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New Safety Organization, BIKER LIVES MATTER, Formed in Florida

Rogue, Bikernet Staffer Wants to Promote Education and Awareness

by Chris Gibbany
8/31/2019


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BIKER LIVES MATTER is a new safety organization formed to help lower injury and deaths of motorcyclists on the highways.  I recently became the Arkansas Ambassador for this important and much-needed group.  John “Rogue” Herlihy is the President who has spent many years working at EASYRIDERS and was a founding member of ABATE while working with other motorcycle advocacy groups to fight for the rights of riders.  He was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame as a Freedom Fighter in 2005!

Motorcyclists face unique challenges when compared to other drivers because they are smaller and less visible than other vehicles, plus a motorcycle offers almost no protection from outside forces.  Drivers on their cell phones, either talking or texting, are the biggest concern to motorcyclists and are the most common reason for distracted driving crashes and collisions.  It is estimated that 40%-66% of all motorcycle crashes with four-wheeled vehicles involve the driver using a cell phone.  According to research, distracted drivers kill at least nine people each day.  That equals 3285 people A YEAR dying to be seen!!!

Another common and dangerous situation is when vehicles make a left-handed turn in front of the motorcyclist.  Statistics show that these irresponsible turns account for 42% of collisions but it’s hard to say, if not impossible, to also include that these same drivers might have been on their phones WHILE making a left turn.  Rogue started this organization after his son was struck and almost killed on his motorcycle by a vehicle making a left turn in September of 2018.  He ended up losing a foot.  Rogue and some friends decided too many people they knew were getting injured or being killed while travelling on motorcycles.

Most drivers never think about motorcyclists while driving.  Someone must teach upcoming and current drivers to look for motorcyclists at all times. BIKER LIVES MATTER hopes to increase efforts with education and awareness to both drivers and riders, promote campaigns that encourage drivers to pay attention, and support legislation that will help keep motorcyclists safer on the road.  Research shows that current laws don’t do enough to combat distracted driving and that we need stiffer penalties for those fatalities caused by distracted driving.

Scott Lambert
Scott Lambert

 

After I emailed all of my friends introducing them to BIKER LIVES MATTER, I received a response from Ron Jungbauer, a member of FORR (Freedom of the Road Riders) in Missouri.   He told me about his best friend Scott Lambert.  Ron writes, “We took this first picture of Scott on June 29th, and it was the last time my wife Louise and I would ride with him. 

Scott and Debbe
Scott and Debbe

 
 
A distracted driver killed Scott on July 12th, while Scott and his girlfriend Debbe Massimiano were on their way to FORR’s Local #15 and #30 Hootontown Rally.  The man turned left in front of them.  Two other cyclists witnessed the crash.  This was the fourth fatality in our area in the last three weeks.  All but one were vehicles turning into the bikes.”
Scott_ Debbe_Ron
Scott_ Debbe_Ron

 

Let’s not allow Scott’s death or anyone else’s to be meaningless.  Let’s work towards getting legislation passed to increase the industry standards of keeping motorcyclists safe.

Until the government or car manufacturers enact the technology to block phone signals for drivers; education and legislation is the only form of action that we have.  BIKERS LIVES MATTER believes that all driver courses should teach motorcycle awareness and that riders should have the skills to avoid crashes when possible while riding defensively.   Another weak link and something that needs attention is getting riders AND bystanders trained on what to do at a scene of a crash or collision.    

BIKER LIVES MATTER is partnering with some other well-known people, companies, and organizations.  The more people we have, the louder our voice will be.  We ALL have to do our part to keep each other ALIVE!  It is free to join BIKER LIVES MATTER and you do not have to own a motorcycle to sign up-https://bikerlivesmatter.com/

 


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