OFF THE WIRE
Police: Half Of All Motorcycle Riders Aren't Licensed
A Wichita man was killed in a motorcycle crash Monday. Meanwhile, police say he wasn't licensed and his recklessness led to the tragedy. Reporter: Jared Cerullo
Police Say Most Motorcycle Riders Aren't Licensed
: Tuesday, October 11, 2011
A Wichita man is dead after crashing his motorcycle into an SUV. Police say the man involved in the deadly motorcycle crash was riding recklessly and didn't even have a license.
The collision happened Monday night near 21st and Rock Rd. in Northeast Wichita.
Police and experts say that as many as half the people that get on a motorcycle are not licensed. Because of that inexperience and the combination of all the different things going on in traffic, that can often lead to be a deadly combination.
"I'm not going to point a finger at Kansas, because none of the other states are doing it, either. With the exception of Florida," said Joe Gattenby, who owns Motorcycle Rider Education in Towne West Square.
Gattenby teaches motorcycle safety education at his business classroom. He does not believe that motorcycle licensing requirements in Kansas are stringent enough.
"Most people cannot get on a motorcycle and go down and pass the writing portion of the test that the state troopers give at the license office," Gattenby explained. "Most people can't, so they just don't."
Going through a safety class is not a requirement for a motorcycle license in Kansas, but most insurers will give a cheaper rate if you do.
Monday's crash in Northeast Wichita claimed the life of 20 year-old Christopher Tally. Police say Tally was not licensed at all and numerous witnesses reported that he was weaving in between vehicles on the dotted white line while doing at least 70 miles-per-hour.
"Bear in mind, this is all based on eyewitness accounts," said Police Lt. Joe Schroeder. "However we have at least seven accounts. And the motorcycle passed actually four vehicles while going on the dotted white line."
Gattenby, the teacher, also says it's easy for young people to succumb to the pressure of their friends.
"The younger guys in particular respond to peer pressure like all young people do, well older people too," he said. "And then they get out there and ride beyond their limits."
In Kansas right now, the cost of a Class M motorcycle license is a $12.50. Tally is the sixth person to die in motorcycle accidents this year in Wichita. That compares to eight people at this time last year and 11 in all of 2010.