Trucker Charged in Phoenix Motorcycle Crash

April 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Motorcycle News, Safety

The sanitation truck driver who ran into the back of  a group of motorcyclists stopped at a stoplight in Phoenix on March 25 — killing four of them and injuring five others — has been arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the crash, the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) reports.

Police arrested truck driver Michael Jakscht, 46, on April 6 and booked him on four counts of manslaughter, five counts of aggravated assault and seven counts of endangerment.

Initial toxicology tests on blood drawn from Jakscht on the day of the crash show he had the illegal drug methamphetamine in his system, according to police. He could face an additional charge of impaired driving, police said.

Motorcyclists who died as a result of the crash were Daniel Butler, 35; Clyde Nachand, 67; Stephen Punch, 52; and Dale Downs-Totonchi, 47. Another motorcyclist, Phoenix Fire Capt. Ernie Lizarraga, 52, remains hospitalized suffering from injuries sustained in the crash.

“We commend the Phoenix Police Department for its diligence in pursuing this case, and for getting the initial toxicology results as quickly as possible,” said Ed Moreland, AMA vice president for government relations. “We understand that toxicology results normally take about six weeks to process, and the police were able to get initial results in this case in just two weeks.

“We again express our condolences on behalf of the AMA and its members to the families of those killed, and hope for a full recovery for those injured,” Moreland said. “We will continue to watch this case closely.”

Source [American Motorcycle Association]

Do Motorcycle Safety Courses Reduce the Likelihood of a Crash?

April 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Safety

Motorcycle Safety Courses do not Reduce AccidentsWell if you take a recent safety study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as fact, then the answer would be no. Their data shows that requiring young riders to take safety courses will not reduce the chances of a crash.

According to the research group, riders younger than 21 that live in states where a rider training course is required have insurance collision claims that are 10% higher than those who live in states where training courses are optional. The study goes against a long-held belief that motorcycle training courses reduces accidents.

In the same study the group also determined that those riding a bike with anti-lock brakes are 37% less likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

I am sure there will be a lot of disagreement with the study about the effectiveness of rider training courses when it comes to accident prevention. Does it fall under the lies, damned lies, and statistics argument?

Read the entire story.

Source [WSJ Blog]

Arizona Officials say it’s the worst motorcycle crash they have ever seen.

March 27, 2010 by  
Filed under Safety

Arizona Motorcycle Crash3 Arizonans and 1 Louisianan were killed in one of the worst Motorcycle Accidents ever seen by Arizona Safety Officials.  The accident happened last Thursday when a dump truck driven by Michael J. Jakscht slammed into a group of riders that were stopped at a red light in north Phoenix.  Five other riders were also injured in the crash.

The driver Michael J. Jakscht, 46 years old, received minor injuries from the accident and showed no signs of impairment afterwards.  Early reports indicate Jakscht was eastbound on Carefree Highway when he failed to control his speed and collided with the rear of the eight motorcycles and four other vehicles.

Local newspapers are claiming Jakscht currently has two pending speeding tickets, both issued this month.

The American Motorcyclist Association also released a statement that read, ‘The AMA expresses its heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims in Thursday’s large motorcycle crash in Phoenix,’ noting they ‘remained concerned about incident and are looking into the circumstances surrounding this tragedy.’

Buy a Used Motorcycle sends our thoughts and prayers to the families of the victims. We also wish a speedy recovery to the riders who sustained injuries from the accident.

You can read the entire story at Clutch and Chrome.

Source [Clutch and Chrome]

Motorcycle Instructor giving lessons while drunk.

March 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Riding Classes, Safety

Sandra Kenyon giving motorcycle lessons while drunk

Photo: Andrew McCaren/Ross Parry Agency

Sandra Kenyon, a motorcycle instructor in the U.K., has been fired from the school where she taught new motorcycle riders on the importance of riding safe. Why was Sandra let go from her instructor duties? Well apparently she was drinking and riding while teaching class. She was so drunk during one lesson she fell off her bike three times. Losing her job is not her only problem. Sandra was also been given an interim driving ban by Bingley Magistrates’ Court after she admitted to drinking and driving while giving the lessons. Sandra’s drink of choice, French brandy.

Source [Telegraph, Read Entire Story]

Getting a motorcycle license may get tougher in British Columbia

March 22, 2010 by  
Filed under Legislation, Safety

It looks like motorcycle riders will have to work a little harder to get their license in British Columbia.  The British Columbia Coroners Service is recommending that the B.C. government  change the rules when it comes to licensing motorcycle riders. They are making the recommended changes due to rise in motorcycle deaths.

Here are the changes being recommended:

  • Establish a graduated-licence program for new riders.
  • Require mandatory industry certification for all motorcycle helmets.
  • Implement a zero-tolerance blood-alcohol policy for new riders.
  • Issue a different-coloured licence plate to motorcyclists who hold a learner’s licence.
  • Re-evaluate existing standards for training schools and instructor certification.
  • Expand the scope of coroner’s investigations involving motorcycle deaths to include more data and compile it in a specific section for better analysis in the future.

There were 286 motorcycle-related deaths on B.C. roads between 2000 and 2007.

Source [CBC News, Read Entire Story]

Florida Mom honors Son’s Memory By Promoting Motorcycle Awareness

February 20, 2010 by  
Filed under General, Safety

Diane Pearson lost her 31-year-old son Gene, a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Deputy, in a motorcycle accident after a driver pulled out in front of him. Now her mission is to do everything to protect other motorcyclists by bringing awareness to motorist of the importance of looking twice before turning or pulling out. She has given out over 165,000 purple bumper stickers that read, “Look twice. Save a life. Motorcycles are everywhere.”

The “Look twice. Save a life. Motorcycles are everywhere.” campaign was originally started by Kathy Malone, a Georgia Mother who also lost a son in a motorcycle accident over 25 years ago.

If you would like to order a bumper sticker or help the cause please visit Gene Pearson Motorcycle Awareness Foundation.

Source [10Connects]

California working to make other motorist more aware of motorcyclists.

February 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Safety

share the road campaign in californiaIn an effort to make the roads safer for bikers, The California Highway Patrol has started displaying ‘Share the road, look twice for motorcyclists’ on over 700 signs across the state.

Robert Gladden, director of the US’s Motorcycle Safety Foundation said: “The Motorcycle Safety Foundation, along with many thousands of motorcyclists, applaud the California Highway Patrol, the Office of Traffic Safety and CalTrans for recognising the importance of motorcycle safety and for utilising this very effective medium to promote highway safety.

“We hope that the overwhelming positive response we have received will encourage more motorcycle safety messages like this to be displayed in the future.”

What a great move by The California Highway Patrol and no doubt this campaign should be repeated in other states. Bikers should contact their State Highway Patrol and ask them to follow California’s initiative.

Source [Motorcycle News, Read Entire Story]

Time Magazine: Really Scary Motorcycle Wrecks

February 14, 2010 by  
Filed under Photos, Safety

Life Magazine Motorcycle CrashesTime Magazine has created a photo album of some really nasty motorcycle wrecks. Pictures in the gallery include Evel Knievel’s accident at Wembley Stadium in 1975, Steve Rapp’s bike exploding into pieces, and 25 more photos from various motorcycle races. These photos do a great job of reinforcing how important it is to ride with the proper gear. So ride safe.

View Photo Gallery

Source [Time Magazine]

MIC Goes Gets Aggressive to Reverse Ban on Kid Motorcycles & ATVs

February 11, 2010 by  
Filed under Legislation, Safety

Photo © Suzuki

It’s been about a year since Motorcycles and ATVs that were intended for children under 12 years old were banned as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

The ruling was “…intended to address lead in toys and children’s jewelry that kids put in their mouths,” according to Paul Vitrano, General Counsel for the Motorcycle Industry Council and the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America. “We’re concerned about this for a variety of reasons,” he says, “in particular because the lack of availability of youth products makes it more likely that youth are going to ride adult size products. And that’s a real risk to children.”

To reverse the prohibition, MIC has launched a multimedia campaign that helps people contact Congress to express their opposition to the ban.

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 9, 2010 – The Motorcycle Industry Council says now is the time to push for a Congressional solution to permanently end the ban on youth motorcycles and ATVs in a video call-to-action. At this year’s Dealernews International Powersports Dealer Expo, the MIC is hosting a variety of multi-media communication tools and activities so that dealers, MIC members, and Expo exhibitors can voice their concerns, show their support, and urge Congress to take action to permanently end the ban on youth vehicles.

“There is tremendous momentum for Congress to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act’s lead content provisions to exclude youth vehicles,” said MIC general counsel Paul Vitrano. “We need our voices to be heard now, and by making all these different multi-media tools available here at Indy, every MIC member, every exhibitor, and every Expo attendee can be part of this massive grassroots effort to finally Stop the Ban.”

The MIC’s multi-media communication offerings at Indy include: Text – Signage will be posted throughout the Expo encouraging attendees to show their support for the effort to Stop the Ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles with their cell phone by sending the text message “StoptheBan” or “STB” to 30101. A feature on www.stopthebannow.com allows the public to join the campaign directly from the website by entering their cell phone number. Each person will receive a text response after entering their number and upon replying with “yes” will be placed in the campaign.

Letter – Attendees will be asked to add their signatures to letters urging Congress to amend the CPSIA to exclude youth vehicles. Last year’s campaign generated over 5,000 hand-signed letters at the show.

E-mail – Computers will be available in the MIC Business Center (Booth # 4508) so members, exhibitors and dealers can quickly and easily send an e-mail to their U.S. Representatives and Senators and to the Congressional oversight committees to urge them to Stop the Ban on youth ATVs and motorcycles. Last year, over 1 million electronic messages were sent to Congress, and they got the attention of Capitol Hill.

Call – A special computer station will be set up in the MIC Business Center (Booth # 4508) with a link to identify appropriate members of Congress, and a Skype account that will enable Expo attendees to call their U.S. Representative and Senators directly from the computer to leave a message.

Video – The MIC is encouraging members, exhibitors and dealers to “Send a Video Message to Congress.” A camera and filming booth will be set up in the MIC Business Center (Booth # 4508) so that Stop the Ban messages can be created, posted online, and forwarded to Congress.

Each of these tools also is available on www.stopthebannow.com.

Enthusiasts and other stakeholders should reinforce three key reasons why youth ATVs and motorcycles should be excluded from the CPSIA’s lead content provisions:

1. The lead content poses no risk to kids. Experts estimate that the lead intake from kids’ interaction with metal parts is less than the lead intake from drinking a glass of water.

2. The key to keeping youth safe is having them ride the right size vehicle. Kids are now at risk because the availability of youth ATVs and motorcycles is limited due to the lead ban.

3. The lead ban hurts the economy for no good reason when everyone is trying to grow the economy and create jobs. MIC estimates that a complete ban on youth model vehicles would result in about $1 billion in lost economic value in the retail marketplace every year.

The MIC supports the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request to Congress to give the agency more flexibility to grant exclusions from the lead content limit to address ATVS and motorcycles. The CPSC requested this flexibility in its January 15 report to Congress containing recommendations to improve the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

“MIC calls on Congress to draft legislation as soon as possible to either grant a categorical exemption for these products, as would be provided by H.R. 1587, a pending bill with 56 bi-partisan co-sponsors, or to give the CPSC the flexibility to do so,” Vitrano said.

Visit www.stopthebannow.com for background information, FAQs, and public outreach tools for the Stop The Ban campaign. The Motorcycle Industry Council exists to preserve, protect and promote motorcycling through government relations, communications and media relations, statistics and research, aftermarket programs, development of data communications standards, and activities surrounding technical and regulatory issues. It is a not-for-profit, national industry association representing manufacturers and distributors of motorcycles, scooters, motorcycle/ATV/ROV parts and accessories, and members of allied trades such as insurance, finance and investment companies, media companies and consultants. The MIC is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., with a government relations office adjacent to Washington, D.C. First called the MIC in 1970, the organization has been in operation since 1914. Visit the MIC at www.mic.org.

Source [About.com, MIC]

Myrtle Beach Helmet Law argued in the South Carolina Supreme Court.

February 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Helmet Laws, Safety

Back in 2008, in an effort to rid Myrtle Beach of motorcycle rallies, officials in the city enacted a law requiring motorcycle riders to wear a helmet within the city limits. Well, there are 50 people who had been ticketed for helmet infractions that believe the Myrtle Beach law violates the State’s Constitution, which allows anyone over the age of 21 to choose whether or not to ride with a helmet. Their attorney, Tom McGrath of the Motorcycle Law Group, is now arguing on behalf of the ticked riders.

It’s anyone’s guess on how the Supreme Court Justices will rule on this case, but the riders may have a friend in Justice Don Beatty. Justice Beatty questioned the motives of the law by making the following statement.

“I realize the issue is narrow here, but don’t pretend like we don’t know what’s going on,” Beatty said to Myrtle Beach attorney Mike Battle. “We read. We all know why the city [passed the rally ordinances].”

The justices won’t likely rule in the case for at least a few more months.

Source: [The Palmetto Scoop]