GREEN BAY - With more than one of every ten traffic deaths in Wisconsin being a motorcycle rider, officials say it is important to remember safety on the roads.
"The safety is paramount, the riding techniques are proven techniques, everybody is hopefully going to be riding the same and using the same safety techniques," said Gene Rousseau, who currently teaches motorcycle safety at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.
One technique Rousseau preaches is to be defensive.
"You're only on two wheels and you don't have this cage around you, this protective barrier around you like in a car or pickup truck," said Rousseau.
"When you're out there riding your bike there's a lot of traffic, there's deer and I think that if you learn these techniques and these skills it will help you to prevent any crashes and accidents," said Garrett Roush of Green Bay who is taking the motorcycle class at NWTC.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, during the past five years there has been an average of 2,617 motorcycle crashes on Wisconsin roads per year. In 2010, 98 motorcyclists died in crashes, which are up from the previous two years.
"Most fatalities are caused by head injuries, so I guess that sums it up right there," said Rousseau.
At NWTC's motorcycle classes, everyone wears a helmet. It isn't required by law, but motorcycle shops say more riders are picking up protection.
"Sales of helmets have risen," said Eric Kinnard of Vandervest Harley Davidson in Green Bay. "We are seeing a lot more people, riders and passengers using the helmets."
Sales of the motorcycles are also up.
"People getting the itch now that the nice weather is here, also the gas prices," said Kinnard.
With more people preparing to ride on two wheels, Rousseau has one message for other drivers on the road.
"Pay attention, watch for us, we're out there," said Rousseau. "If you pay attention for us, you'll probably see us."
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Outagamie County's second largest employer is expanding, and veterans are encouraged to apply.
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