Rise in motorcycle accidents sparks firefighter's safety plea
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Helmets of every size, color and style line the walls of Renegade Classics.
Owner Allen Hammerel told Nine On Your Side that they are his store's number one seller, but he said 40% of his customers do not want to wear them.
"A lot of them just don't do it," Hammerel said, "It's part of the culture."
A culture, he told us, of free spirits.
But Tucson trends suggest that culture is becoming more and more dangerous.
"We hear about a lot of accidents, and when we hear an accident, we go to see, was that one of our customers."
Hammerel said he does not judge, but he and his employees have seen first hand the importance of wearing a helmet.
"When he hit," one employee said, "He bounced his head right off the pavement."
She told us she knows a $50 helmet saved her husband's life, but wearing one is a choice here in Arizona, not a requirement, unless you are under 18.
Arizona, along with 27 other states have partial helmet laws, 20 states require everyone to wear a helmet, and 3 states have no requirement at all.
"Anytime there's something that's gonna make safety a priority," Northwest Fire Captain Adam Goldberg said, "It's a good thing."
Goldberg sorted through the number of motorcycle accidents, and said the amount on just the Northwest side this year is reason enough for every motorcycle rider to want to be cautious.
"66 motorcycle related crashes alone in this area," Goldberg said.
When you break it all down, there's currently an average of 6 accidents a month, which is a number we've already reached in September.
Goldberg said many of those crashes involved riders who were not wearing a helmet.
It's a message he repeats time and time again: "try the helmets, maybe you'll like it, and actually, it might save your life."