BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER)—On Friday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that the number of motorcycle fatalities in the state of Maine has tripled since 2014. Although there has been an all-time high in motorcycle fatalities, riding instructors are working to reduce that number.
Erik Payne has been riding since he was a junior in high school. Nearly 40 years later, he’s been in two accidents and has devoted the last 17 years teaching others how to stay safe.
As an instructor for the Motorcycle Rider Education of Maine, Payne says the most important factors to consider are wearing protective gear, being aware of distracted drivers, and refraining from driving while under the influence of alcohol.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, half of last year’s fatalities involved alcohol abuse.
“They’re never a good mix…whether it’s a car or motorcycle…these people that choose to mix alcohol with riding, it never works out,” said Payne.
As of May 2016, the State of Maine has required all prospective motorcyclists to attend a basic riding course. To sign up, click here.
Copyright 2016 WLBZ