News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Four deaths in just two weeks all from motorcycle accidents. One was a deputy, one was a pastor and all were members of this community.
Several others are in rehab from past accidents or still in the hospital because of accidents over the past few days.
Motorcyclists are calling it the worst out break of accidents they've seen in a long time.
"Over the past year or two I've officiated for numerous funerals for bikers, but I've made more hospital visits than I care to even count," said Pastor Wayne Cheselka.
He's been riding since he was 14 years old, but says the past few years, and especially this past month, he's seen more accidents than ever before.
"it's getting almost to a point where every time I get on top of it, for me I say a prayer every time I get on it," said Cheselka.
"This year the starting of bike season has been the most deadliest and more bikers gone down than I remember," said rider Bill Holley.
He is the president of a christian motorcycle association group and has been riding since 1958.
"Anytime a biker goes down we go to the hospital we're there for the family we pray with them," said Holley.
Wednesday night he and two others went to the hospital to pray with the rider involved in an accident on Pine Log Road Monday.
"Even the bikers we don't know if you're a biker you're a brother or sister," said Holley.
The biggest issue bikers face is not being seen by cars until it's too late.
"We have to be aware that sometimes the sun is just right that one headlight just blends in the background and we become unseen," said Cheselka.
They say the public needs to make sure they are looking especially with more bikers out in the summertime.
"Look for a motorcycle," said ABATE District Coordinator, Nancy James. "Don't look for a car or truck look for that motorcycle because we're hard to see. First thing everybody says is 'oh I didn't see you' and you know what they didn't see us."
But they say the biker needs to make sure they are taking every precaution as well.
"We need to take responsibility for ourselves," said Cheselka. "So first of all I encourage all bikers if you haven't taken a safety class to take one. If you've taken one, take another."
ABATE, a motorcycle safety group, is working to bring motorcycle safety into high school driver education classes. They are raising money to purchase kits for every high school in the area to teach kids at a young age.
Richmond County is working on a program as well. The Sheriff's Office is starting their own motorcycle safety initiative. They are still working on the details, but plan to roll that out in the next few weeks.
They say you should always look twice on the roads because that second look could save a life.