Motorcycle instructor recommends more driver training to prevent fatal accidents

Published: Jun. 8, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - A recent uptick in motorcycle accidents has a Fort Wayne motorcycle instructor suggesting there be more training for drivers.

Since the beginning of May, Fort Wayne’s NBC News has reported on six life-threatening or fatal motorcycle accidents in the Fort Wayne area. Five of those crashes were fatal. After continuing to report on these crashes, our team wanted to know better ways for drivers to stay safe on the roads.

Jeff Bartlett is the owner of Motorcycle Rider Training, known as M.R.T, in Fort Wayne. He says they host 16 hour training sessions every weekend. He says they used to have a Fort Wayne location, but right now they have been hosting them in Peru, Indiana.

“I started training back in 1995, really enjoyed giving people the skills,” he said. “I’ve had so many people tell me, man what you taught me saved my life. Or I never though of that, it’s eye opening when people realize what they don’t know.”

Bartlett says he’s been a proponent of more training for drivers for many years.

Just this week, there have been two fatal accidents in Fort Wayne alone. Police say a man died on Saint Joe Road Tuesday and another died Monday morning on West State Boulevard.

In May, we reported on four motorcycle accidents. Last week, a man suffered life-threatening injuries on St. Joe Center. The week prior, a man died after hitting a guardrail on West Jefferson Boulevard. The same week, a man died on Oxford street. Earlier in the month, an Orland man died and a woman suffered life-threatening injuries on SR 120.

“It’s getting harder and harder for my wife and I to see this, shes an instructor too,” Bartlett said. “Some people get into this euphoria of driving fast then they don’t know how to stop. Some drivers never even learn how to brake properly.”

He says the key to preventing these accidents is education. Bartlett says drivers should always wear a helmet, drive sober, take training classes, don’t be complacent and have fun on the roads.

He says, most importantly, he believes drivers should take additional training. He says more accidents would be prevented if drivers took advanced classes.

“Challenge yourself. Just because you feel good about getting from point a to point b, don’t become complacent,” he said.

Bartlett says they are looking for a location in Fort Wayne to host more training courses. He says they need a large parking lot and a group of drivers looking to learn.

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