VC hosts 'Riding Straight' alcohol awareness program for motorcyclists

Dec. 6, 2011 at 6:06 a.m.

Victoria College is offering a free event this Thursday focusing on the ways drugs and alcohol affect an individual's ability to safely operate a motorcycle.

"VC is providing this event as a community service as we approach the holidays," said Sherri Pall, director of VC's workforce and continuing education.

So with many people traveling over the holidays and the many Christmas parties that occur, this season is the key time to try and educate citizens operating motorcycles about the dangers and consequences that accompany driving while impaired.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation conducted a study showing that a blood alcohol concentration of as little as 0.05 percent increases the risk of a crash by as much as 40 times. Other research also found that alcohol is involved in nearly half of all lethal motorcycle accidents.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation advises that the key to safe motorcycle driving is the ability to maintain an adequate safety margin. This includes being able to quickly identify and evaluate any hazards and then taking the appropriate action to maintain the margin of safety. Therefore, any alcohol in the driver's system can impair the driver's ability to maintain this crucial margin and thus increases the chance of an accident by five times.

At the event Thursday, Fatal Vision simulator goggles will be used in order to give participants a hands-on opportunity to experience the visual impairment effects of driving a motorcycle while intoxicated.

"While wearing the goggles, participants will be asked to perform a series of quick-reaction tasks that will highlight just how much their awareness and reaction time is impaired with the use of alcohol," Pall said.

The course will be taught by a motorcycle veteran of more than 40 years, one of VC's Motorcycle Safety "RiderCoaches," Stephen Fuhrman.

"This topic remains critical because of the high number of motorcycle fatalities that are alcohol related," Pall said. "We want everyone to enjoy the holidays and make it safely home to their families."

Everyone in the community is invited to attend, especially motorcyclists and their families. Door prizes will be given away.



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