Last year was a tough year for motorcyclists in the state of Colorado. Motorcyclist fatalities in our state rose, and so state officials have redoubled their efforts to educate drivers and make the roads of Colorado safer. However, we are all still fighting an uphill battle against motorcycle rider fatalities, and even the police are suffering casualties in this battle.
Ouray PD Loses An Officer
In 2014 a police commander from the Los Alamos Police Department joined the ranks of the Ouray Police Department as a sergeant. This officer has helped serve and protect the citizens of the small town of Ouray for over two years, but his service has been cut short by tragedy.
While off duty and riding his 2015 Honda motorcycle on U.S. Highway 550, this police sergeant was struck from behind by a Chevrolet S-10 pickup. The officer was slowing down to make a left hand turn, but the vehicle behind him didn’t see the officer braking. The truck slammed into the motorcycle, and the impact ejected the off-duty officer from his bike. Unfortunately, the 51-year-old succumbed to his injuries before medical assistance could be administered. The driver of the Chevy pickup, a 78-year-old man from Ridgway, has not been charged, but the crash still remains under investigation.
Is This The Start Of A Deadly Motorcycle Season?
Too often motorcycle riders are missed or ignored by drivers out on the open road. Close calls and near misses are so frequent that most bikers have many stories, and some even have scars from the times when they couldn’t avoid a crash. Because motorcyclists aren’t enclosed by metal boxes and glass, they are particularly vulnerable out on the open road. It is a driver’s responsibility to keep an eye out for these riders so we can keep the road safe for everyone who uses it.
The Colorado Department of Transportation is reportedly doubling down on its Live to Ride campaign—an effort to teach drivers and riders important lessons about road safety—but with the riding season just starting, will it be enough? We need everyone to spread the word about motorcycle safety, it’s an issue that involves everyone who uses the road! Log on to our Facebook and Twitter page to sound off on biker safety issues, and keep following our blog to learn more about what you can do to help make Colorado’s highways safer.