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Many local motorcycle riders are hoping stricter laws will alleviate some of that danger

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By Ashley Antonini 

The National Highway Safety Administration reports distracted driving claims over 3,500 lives per year. Motorcyclists account for 14% of all traffic-related fatalities.

Many local motorcycle riders are hoping stricter laws will alleviate some of that danger.

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“Any harsher penalties that do exist will not only help protect the motorists themselves, but also the other motorists, motorcyclists and pedestrians,” says Kegel Harley Davidson General Manager Eric Johnson.

These stricter laws include harsher penalties for those caught using their phone while driving.

Violators will now receive a moving violation for the offense, three moving violations a year result in a suspended license.

An additional reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest in the unsolved killing of a Pasco County Pagan motorcycle club member

Johnson urges local riders to still take precaution when out on the roadways.

“Keep your head on a swivel and always look in as many directions as possible,” says Johnson. “[Motorcyclists should] know where their boundaries are and know where other traffic is.”

However, motorcyclists are not the only bikers on the road at risk.

“When I started riding there were no cellphones,” says road cyclist Steve Forss. “We didn’t have to worry about that until very recently.”

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Forss has been road cycling for 35 year and is no stranger to the dangers of distracted driving.

“[Distracted driving] does go through your mind,” says Forss. “Once it is in your mind, it is hard to get it out.”

He is hopeful harsher penalties for the offense will make cyclists more comfortable on their rides.

“I think [the penalties] will get a lot more people out that may not otherwise get out just because of [distracted driving],” says Forss.

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  1. This sounds good, “stricter laws”, the fact of the matter is “it is unenforceable”, fact. This law is already on the books, it don’t do shit to protect motorcycles, bicycle riders or motorists. LE will NOT enforce until there is a Accident or Death.
    It should never be three strikes and your out, just Bull-Shit, if, LE “would” enforce the first offenders or offense should lose DL for a minimum of 1year with a $1000 fine and insurance revoked for the same length of time. Second offense 180 days in the cross-bar hotel with a $5000.00 fine.


  2. Rockford, Illinois is nothing more than a Farming community with regards to population, 152,840!!!
    In this article the representative from Kegal H-D suggestions is “Fodder”… I understand your concerns but your suggestions under the heading of “Stricter Laws” have been implemented for years in Big Boy cities for years to “no-avail”, don’t work, hasn’t worked and never will work to protect motorists from cell phones while driving. 152,840 population, LMAO 😂
    The reason why your suggestions have not worked is LE will not enforce because they have to “subpoena phone records” that is it, plain and simple.
    A Phufking death sentence is riding in Dallas, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, El Lay, San Diego, San Francisco…..and the suburbs of the Big Boy Cities! Check the populations!!!!
    The days of slinging your leg over your two-wheeler and rolling like we use too is OVER!


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