Eye On Boise

Three die over weekend in motorcycle crashes, safety rallies planned around state Saturday

This past weekend saw three fatal motorcycle accidents on Idaho roads, making the message being promoted this Saturday at four motorcycle safety awareness rallies across the state all the more pressing. Idaho STAR, the state’s motorcycle safety program, is encouraging motorists to “look twice for motorcycles” as they hit the roads with the advent of spring weather, and also encouraging motorcyclists to wear protective gear, be prepared for the unexpected, make themselves visible to other motorists on the roads, and sharpen up their riding skills with training courses.

“Most drivers have had the experience of not seeing a motorcycle while driving, until it’s really close to our car or it has passed us,” said Stacey “Ax” Axmaker, Idaho STAR director. “Motorcycles are sometimes difficult to see in traffic, so we encourage all drivers to look twice before turning, pulling out or changing lanes.”

Idaho STAR also offers skills training courses to motorcyclists of all ability levels at 12 training locations around the state; the program’s review of Idaho crash data from 1996-2010 showed that riders who took the training courses were 79 percent less likely to crash and 89 percent less likely to be killed in a crash. There’s more info here, or you can call (888) 280-7827.

Saturday’s rallies include a ride to the Capitol, sponsored by the Idaho Coalition for Motorcycle Safety and starting with a gathering at 11 a.m. at Sandy Point Park east of Boise; a ride down Sherman Avenue in Coeur d’Alene, with riders meeting at 9:30 a.m. at the Kootenai County Courthouse; a ride to Freeman Park in Idaho Falls, with riders meeting at Rocky Mountain Middle School at 11 a.m.; and a ride to the Clearwater County Courthouse in Orofino, with riders meeting at the IGA parking lot at 11 a.m.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, prompting the rallies. The fatal crashes in Idaho over the weekend included one Friday on State Highway 21; one Friday near Worley in North Idaho; and one Saturday near the Warm Springs Golf Course in Boise.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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