More motorcycle deaths result in push for more rider training - 8 News NOW

More motorcycle deaths result in push for more rider training

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Roadside memorial for Juan Ibarra who was killed in March. Roadside memorial for Juan Ibarra who was killed in March.

LAS VEGAS -- More southern Nevadans are hitting the roads on their motorcycles, and more are dying because of it. According to the Nevada Department of Transportation, the number of motorcycle deaths jumped from 24 in 2012 to 40 last year.

More than 40 percent of the victims are under the age of 25. This has prompted a new effort to push for legislation that would make motorcycle training mandatory for every young adult who wants to ride one.

Metro Police say the three main reasons motorcyclists die on the roadways is speed, alcohol and inexperience.

Police say it was the latter that caused the death of Juan Ibarra, 19, in March 2014. A security camera captured the moments before his deadly motorcycle crash. Investigators say he was young and inexperienced, a combination that has led to a growing number of motorcycle crashes in the valley.

"Now we are up 50 percent year to date from last year, so this is a huge problem," said in Erin Breen, a traffic safety advocate.

She says recent statistics are the reason she is pushing for a new law that would make motorcycle training mandatory for riders under the age of 25. Similar training is being offered at CSN and teaches novice motorcycle riders the safety basics of operating the bikes.

"By training younger drivers they become safer drivers in their entire driving careers," Breen said.

Motorcycle instructor Roger Fox agrees these classes are critical for young riders, who tend to be more reckless on the road either because of  speeding or doing tricks they may have seen on popular television shows.

"They have no fear," Fox said. "They need to understand they are human and things happen."

"Teenagers, young adults think all the time, it's not them, until it's not them," Metro Sgt. Richard Strader said.

He says more training can't hurt and may help a motorcyclist avoid a crash.

"The ones I go to are seriously hurt, maimed or dead for the most part and we want to see that drop," Strader said.

Breen says she will push for mandatory motorcycle training for riders under 25 in the next legislative session which starts in Feb. 2015.

The basic riding course at CSN is offered year-round and you don't need to be a student to enroll.



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