With Labor Day weekend in full swing, thousands of drivers hit the road across Middle Tennessee, and officials with the Tennessee Highway Patrol have warned the public once again to not drink and drive.
THP officials in the Lawrenceburg district confirmed alcohol-related motorcycle deaths are increasing in their area.
Of the deaths in that district, nine motorcyclists have died, and 78 percent of those crashes involved alcohol.
“We need to have more personal responsibility for people who get out and enjoy these two-wheel machines,” Lt. Chris Dye said.
Lt. Dye wants the spike in impaired biker fatalities to end.
“Late spring and fall, that is when you see the bikes, so if we’re having this problem in the summer, then we’re going to try and prevent this trend from happening into the fall months,” Lt. Dye said.
Dye added these statistics are more than just numbers. They represent people whose families’ lives are forever changed.
“We don’t necessarily think about what happens after the fact, and the families are left here to deal with these tragic events that can be prevented,” Lt. Dye said.
Mike Meeker with Harley Davidson said having the proper equipment may save a life.
“Some of our local club members lost one of their friends in a ride just a couple of weeks ago here in Columbia, and it affects all of us because we are a family,” Meeker said. “We’re community, so we all know each other.”
Both men share the same message: look out for motorcycles and help reduce the number of fatalities. A goal that’s possible with everyone's help.
THP officials will be out this Labor Day holiday conducting several sobriety and seatbelt checkpoints.
Dye said another reason motorcycle fatalities are up is due to inexperienced drivers. He suggested signing up for an educational class before hitting the road.