News Item: Bikers preach important safety lesson
(Category: Biker News)
Posted by MJF
Tuesday 06 June 2006 - 11:23:30

HARLAN


The students sat in their gold and green chairs, listening attentively as the man before them spoke. Dressed in a leather vest and armed with a commanding presence, he talked to them with purpose, leaving them with a story they will never forget.

Last Thursday, driver's education students sat in the high school auditorium and watched "Share the Road," a program put on by A.B.A.T.E. or A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education. Speaking at the program were Harley riders, Wayne Wierson and Phyllis and Gary Hanson.

Aimed toward educating students in driver's education programs across the state, the program teaches students motorcycle awareness when driving.

Stating that a heavy motorcycle only weighs about 800 pounds, Wierson told students that it is their responsibility to look out for motorcycles, as they have no protection except the clothes on their backs between them and the pavement.

He also demonstrated how easy it is not to see a motorcycle by showing them just how many places one can be without a car seeing it.

Gaining a few laughs from the students while still keeping the tone serious, Wierson showed them a picture of a tough-looking biker and asked a question.

"Why do you think a biker that fears no man is afraid of a soccer mom?" asked Wierson. "Because they're driving minivans with screaming children."



While Wierson spoke mostly of the responsibility of drivers toward bikers, he also talked of the bikers' responsibility to protect themselves. Giving a vivid statistic for those just learning to drive, he told them that most motorcycle fatalities happen within the first six months of receiving a license for one because people don't respect the bike.

Although the pictures and statistics he gave were reminders to drive carefully around bikers, the most vivid testimony came when he told of his own experience with tragedy on the road.

Telling the students to write their name on a sheet of paper along with five of their friends, he brought six students on stage and stood them in a typical motorcycle formation for the road.

Explaining that a van had come across the road and hit their bikes, one by one he gave the students an injury or told them they had died and they walked off the stage. Meanwhile, the students in the audience crossed one of their friends off their list, until the only name that remained was their own.

"That was me," he said.

Wide-eyed, the students listened as he explained that while riding four years ago, three of his friends had been killed and the rest with major injuries, leaving him to survive with hand injuries.

"Believe me, it doesn't go away the next week. It stays with you for a lifetime," he said with tears in his eyes. "You're not supposed to go out on a Saturday for fun and come back alone."

The students filed out of the auditorium and showed one another the names on their list. They realized that their own name had been crossed off on a lot of their friends' lists. For Wierson, the fact that it could happen to them was his point.



This news item is from White Trash Networks
( http://www.bikernews.org/wtn/news.php?extend.634 )