‘Our goal is target zero’: Keeping motorcyclists safe

Published: Feb. 11, 2022 at 7:25 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - If you plan to hit the interstate, law enforcement is urging you to look out and slow down for motorcycle riders.

Just in the past week, we’ve seen three local bikers lost their lives on local roads.

Troopers on both sides of the river are growing more concerned as we see motorcycle deaths hit a record high. In South Carolina, last year was the deadliest year for bikers.

It has activists and troopers calling for your help.

It’s a call that no loved one wants to get.

“For me to have gotten that call just after midnight was absolutely horrendous,” said Amanda Hadaway.

Hadaway and her husband are frequent riders. Her husband was on his way home, just a few miles down the road, when she says a truck pulled out in front of him.

“Left him in the road with some major head wounds. His bike was about 40 yards off into the ditch. It could’ve very easily been avoided,” she said.

Troopers say they’re showing up on doorsteps more than they ever have before.

Lance Cpl. Tyler Tidwell of the South Carolina Highway Patrol said: “One of the hardest things we can do is knock on someone’s door or their relative’s door and tell them their loved one is deceased and no longer here.”

Last year, South Carolina reported more deaths on motorcycles than any year since 1980. That’s 154 out of 1,121 bikers, or 14 percent of fatalities are bikers.

“We’re out here trying to make a difference, and we don’t want to lose any lives at all. What we want to do is encourage people to ride safely,” he said.

Tidwell works to inform the public on how to stay safe and reduce deaths.

“Our goal is target zero,” he said.

Motorcyclists should always have protective gear, and vehicles should constantly look around.

South Carolina law only requires motorcycle drivers under 21 to wear helmets, but state troopers say it is one of the key ways to stay safe and prevent serious injuries in accidents.

“What we’ve noticed is that a lot of the fatalities are involving motorcyclists speeding and other motorists failing to yield the right of way,” he said.

Troopers and activists will continue pushing for more education and patrols on the roadways.

“The best thing that we can do is try and educate. Educate everybody to put the phones down and keep looking around you,” said Tidwell.

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