Sheriff Clarke urges roadway safety for bikers

MILWAUKEE -- Sixty-nine-year-old biker Ken Pezewski Knows a thing or two about danger.

\"Broken ribs, sprained shoulder, stuff like that,\" Pezewski said, listing his memorable injuries.

He's been in plenty of crashes over the years and even buried several of his fellow riders.

\"Look out for us, we're on the road again,\" Pezewski said.  \"Be careful and I'll be careful.\"

Ken's message echoed the one Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke had for motorists on a sunny Wednesday.

\"Start  thinking now about sharing the road together,\" Clarke said.

The sheriff cited DOT numbers that show 116 riders died on Wisconsin roads in 2012.  That's a number he hopes will drop.


\"A bike does not have the advantage of four wheels, nor does it have the protection of an exterior shell around the  frame,\" Clarke said.  \"They do not have airbags or seat belts.\"

The sheriff reminded drivers to give bikers a full lane width and avoid riding too closely.

Over at Hal's Harley-Davidson in New Berlin, President Kirk Topel wants riders to take responsibility for  themselves.

\"I've never seen people embrace training as much as they have the last few years,\" Topel said.

Hal's offers many free seminars on rules and safety.

\"It's kind of like basic training for a sports team,\" Topel said.  \"You start out the year, you review hand signals.  Just refresh  the things that should be front of mind when you get out on a bike.\"

Whether you sit behind a steering wheel or handle bars, Clarke says to save your life and others: stay alert, stay sober and stay off the phone.

\"Put the damn phone down and drive before you kill somebody,\" Clarke said.

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