State Patrol campaign targets motorcyclists


July 30th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

The Iowa State Patrol has launched a special “Ride Sober or Get Pulled Over” enforcement campaign aimed at motorcyclists. Sergeant Scott Bright says the effort is in response to the things they’re seeing happen on state roadways. “Recently we’ve seen an increase in the fatality rate with motorcycles. In 2010 we had 55 motorcyclists killed in the state and 25-percent of those were alcohol related, so we’re trying to decrease that,” Bright explains. “As they get out and ride their motorcycles, hopefully they don’t get out there and drink while they ride them.”

Trooper Bright says they hope the special effort will raise the profile of the issue.  He says troopers will be working the interstates and highways and be around motorcycle rallies, so if they find a motorcyclist who has been drinking, they’ll be arrested. Trooper Bright says drinking alcohol, more than any other single factor, can rob motorcyclists of the ability to think clearly and ride safely. “If they’ve had a lot to drink, its’ very hard to keep their stability. And especially when they come to a stop, the bike starts to sway a little bit,” Bright says. The advice for drivers is no different for those on two wheels as it is for those on four when drivers are told not to drink and get behind the wheel of their car.

“If they start to drink, don’t get on your bike and ride…and if you’re going to ride, don’t drink. That’s kind of the slogan we like to get out there to keep everybody safe,” Bright says. According to the U-S D-O-T’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motorcyclists accounted for 14-percent of total traffic fatalities in 2010. Yet, motorcycles made up only three percent of all registered vehicles in the United States in 2010 and accounted for less than one-percent of all vehicle miles traveled.