State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) represents parts of four counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Racine, and Walworth. Her Senate District 28 includes New Berlin, Franklin, Greendale, Hales Corners, Muskego, Waterford, Big Bend, the town of Vernon and parts of Greenfield, East Troy, and Mukwonago. Senator Lazich has been in the Legislature for more than a decade. She considers herself a tireless crusader for lower taxes, reduced spending and smaller government.
As an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I am thrilled that Harley-Davidson has proclaimed March 2010 to be National Garage Party Month with special events planned all across the country especially for women.
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Plymouth Ambulance personnel assist a motorist following an accident between a car and motorcycle Wednesday Sept. 9, 2009 at state Highway 67 and county Highway PP in
The good news is that over many years, the number of road fatalities has been consistently declining.
The bad news is the same can’t be said for motorcyclists. The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) reports that approximately 5,300 motorcycle riders died in roadway crashes during 2008 accounting for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities, with about 96,000 injured.
Nationwide from 1997 through 2008, motorcycle rider fatalities increased from 2,116 to 5,290, a 150 percent increase. Last year, as motorcycle fatalities increased, all other vehicle types saw reductions in fatalities.
For the first time in three decades, the FHA will conduct a major study to better understand the causes of motorcycle crashes.
As a motorcycle enthusiast, I welcome this federal effort.
Numbers provided by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for state motorcycle crashes mirror what is happening at the national level. The DOT reports:
“Using a five-year rolling average, 87 people die and 638 people are seriously injured in motorcycle crashes in
As mentioned above, in the
The federal study and its findings will surely bolster
Because I am a Harley-Davidson rider and enthusiast, I have blogged often about motorcycles. A beautiful summer day and leisurely riding the back roads of
Marc Lachapelle has written a piece for MSN Autos about the growing phenomenon of women and motorcycles. Lachapelle writes:
“Women now own 12.3 percent of all motorcycles in the country, up from 9.6 percent in 2003. That’s a 28 percent increase in five years. To put these numbers in perspective, ownership levels were 8.2 percent in 1998 and 6.4 percent in 1990. Women also make up close to 23 percent of the entire population of motorcyclists, which was estimated at 25 million total riders nationwide for 2008. The proportion was 18 percent in 2003, for an impressive gain of about 27 percent in five years.”
Why the rise in popularity?
More than ever before, there is a wide range of motorcycles for women to choose from including various levels of size, comfort and luxury.
A greater availability of riding gear that looks and feels good is also creating a wider appeal.
Harley-Davidson has especially made an outreach to women with female-only events and workshops. The company devotes a website just for women.
You can read more in Lachapelle’s article. Lachapelle has a keen interest in this topic.
Last week, I blogged about a New York Times article that said Harley-Davidson was having troubles because its baby boomer clientele was getting too old.
My reaction was that the storied company has a history of resiliency and would rebound.
Harley-Davidson’s reaction? It responded by taking out a rather blunt, full two-page ad in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times in the form of the American flag:
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (DOT) is issuing the following warning to motorists: Be extremely cautious the next several weeks. Here’s why:
“Deer will be abundant and their movement unpredictable along Wisconsin roadways in coming weeks.”
The risk for car-deer crashes increases this time of year. During fall, deer on the prowl to mate are active and while on the move often find their way in the path of vehicles. October is a bad month for deer collisions and so is November. The most commonly struck objects in Wisconsin crashes are, in this order, another vehicle, a fixed object, and deer.
As a motorcycle enthusiast, I especially want to emphasize this finding: Motorcycles were involved in 10 of the 14 fatal deer-vehicle crashes in Wisconsin during 2007.
Here is a press release from the DOT including advice about how to prevent car-deer crashes.
Thank you to everyone who came out to the events surrounding the 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. The outpouring of support and hospitality was tremendous.
Here are some pictures taken during the Women’s Day Ride I participated in last Friday.
As one of the four million women Harley-Davidson motorcycle riders, I am thrilled to be participating in the exciting 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson.
This Friday, August 29, I will be one of the VIP’s leading the Women’s Day Ride that featured over 2,000 female bikers at the 100th anniversary in 2003. The Women’s Day Ride leaves Greenfield High School at 60th and Layton at 3:30 p.m. sharp on Friday. The parade route will be Layton Avenue to 794 over the Hoan Bridge to the lakefront.
Over the next several days, thousands of motorcyclists will be in our area celebrating the 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson. Everyone wants the most enjoyable festivities, and even if you don’t ride a motorcycle, you can do your part to make the celebration safe. Here are tips from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for automobile and truck drivers to be aware of around motorcyclists:
There are far fewer motorcycles on the road than cars and trucks. Motorists often don’t recognize motorcycles. Look for them, especially when checking traffic at intersections.
Judging a motorcycle’s speed and how close it is can be difficult because of the motorcycle’s size. It is always best when checking traffic to assume a motorcycle is closer than it looks.
The small size can make it appear that a motorcycle is moving faster than it really is. Do not assume all motorcyclists are speed merchants.
Motorcycles can hide in a motorist’s blind spot or be blocked by objects or backgrounds like bushes, fences, and bridges. Thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes or turning at intersections.
At times, motorcyclists will slow down by downshifting or rolling off the throttle. When they do, their brake lights are not activated. Motorists need to apply more following distance around motorcyclists.
Be aware that turn signals on a motorcycle are generally not self-canceling. Motorcyclists at times forget to turn their signals off after making a turn or lane change.
Motorcyclists will change position in a lane for various reasons, including the ability to seen more easily and to minimize the effects of road debris, passing vehicles, and the wind. They are not adjusting their lane position to show off, be reckless, or share their lane with you.
Despite the great maneuverability of a motorcycle, don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.
Allow more stopping distance behind a motorcyclist, especially on slippery pavement.
When you see a motorcycle in motion, regard it as a person, not a motorcycle.