State Patrol on motorcycle safety: ‘It’s literally life and death situations out there’
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - With warmer weather settling in and summer travel picking up, law enforcement is hoping to spread awareness about traffic crashes.
This is especially the case when it comes to motorcycles, and stats show deaths have climbed in the past few years.
Colorado State Patrol’s Master Trooper Gary Cutler told 11 News Memorial Day is when they really start to see issues. In fact, the summer kickoff holiday is the beginning of what officials call the “100 deadliest days on the roads.”
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, from 2017-2019 there were the same amount of motorcycle fatalities. But deaths in Colorado went up 33 percent from 2019-2020. That’s the most ever recorded in Colorado.
So far this year, CDOT says there have been 20 deaths statewide, which is less than last year around this time at 26. With the summer travel starting to pick up -- law enforcement doesn’t want to take any chances.
“Every holiday season, we always up the amount of troopers we have on the roadway,” MT Cutler said. “Not only for just our presence, but to be able to get some of those drivers that either aren’t paying attention or have just decided to not listen to what the laws and regulations of the road are.”
Troopers say looking twice for motorcyclists can save a life, along with wearing a helmet, and even taking more training classes to hone your skills on the bike.
“One of our issues that we see every year is the beginning of summer is when motorcycles get out there, motorcycle riders are sometimes a little rusty and drivers are not used to seeing them out there. So I look at it this way, for motorcycle riders, the best thing they can do is make sure people see them. Don’t expect that [other drivers] see them, make sure they see you on the side of the drivers when they’re out there driving. Now they have to get used to seeing motorcycles out there. Do that, check it twice. It’s very easy for a motorcycle to hide in a blind spot, more so than a car. So just make sure that you don’t have anything around you before you changed lanes or make a turn.”
So far this year in the city of Colorado Springs there have been three motorcycle deaths, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Police and troopers want people to make sure you are also not driving impaired or distracted, and obeying the speed limit.
“It’s important to hear these messages because it’s literally life and death situations there. All it takes is a small mistake and you’re in an injury or a fatal crash and with a motorcycle,” Cutler added. “Cars are more forgiving ... you have a chance of surviving it better because you have metal around you. You have seat belts -- when you’re on a motorcycle, it’s very easy to get ejected. And it’s very easy to be on the ground with just the smallest mistakes.”
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