CREATED May. 20, 2013
FORT MYERS, Fla.- It has been a deadly month for motorcyclists on Southwest Florida roads. Five people have been killed in crashes in the past two weeks.
This past weekend, a 26-year-old man was killed after he was truck and thrown from his motorcycle in Collier County. Now, educators want to raise awareness and stop these rising statistics.
Wayne Cerra's been riding motorcycles for 40 years but one moment last summer almost completely put the breaks on his passion.
" I was run over and left for dead on the road."
"I broke my ankle, broke my knee cap, broke 3 ribs, broke all the fingers on one hand, lost a finger they had it sew it on twice." Cerra said."
Now Wayne and the 250 other members from the Southwest Florida chapter of the group American Bikers Aimed Towards Education raise awareness about motorcycle safety.
"Most of the crashes that happen usually happen on broadside where we get hit by the side and blunt force trauma is what takes us out." Cerra said.
He said far too often, crashes like one earlier this month on U.S 41 in Estero end tragically.
"It is sickening it really is. People are not paying attention and it is so simple to pay attention. So just look, look and look again." Cerra said.
Ed Patrick was killed on May 9Th after authorities said a drunk driver struck him on his motorcycle and drug him for miles.
"Ed was a former member of one of our chapters in Port Charlotte and we will support the family and friends in the courtroom when it comes down to it." Cerra said.
Wayne and other members of ABATE are asking state lawmakers to pass a Stiffer Penalties bill and help bring justice to these victims and their families.
"What the maximum allowable by law was a $1500 fine, a 6 months suspended license and 20 years in a critical trauma unit talking to patients from crashes and accidents. What that tells me is my life is worth $1,500 on the roadway." Cerra said.