Classes hope to cut down on growing number of motorcycle acciden - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Classes hope to cut down on growing number of motorcycle accidents


MADISON (WKOW)-- The 4th of July is commonly known as one of the most popular times for motorcyclists, but with a handful of recent accidents local instructors are more focused on safety than they are riding.

"How many of you guys have been riding for more than five years?" instructor Jason Herheim asks a classroom full of students.

Saturday morning's motorcycle safety seminar is just one of many classes Madison College will hold this Summer. This year they are offering a larger variety of classes and opportunities for riders of all skill levels.

"We hope to be able to save some people's lives and we want to at least maintain if not increase the level of fun that motorcyclists basically have when they're out there on the streets," Herheim says.

The fun part of riding motorcycles is often overshadowed by the risk. There have been several recent accidents like the crash on the 4th of July that severely injured a Janesville man. Another serious crash happened on June 19th when a Middleton motorcyclist died after hitting a pole on University Avenue in Madison.

"The perception is not great. I want to see the perception change. We have guys out there that want to ride better. they want to grow up to be old motorcyclists and we can help them do that," Herheim says.

Contrary to popular belief, Herheim says a lot of accidents happen because of other drivers. A recent case was the June 4th accident that killed a Madison College counselor and his wife when a truck driver swerved into their lane.

Herheim says it's important for riders to know how to avoid inattentive drivers, because motorcycles offer very little protection during a crash.

"We teach a strategy. People develop a strategy to be seen, a strategy to be aware," Herheim says.

With more than 5,000 motorcycle fatalities in 2012, according to a recent study, there's still a long ways to go. Instructors say they're up for the challenge as they teach safe ways to enjoy a hobby they love.

For more information on classes and seminars visit

There you will find schedules and costs for upcoming classes through Madison College.

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