Putting the brakes on motorcycle deaths

Marco Alfaro
Marco Alfaro
Mario Diprete
Mario Diprete

By Duane Shimogawa bio | email

KANEOHE (KHNL) - Last year, there were over two dozen motorcycle deaths involving marines. That's a number the military would like to put the brakes on this year.

It's the focus of a safety program in Kaneohe that's aimed at keeping riders on the right track to saving lives.

About 40 riders took part in Saturday's safety awareness event. Some had lots of experience, while others were riding for the first time.

Either way though, it was designed to teach riders how to better operate their bikes within a controlled environment.

To Marco Alfaro, there are just a few feelings that come close to what he feels when he rides his motorcycle.

"The adrenaline rush, getting on the bike and having an open road, just taking it down," he said.

But he understands it's not all fun and games while out on the road.

"I've had friends fall, been injured pretty bad, and none of them have taken anything like this track day," he said.

Riders brushed up on a few skills Saturday, including proper ways to use the throttle and to lean.

"They ride these motorcycles, let's teach them how to ride them properly and maybe curtail the fatality ratings there," Event organizer Mario Diprete said.

Diprete helped rev up this event because of the acceleration of motorcycle deaths among the men and women at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.

"If it means that at the end of the day, they get to go home and see their buddies or families, their friends, and they get to ride again another day here in Hawaii, that means a lot to me," Diprete said.

Even though he's only been riding for five months, Alfaro feels lessons learned here may help him out on the road.

"Out there on the street, there's too many things going on, gotta worry about cars, traffic in general and here in a controlled environment, is an easy way to learn," he said. "The thing this class is teaching you is exactly how to control your speed, how to know your limit, this class teaches you the limit of where to take a turn, you don't want to be learning out in the traffic at the wrong time."

Event organizers say with such a good turnout Saturday, they plan on doing more of these in the near future.