Oahu motorcyclists rally; urging drivers to share the road

Edward Dunn
Edward Dunn
Jiro Sumada
Jiro Sumada

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Hawaii has seen a huge jump in the number of motorcycle fatalities this year. Now bikers are taking to the streets, to stop this deadly trend.

Dozens of Hawaii bikers make it loud and clear just how much they love to ride.

"We've got bikers out here that are lawyers, doctors and dentists. And they all have one thing in common, they love going out there and riding free," said Edward Dunn, with the Honolulu Harley Owner's Group.

But these bikers also have another thing in common, sharing how dangerous our streets have been.

"We always talk about fatalities," added Dunn.

And this year there has been a lot to talk about.

"We've had 25 fatalities. At the rate we're going, 2009 will be the worst year for motorcycle fatalities," said Jiro Sumada, with the State Department of Transportation.

So to put the brakes on this deadly trend, bikers are rallying for the 'Share the Road' campaign.

An effort to educate drivers to watch out for two wheelers.

"We're just asking the motorists to be more aware as they are driving. To focus on their driving and check their rear view mirror and check their blind spots," said Sumada.

Many times bikers aren't seen until its too late. Bikers may be looking out for drivers but need more help on the road.

They are asking motorists, to simply use their turn signals to let riders know where they're headed. Give them more space on our streets, in case something expected comes up. And even though they share the same road, motorcycles aren't the same as cars.

"They don't stop on a dime. So if you turn in front of a biker, it takes longer to stop on a motorcycle," said Dunn.

Simple safety steps drivers can take that could end up saving the life of those who live to ride.

Hawaii's motorcycle fatality rate has doubled over last year's numbers. And because the islands have been so deadly for riders, the state ranks third highest in the country for fatalities.