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State Patrol urges bikers, other drivers to stay safe during Fall Ride


Story By Morgan Johnson
Local News Published 09/17/2021 3:13PM, Last Updated 09/17/2021 7:03PM
Tomahawk - The rumble of motorcycles fills the air in Tomahawk, with tens of thousands of bikers rolling in for the 40th annual Fall Ride.

Rolling alongside with them, the Wisconsin State Patrol will be there to make sure everyone is following the law.

"The State Patrol just wants to make sure that everyone is able to enjoy the Fall Ride safely," said Trooper Timothy Westphal.

Westphal is going on his third year with Wisconsin State Patrol. When his shift began today, he had one thing in mind: safety.

Westphal says there are simple steps bikers can take to stay safe. Wearing a helmet, high-visibility clothing, and protective boots can keep bikers safe, and staying sober while riding your motorcycle can help too, to which Westphal adds, "Drive sober or get pulled over."

Gus and Kris Anderson traveled up from Salem, Wisconsin, for the Fall Ride, and it's not their first one either. They're happy to be in town, and they don't want their trip to be spoiled by an injury, so they wear helmets.

"It can save your life," said Gus.

Westphal says in 2020 there were over 2,000 crashes in Wisconsin involving motorcycles. Over 1,700 bikers were injured, and 112 were killed. Most of the bikers were not wearing helmets.

Other drivers also have a part to play to keep bikers safe.

"Look, look, and look again," said Westphal. "Motorcyclists have a smaller profile than other cars, and other motorists need to be aware of checking for not only other passenger vehicles but motorcycles."

 That way, Tomahawk can keep hearing the bikes rumble without the sirens wailing.
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