'Riding the Long Haul' event stresses the importance of motorcycle safety

Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-06 06:31:09-05

The Arizona Department of Transportation also got involved today to try and help by putting up a sign that reads,"Blind spots hide motorcycles... always look twice.

On Sunday, it also happened to be the third annual event. "Riding the Long Haul." 

Organizers said it is about focusing on motorcycle safety in our state and giving riders the tools to look out for themselves. 

"One of the things that we do as an individual is that we take for granted that we know how to ride," Mick Degn said.

Degn is the executive director for the Arizona Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Foundation. 

Along with the startling statistics of rider deaths, Degn was shocked to learn that 75 percent of riders are not properly trained. 

"If I learn from Joe Blow, Joe Blow might not have the proper habits," Degn said. 

Degn and his organization's goal on Sunday was to showcase how training can make a difference. 

Sadly, our newsroom has been covering a handful of crashes all week.

The most recent was near I-17 and Bell Road Saturday night when a man was killed.

Then, last Saturday, another man was hit and killed at Power and Guadalupe roads. MCSO believes the driver in a vehicle pulled in front of the motorcyclist. 

"It may not legally be their fault or they may not be responsible, however they may suffer serious injury or fatality from the collision," said Sgt. Sean Kelly with the Mesa Police Department. "So, they need to be prepared at all times." 

And again, last Saturday another double motorcycle crash happened at Signal Butte Road and Apache Trail. This incident claimed the life of a beloved local brewer, Ian Campbell-O'Neill.

So, organizers Sunday spent the day stressing the importance of taking a 15-hour safety course. 

For more information on how to register, click here.