Motorcycle safety after dangerous weekend rides

WTNH/LaSalle Blanks

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The nice weather is warming up profits at some area motorcycle shops around Connecticut. After a long, cold winter with roads covered in snow and ice, the last couple of days have revved up business as motorcycle enthusiasts feel that drive to spend more time out on the roads. Monday’s sunshine was enough to bring Jesse Ramos and his buddies out bike shopping.

“Absolutely,” Jesse said. “Getting ready for Spring.”

However, after a weekend that included a deadly motorcycle wreck in West Haven and the arrests of some bikers who police say drove recklessly on I-95 from Stamford — through Fairfield — and onto nearby Route 8, the talk at Libby’s Motoworld in New Haven, where Jesse was shopping, was also about safety.

“Having fun…..and being safe,” Jesse said.

The owners at Libby’s tell News 8 after each sale, they stress motorcycle safety and the importance of being a responsible rider.

“This is the basic rider course — Motorcycle Safety Foundation,” said co-owner Keith Libby, while holding up safety pamphlets he gives to customers. “It’s required by the State of Connecticut for anyone obtaining their motorcycle license. This here is Smart Rider. It also tells people how to ride properly — the way to ride smart and the equipment to wear while you’re out there riding.”

One controversial issue when it comes to motorcycles and safety has been whether to enact a mandatory helmet law for motorcycle operators here in Connecticut.

“Absolutely not,” Keith said. “It should be up to the motorcyclist. I wear one, but that’s my choice. I have a lot of friends that don’t and they ride very safely. Any beginning riders under 18 should absolutely have a mandatory helmet law — for anyone under 18 years old. New riders should definitely have a helmet on.”

Both Jesse and Keith said most of the people they know are responsible riders. They also have something else in common.  They both love to ride because of the sense of freedom they feel while on the road. They also told News 8 they both take steps to safely enjoy that sense of freedom.

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