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Combating fatal crashes: KCPD offers motorcycle training courses to community

Motorcycle training offered to community by KCPD
Posted at 9:48 AM, May 31, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The official start of summer kicks off in just a couple of weeks, and the warmer weather means more motorcyclists will be hitting the road, leading to a potential increase in crashes and fatalities.

Here's a look at motorcycle fatal crashes in both Kansas and Missouri using data from the Kansas Department of Transportation, Missouri Department of Transportation and Missouri State Highway Patrol.

Fatal Crashes in Kansas and Missouri

Crashes have trickled up across both state lines, but during the course of 2023 Missouri had it's deadliest year ever for motorcycle crashes. Preliminary data from MODOT shows, 175 motorcyclists were killed last year, a 14% increase over the previous year.

"I love bikes I'm when on a bike I am home, it's a mental clarity," veteran rider Darick Arnold said.

Arnold has been riding his motorcycle for more than 20 years and remembers falling off his bike when he first started riding.

"No one is invincible on these (motorcycles) as much as some people seem to think," Arnold said. "When you're on a bike, you're not invincible and stuff can happen."

However, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department is pumping the brakes on this deadly trend by training motorcyclists on their police academy track for free. In an effort to help riders stay on the right track.

"We're doing some slow speed stuff and showing them some of the techniques that we use in our slow speed maneuvers for parking lots and bike nights," said Sgt. Bryan Jones, an instructor with KCPD.

From clutch and throttle control, tight and sharp turns, and brake safety, the goal of the department's motorcycle training is to help these riders be ready to handle any curve balls that can come their way.

"We love this as instructors because we love motorcycles and we love coming out here and teaching people about it," Jones said.

In 2020, the state of Missouri repealed its universal helmet law, which means, if you are older than 26, you don't have to wear a helmet. MODOT said last year fatal crashes are almost 50% higher than the average number of motorcycle fatalities prior to the repeal of the law.

KCPD is planning to offer additional courses on motorcycles this summer, check its social media for further updates.