Lately our area has seen its fair share of motorcycle accidents, several of them being deadly. Just last week, an 18 year old Cape Fear Community College student died in a motorcycle crash on Front Street. Now, people in our area are working to increase awareness, and safety, of bikers. New motorcyclist Stephanie Schlosser said, "I had ridden on the back of motorcycles before, but never driven one. So I decided I would step up and buy a bike." Schlosser has put only fifteen miles on her bike since she bought it a few weeks ago. Since she is new to riding, she wants to gradually ease into it. "Bikers have to be a little more aware of their surroundings, because they don't have the protectiveness of a larger vehicle." said Schlosser. Following a string of motorcycle accidents in our area over the past month, bikers are taking the extra step to sharpen their skills before taking on the open road. Randy Mallo teaches a motorcycle safety class at Cape Fear Community College. He said the class is vital for any person new to riding. “To get the needed skills to ride on the street, as we all know, Wilmington is a city full of vehicle confrontations." said Mallo AAA reported North Carolina as the worst state in the nation for increased traffic deaths in 2007. That rating mostly came from an increase in motorcycle and drunken driving fatalities. There was a 37 percent increase in motorcycle deaths from the previous year. To help combat these statistics, the Wilmington Police Department is hosting a motorcycle safety course called bike safe North Carolina. The class will not only help educate police officers on bikes, but the rest of the biking community. Kevin Getman, a Wilmington cop said, "Drivers have their part out there to be looking for motorcycle riders, and motorcycle riders themselves. It’s their job to educate themselves, and protect themselves and be as safe as you can be out there." Safety is the first thing on Schlossers mind, as she gets used to being a biker. For her, riding a motorcycle is still a work in progress. To find out more information about Cape Fear's motorcycle safety class, you can call 910-362-7000. If you are interested in the motorcycle safety course hosted by the Wilmington Police Department, you can contact Wilmington Police at 910-343-3640.
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