UDOT asks drivers to pay closer attention to everyone on the road. Motorcyclists are urged to wear proper safety gear.
“There is a saying that says dress for the slide, not for the ride,” said Zimmer, who would have been hurt worse if not for his helmet and other gear.
The State of Utah is offering discounts on basic motorcycle rider classes. For more information, visit: ridetolive.utah.gov