Bikers ask motorists to check twice

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JAY – Members of the United Bikers of Maine, Franklin County Chapter, are out this month to make people aware that motorcyclists are on the roads once again.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in Maine, and several members were in Jay Monday to give Police Chief Larry White Sr. a large, yellow sign to hang in front of the town office and police station.

The sign’s reads: “Motorcycles are Everywhere. Check twice, save a life.”

They hold awareness month in May because it kind of kicks off the season, spokesman Eric Fuller of Jay said Monday.

“People are not used to seeing bikers out there,” he said.

Sometimes it’s difficult to see a motorcycle, member Wayne “Santa” Harkness of Dixfield, said Monday.

“You can’t handle a motorcycle like a car,” he said.

The group is also holding a membership drive to increase its 125 membership. Statewide the United Bikers of Maine has about 3,000 members, Fuller said.

They’ll be up in Rangeley at the The Club House Restaurant, formerly People’s Choice, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 21, he said.

Bikers plan to post an awareness sign up in that area as well.

They also plan to work with police in the Farmington area to get a sign up there, Fuller said.

The bikers’ organization stands for safe and legal operation of motorcycles, he said.

The group is also working with the Department of Transportation to get rumble strips on certain roads and to try and do something about the paint used on the crossroads, which is very slippery, Fuller said.

Toll booth areas are also slippery, he said, because vehicles are stopped and sometimes leak fluids such as oil. And bikers still have to pay the same price as a full-size vehicle, he said, which is another concern they’re working on with the government.

More and more people are getting motorcycles, Fuller said, and he expects this year that there will be more on the road due to gas prices.

A lot of baby boomers are getting motorcycles, he said. As the weather warms and the price of fuel keeps rising, there will be more motorcycles, motor scooters and bicycles on the roadways so they ask people to “Look twice, save a life.”

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