Motorcycle safety: Experts work to reduce motorcycle deaths in Florida

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - With motorcycle death rates on the rise in Florida, local safety experts are trying to make the roads safer.

Starting May 15, the Safety Council of Palm Beach County is using state grant money to cut the cost in half to take its motorcycle safety class.

It will also give away motorcycle helmets to some of its students.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, the amount of motorcycle deaths in the state is rising in recent years.

"The biggest problem right now is helmets," says Rafael Vega of the Safety Council of Palm Beach County. "People are not wearing their helmets and what's happening is the first thing that hits the ground is the head and shoulders."

Vega teaches a motorcycle safety class that first-time riders are required to take in order to legally ride in the state.

"The class is going to show them how to do everything correctly, how to dress properly.  Of course, it is going to make them legal, and in the state of Florida you cannot get an endorsement unless you take the class," Vega says.

Vega says drivers need to keep their eyes open for riders on the roads because motorcycles are small.

He also says many riders need to slow down to make the roads safer.

Wearing a helmet is not required in the State of Florida for riders more than 21 years old with more than $10,000 in medical coverage insurance.

Learn more about the safety class offered by the Safety Council of Palm Beach County. 

To see traffic crash numbers, visit the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles website .

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