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Motorcycle fatalities and road safety

It continues to be a dangerous year for motorcyclists in our region. Saturday, there was a fatal motorcycle crash in Chautauqua County linked to high speed.

Motorcycle groups try to teach safety, especially to less experienced bikers, but not all listen.

Andrew Barr is president of the Cattaraugus County Chapter of the motorcycle group ABATE, which stresses education. Barr said a big safety problem is automobile drivers who don't pay enough attention to bikers.  Barr knows first hand because his only accident resulted from being cut off by a car.

"I was launched off my bike and landed in somebody's front yard," said Barr.  "But the full face helmet saved my life and I will go to my grave believing that."

Barr said he tells new bikers there is a safety reason to wear boots, leather pants and jackets and not flip-flops and shorts.

A motorcyclist was arrested last week south of Albany for traveling at 170-miles per hour. He didn't even have a biker license .

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.