According to Evening Observer, less than 2 percent of all crashes annually in Chautauqua County involve motorcycles and this number is very alarming for state and local police.
Reports from Institute for Traffic Safety Management and Research states that there were 69 motorcycle crashes in 2011. The report, sponsored by the state Department of Motor Vehicles and released in December, tracked countywide driving statistics from 2009-2011.
Chautauqua County Sheriff Joe Gerace said that motorcycles are popular in good weather and in the summer. There is a high probability of collisions when people aren’t paying attention. Therefore, the increase in the number of motorcycle crashes is definitely an area of concern.
Sgt. Gary Segrue, station commander for the State Police in Jamestown, said “Although we have seen improvements in many areas of traffic safety, such as speeding and seat belt usage, similar improvements in motorcycle safety have not been achieved.”
According to Segrue, the increase in the number of people who ride motorcycles is due to the increase in prices of fuel. Reports states that 832 more motorcycles have been registered and more than 450 new license have been issued in Chautauqua County since 2007.
Kachelmeyer, a state motorcycle safety instructor, estimates that half of all drivers on a motorcycle do not have the proper motorcycle driver’s license to ride. A lack of formal training, he added, contributes to many crashes each year.
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