Bikers and law enforcement insist on motorcycle safety as weather warms

MURRAY, Utah – As we enter the warmer months here in Utah, you’re likely to see more motorcyclists on the roads.

Motorcycling is a lifestyle for Karl Baird.

“It’s been over 30 years for me and my family,” Baird said.

Baird is co-owner and vice president of The Chapel Motorcycle Shop in Murray.

He says that in his years of riding he has seen the good, the bad and, sadly, the ugly.

“My brother and business partner got hit right next to me,” Baird said. “We were the first to respond to countless accidents.”

According to the Utah Bureau of Traffic Safety, there were 1,148 motorcycle-related crashes in 2021. This resulted in the death of 13 people on bikes, 41 in total.

With ridership generally increasing in the warmer months, figures show that accidents are also increasing.

Last year, according to the Utah Bureau of Highway Safety, there were 66 motorcycle-related crashes in March. Those numbers peaked in June, at 177.

sergeant. Cameron Roden of the Utah Highway Patrol says one of the biggest things is that motorists are distracted and not concentrating on driving.

“We have to try to eliminate them as much as possible,” said Sgt. Roden

sergeant. Roden says it’s also important for riders to be aware and defensive as much as possible on the road.

“For the motorcyclist, it’s important that they get the proper rider training, driver training, give them the best chance to make sure they’re riding properly,” said Sgt. Roden. “But then drivers need to make sure they drive conscientiously, drive focused and watch out for other motorists, like motorcycles.”

It’s a sentiment shared by runners like Baird.

“I would just like to beg everyone to be careful, to drive with your eyes open and to be responsible, to take responsibility when you’re on the road,” Baird said.

Baird and Sgt. Roden stressed the importance for motorcyclists to have the proper gear, such as a helmet, when riding. The hope is that this will keep riders safe, should they be involved in an accident.

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