Motorcycle safety advocates concerned after recent deadly crashes in Capital Region
NewsChannel 13 is digging into a recent string of fatal motorcycle crashes in the Capital Region. There have been three separate crashes where motorcyclists lost their lives just over the past eight days in the Capital Region.
Motorcyclist fatalities have been on the rise since 2017. According to data compiled by New York State, in 2017, there were 143 motorcyclist deaths, while in 2021, there were a total of 200.
The local president of motorcycle safety group American Bikers Aimed Toward Education (ABATE), Andrew Liuzzi, believes distracted driving is responsible.
In July, Liuzzi lost a friend in a fatal accident. Richard Davis, 63, was killed in a crash on the Columbia Turnpike. Another friend of Liuzzi’s was riding with Davis and injured in that crash. East Greenbush Police determined a car turned in front of the motorcyclists.
“We need people to look before they change lanes. We need people to not solely depend on sensors. We need riders to slow down.” Liuzzi said. “A lot of the crashes that we deal with are people making left hand turns into the motorcyclists, because people have a habit of looking left, turning left.”
NewsChannel 13 also spoke with Lieutenant Adam Nowicki, who runs Traffic Safety Division for Schenectady Police. He said it’s on motorcyclists to slow down, and on drivers to keep their eyes on the road.
“Put down your cellphone, make sure you’re not focusing all of your attention on the GPS if that’s available,” said Lieutenant Nowicki. “Keep the music down because not only does it kind of encapsulate you inside but there could be other motorists trying to warn you with their horns.”