Release Date: May 12, 2017
Public Information Officer
Larimer County Sheriff's Office
The season’s longer days and warmer weather combine to make this a great time of the year for riding a motorcycle. Most motorcycle riders in Larimer County are courteous and safely operate their motorcycles. However, the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office recently responded to several incidents where motorcyclists willfully drove in an unsafe manner, posing a risk to themselves and others. This included unsafe speeds, passing in no passing zones, weaving around traffic, and fleeing from Sheriff’s Deputies and other law enforcement officers.
For example, citizens notified the Sheriff’s Office about a group of approximately 50 motorcyclists driving recklessly and at a high rate of speed in the Laporte area. Sheriff’s Deputies then observed this group heading north on County Highway 1 toward Wellington. Spread out over a mile on the highway, numerous motorcyclists exceeded the speed limit and passed vehicles in no passing zones. Sheriff’s Deputies inserted their vehicles within the procession, curtailed most of this behavior, and issued citations for multiple offenses. As in other incidents, several motorcyclists attempted to elude deputies. This type of behavior poses a risk not only to the motorcyclist, but other motor vehicle operators, pedestrians, and responding law enforcement officers.
The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (www.msf-usa.org) stresses that riding a motorcycle involves some risks not encountered when operating a car or truck. Compared to other motor vehicles, motorcycles don’t offer the same amount of stability, make the operator more vulnerable due to less protection, and aren’t as visible because of their size.
The Sheriff’s Office encourages motorcyclists to consciously think about motorcycle safety and recommends the following:
- Attend a motorcycle rider safety course appropriate for the rider’s ability level
- Possess a valid driver’s license with a motorcycle endorsement
- Wear personal protective gear, to include a helmet and high-visibility clothing
- Obey all traffic laws
- Continuously think about safety margins: stay within personal skill limits and the motorcycle’s performance limitations, and remain alert to respond to traffic situations
Citizens are also encouraged to contact local law enforcement if they see dangerous activity. “We are concerned with some recent behavior and want to stress safe motorcycle operation,” said Deputy Jason Hart, Traffic Safety Unit, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.