Police Say Motorists, Motorcyclists Need To Drive Defensively

(Jeff Raasch/The Gazette)


By Lisa Blackwell

The city of Montgomery had two motorcycle fatalities Sunday the first traffic deaths involving motorcycles this year.

One occurred near the intersection of Virginia Loop Road and Troy Highway and the other occurred at the intersection of West Fairview and Hill Street.

While police are still investigating the cause they do say both motorists and bikers need to drive more defensively.

Authorities say cooler weather brings our more motorcyclists and with the increased number of bikes on the road a greater opportunity for crashes.

Motorcycle enthusiasts say when they hit the road they need to be very alert.

"I have gained more awareness by riding a motorcycle just simply because of fear of someone moving over on me," said John Kold, a sales manager at Harley Davidson in Montgomery.

That fear is understandable. Montgomery police say statistics show there have been 59 motorcycle or moped accidents in Montgomery. Thirty four of those crashes had injuries and two were deadly. Between January and June there were 44 motorcycle fatalities across the state. One third of those crashes were due to speeding and another third was caused by the other vehicle failing to yield the right of way. Sgt.Chavez of Montgomery Police Department says safety is a two way street and motorcyclists need to keep a close eye on traffic.

"Try to make eye contact with other motorists if they're approaching to see what they're going to do, another thing they could do is, lot a times when I come up on an intersections and I see a motorists attempt to pull out then I honk the horn I ride with my headlight on things like that," said Chavez.

Kold says when he rides, he drives defensively.

"I know that for myself when I'm riding I don't want to be right beside somebody or where I can't see them I'll either move forward or slide back a little bit just to make sure no one moves over on me," said Kold.

David Hoover used to ride a motorcycle but after he saw a crash he gave it up for good.

"A car came across in the wrong lane and wiped out the motorcyclist and the bones of his legs came out through the pants and I decide this is not the kind of risk I want to take," said Hoover.

Police say motorists can avoid colliding with motorcycles by taking a second look around the car before turning or making a lane change and at intersections before proceeding.

Fatal motorcycle crashes in Alabama are ten percent of all fatal crashes in the state.


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mary said on Tuesday, Aug 14 at 9:59 PM

I live in illinois on cbs news tonite state trooper were concerned with motor cyclist on the high ways to chicago, the vidios showed racing bikes aka crotch rockets traveling @ high speeds 0ver 120 miles an hr. which we as motor cyclist don't do. It's about the ride not being stupid ! so please don't put us al in their catorgoty.As for the drivers of carsor cagers don't tell us u can"t see us GET OFF YOUR PHONE AND PAY ATTENTION!!!!!

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Fred Wheeler said on Tuesday, Aug 14 at 7:54 PM

Barbra, I believe that's the point, if you see them looking down or know they are distracted then it's up to the rider to make the right call and give themselves some space cushion. Use your high beam to get noticed, wear clothing that will get you noticed, do what ever it takes to make a safe ride for you and the driver. Riders shhould take advantage of an MSF safety course and remeber to share the road and enjoy the ride.

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Larry Lindsey said on Tuesday, Aug 14 at 6:51 AM

Alabama remains the only state in which a person is NOT required to demonstrate he/she can operate a motorcycle prior to receiving the M class endorsement on their driver license. Motorcycle safety awareness is NOT a necessary part of the the Alabama high school Driver education Course of Study.

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Barbara said on Monday, Aug 13 at 5:53 PM

How do you make eye contact with someone that is driving a car or truck and you are on a motorcycle, when the motorist is occupied with there phone and texting or reading a text? I still have this problem out if other motorist and i am a motorist as well as ride motorcycles with my husband!

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