Motorcyclists speak out about safety after deadly season

wwny Motorcyclists speak out about safety after deadly season

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - The motorcycle season this year has been a deadly one on north country highways. We look at some statistics and hear from one rider who begs for motorcyclists and other drivers to all be more careful on the roads.

Alan O'Donnell has had close calls before. But last week, he was faced with the fear of every motorcyclist.

“I didn’t even have time to hit the brakes,” he said.

O'Donnell was struck by a car; police say the driver failed to yield the right of way.

O'Donnell is not alone. According to Jefferson County records, there have been 38 incidents involving motorcycles this year. Four of those have been fatal, including one crash on Route 11 in the town of Ellisburg in August.

While the number of incidents involving motorcycles in 2019 is down from previous years in both Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, O'Donnell says the message stays the same.

"People just really need to pay more attention to what the hell they're doing and look. Make sure nobody's coming. But it's such a fast-paced world now, everyone's in a hurry," he said.

Words of caution echoed by Ed Davis, who has had close calls himself.

"Scares the hell outta ya, actually. You've gotta react real quick and sometimes that doesn't even do ya any good," he said.

Police point out sometimes it's not the other driver who is at fault. It can be the person operating the motorcycle.

"The motoring public, whether it be the motorcycle operator themselves, or vehicles on the road, cars, trucks, SUVs, take that second to just maybe look both ways, look twice, make sure nothing's coming and really just drive responsibly," said Black River Police Chief Steven Wood.

As motorcyclists say: look twice, save a life.

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