Home Motorcycle Motorcycle safety a priority issue for SC as crash death toll rises

Motorcycle safety a priority issue for SC as crash death toll rises


GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) — Scott Wade says the loss of his son Hampton in 2018, at just 20, changed him forever.

“There’s a before it happens, and there’s a life after it happens,” he told FOX Carolina. “And it’s never the same. He left. I can’t bring it back.

Hampton was killed in a motorcycle accident.

“A guy who wasn’t paying attention turned left in his path, cut him, threw him in the back of the car,” Scott recalled painfully.

Despite his young age, Scott says his son already had a lot of experience on the bikes. He also wore a helmet, doing everything he could to stay safe. =

“We have a problem,” Wade said. “And bikers pay the highest price because they have the least protection.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says South Carolina ranks first in the United States for motorcycle crashes per 100 million miles traveled; 4th in the United States for motorcycle deaths per 100,000 people.

“Nine out of ten times some of us know who it was,” Jane Robinson said. “And nobody wants to go to the funeral of another biker that many of us probably know and love.”

Robinson is the secretary of the Motorcycle Awareness Alliance, a grassroots advocacy group based in Anderson. She says they have been trying to raise the alarm on this issue for over 10 years.

“The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of accidents,” Robinson said. “Mostly the ones that end with ‘I didn’t see you.'”

The MAA slogan is “Look twice, save a life”. Robinson and Wade say they want tougher penalties for 4-wheelers when they are responsible for accidents, like the one that killed Scott’s son.

“The man who killed my son got a $230 fine and a subpoena,” Scott said. “And we had to fight to make it stick.

He says the problem is that many of these cases, when deemed “accidental”, are not prosecuted in the same way that a 4-wheeled vehicle accident on a 4-wheeled vehicle might be, especially when there is a death. Most motorcycle cases end up in traffic court.

“Lower the definition of ‘reckless’ in South Carolina, so there’s an understandable penalty that will make someone pay attention,” Wade said, when asked for an example of what he would like. see instead.

In the meantime, South Carolina Highway Patrol Chief Trooper Mitch Ridgeway says there are things you can do to be safer on your bike.

“I believe if everyone had to wear helmets, we would probably save lives,” Ridgeway told FOX Carolina. “Especially with these low-speed collisions.”

He also adds: you can sign up for a biker safety education course and put down your cell phone. Ridgeway says daylight saving time is when we see the most crashes on 2 and 4 wheelers.

SCHP is also in the middle of the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer campaign, so they are stepping things up while people do summer activities and travel on SC roads.

“We have more soldiers on the roads who really focus on speeding, seat belts, distracted driving and impaired driving,” he said.

“You don’t want to be the person who took a life,” Wade added. “You don’t want to be the family that lost a loved one.”

FOX Carolina state lawmakers have reached out to point to the hands-free bill, which was debated in the General Assembly this year but did not pass. They say overtaking would reduce many of the bad behaviors that kill cyclists and motorcyclists.

Proponents, however, say there’s still a lot more we could do.