Archive for September, 2011

21

Posted: September 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

21. No I am not talking about the age at which you can drink, although that is it. Nope, I am sadly talking about the number of motorcyclists killed Nebraska roadways this year. 21 lives taken in motorcycle crashes, some are alcohol related and some are not, but the sheer number of lives lost has to make you think twice.

According to the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety, this number is the highest it has been since 2004. Actually, according to Rose White of AAA Nebraska, the last time our number was over 21, was in 1987 when there were 31 motorcycle fatalities, a little over a year before our state helment law went into effect in 1989. So why now. Why do these numbers seem to be skyrocketing and what can we do about it!

Fred Zwonechek, head of the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety suggests the rise in number may be attributed to the weather. Seven of the 21 deaths have occured in the month of September. As many of you may have noticed, this month has been a perfect one to be outside. And for motorcyclists, that means being out on the road. The crash that started this conversation happened in Lincoln on Wednesday,  (http://www.omaha.com/article/20110929/NEWS01/709299829/-1) and our hearts go out to the family of Dennis Simpson.

So what do we do. The weather is perfect to ride, and people are going to. So how do we make sure they are safe out there. The fact is motorcycles are dangerous. Does this mean we shouldn’t ride them, no. It simply means we all need to use extra caution when riding or driving around them. For motorcyclists, it means always following the posted signs and speed limits, being on a bike doesn’t not exempt you from following the rules of the road. It also means taking the time to really know how to control your motorcycle, they have a lot of power, so make sure you know what you are doing before you get out on the road. Most importantly, always, always, always…did I say always…WEAR YOUR HELMET. It can save your life!

For the rest of us traveling on the roads. It is important that we pay extra attention, follow the rules of the road as well and be respectful of the motorcyclists on the road around us. If we can all work together to share the road, maybe we will see the number of fatalities drop back down. While we can never get the lives lost back, we can learn and become more respectful and better drivers to help keep another life from being taken.

A Safe Game Day

Posted: September 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

It is here. In Nebraska, sometimes it feels like our state lives for football season and it is finally here. Even if you don’t follow football, if you live around Lincoln, you can’t help but feel that extra excitement around town as the season opener draws near.  Store windows seem to have more red, even the grocery stores have a Husker section, football seems to be a constant discussion and more and more you over hear conversations about plans for the game.

And you should know, that if you have a plan, so does law enforcement. In fact there are a lot of people planning and working so we can all have a safe and fun game day.  Agencies across the state come together on game day to make sure everyone can cheer on the Huskers without having to worry about their safety.  If you are coming to the game, you can expect to see an increased presence of law enforcement. The Nebraska State Patrol will be working overtime hours for all of the Husker home games this year thanks to a grant by the Nebraska Office of Highway Safety. They will making sure everyone arrives safely for the game and safe at home after!

The State Patrol is not alone in this effort. The Lancaster County Sheriff’s Department and Lincoln Police Department will also be on the roads working to keep us all protected. We cannot thank all of them enough for their hard work to keep the roads safe on game day and always!

We ask that as you make your game day plans, you remember Nebraska’s Law Enforcement Agencies will be out in force over the weekend. And we can all help make their job easier, by being patient, making sure you buckle up and most importantly, always making sure you have a designated sober driver if your game plan includes alcohol.

Go Big Red!