CDOT Showcasing Real Colorado Riders, Harrowing Stories to Promote Motorcycle Safety

May 29, 2014 - Statewide Traffic Safety - Experienced riders put a face to safety training and challenge peers to participate.

STATEWIDE ­– Motorcycle crashes killed 86 riders and passengers on Colorado roadways last year, and 69% of the motorcyclists were at fault. As motorcyclists across the state gear up for riding season, the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) announces a motorcycle safety campaign aptly namedRide Wise. The campaign showcases real Colorado riders, each with more than 30 years of experience on their saddles, who rely on safety training to hone skills needed to ride safe in the season ahead.

On the heels of Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the Ride Wise campaign targets older, male riders who have hundreds of miles on their bikes, yet little to no hours of formal training in their riding histories. Of the 86 riders and passengers killed in 2013, 90 percent were males and nearly 6 percent were above the age of 45.

“Many riders who have been on the road a long time believe they’re highly skilled,” said Glenn Davis, CDOT Highway Safety Manager and longtime rider. “While that may be true, statistics show us honing riding skills through training refines existing skills and prepares even experienced riders for unpredictable situations. We challenge riders to select a skill to work on this riding season and get some advanced training.”

In analyzing the 2013 motorcycle crash data, Davis notes that the most common causes were losing control in a curve, speeding and running red lights.

To resonate within the biking community, the Ride Wise campaign uses a series of videos and print advertisements featuring real Colorado riders whose heart-stopping stories illustrate the value of safety training—even for the most experienced rider. Focusing on techniques such as braking, counter steering and cornering—over one-third of Colorado’s motorcycle fatalities were caused by losing control in a curve—the campaign materials emphasize the importance of life-long learning and encourage riders to participate in advanced training courses. View one of the videos here:

“Are you the best rider you can be? Do you think you can’t get any better?” asked Dennis ‘Stump’ Haberstumpf. “Challenge yourself. I’ve seen too many people crash. Let’s not crash in the first place. Let’s get trained.”

Haberstumpf is one of the riders featured in the Ride Wise campaign. Additional resources for riders, including class information, are available The curriculum incorporates classroom education with real-life application on controlled courses, so riders can develop safe riding habits over time. In doing so, riders are better prepared to react quickly in dangerous situations.