Safety group reacts to recent motorcycle crashes

Posted at 7:56 PM, Apr 13, 2016

In Boynton Beach, police are searching for two people who were in a car that hit and killed a motorcycle rider Tuesday night.

This marks the fourth motorcyclist to die in Boynton Beach this month.

One group says these tragedies can be avoided if drivers pay attention and follow the laws.

“We heard the crash, obviously a car accident,” remembered James, who didn’t want to share his last name.

He wants to forget what he saw outside his Boynton Beach house Tuesday.

Police said a car turned into the path of Andrew Badgley. The 31-year-old was on his motorcycle and died on the scene. Police said two people in the car ran away.

“It is very hard. Especially as an instructor, I’m thinking is it one of my students? It's gut-wrenching,” explained Rafael Vega from the Safety Council of Palm Beach County.

He teaches motorcycle driving classes for the organization. He said keeping the roads safe starts with raising awareness.

“Even if you've been riding 30 years, we can teach you something that might help save your life,” he pointed out.

Statistics from the county’s traffic department show 35 people died in crashes last year involving motorcycles in Palm Beach County.

That’s up from 17 in 2014 and 19 in 2013, according to the county.

Our records show six deadly motorcycle crashes, killing seven people, in the county this month alone.

Vega has been riding motorcycles for years and said he survived two crashes. His best advice is for all drivers to follow the speed limits and be aware of what’s around you. If you’re on a motorcycle, he recommends you wear a helmet.

The Safety Council of Palm Beach County is making it easier for anyone to take a motorcycle rider course. It received a grant to lower the cost of the class this summer from $250 to $195.

In Florida, you need to take a rider's course before getting a driver's license for a motorcycle. But Vega says the course is open to current riders too.

For more information on signing up for a class, click here.

April’s motorcycle crashes:
April 1: 1100 N. Congress Ave. Boynton Beach. Ernesto Coronel, 45.
April 3: 3500 S. Federal Hwy. Boynton Beach. Daniel A. Neves, 47, and Melissa Meagan Kintner, 38.
April 6: 2000 S. Dixie Hwy. Delray Beach. Suzanne Vachon, 57.
April 7: Military Trail and Lantana Rd. Gladmon McDowell, 32.
April 8: 700 block of NW 2nd Ave. Boca Raton. Antonio Osorio, 37.
April 12: Woolbright Rd, east of I-95, Boynton Beach. Andrew Forest Badgley, 31.