BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — Riding season is here for motorcyclists. You may noticed bikers on the road since temperatures were on the rise this weekend.
The founder of a motorcycle enthusiast group called Nebraska Riders says the number of motorcycle deaths are already climbing this year. Glenn Shriner says the way we think about looking out for bikes needs to change.
"We may not know those people, but they're part of the motorcycle community," he said.
Shriner founded the community group on Facebook that has a thousand members spanning across the Midwest. On Sunday, he learned about the crash that killed 39-year-old Jason Burgess and 29-year-old Megan Burgess.
"Riding season just started and I know of four deaths already," Shriner said.
Police say a 16-year-old driver and his adult passenger were in a pick-up truck making a left turn when they struck Jason and Megan.
"It's very easy to misjudge the speed of the bike traveling," Shriner said. "Motorcycles do not stop on a dime. If you pull out in front of a bike, it's nothing but steel and bones for us."
The most recent data on motorcycle deaths and injuries from the Nebraska Department of Transportation shows 27 bikers died and 488 were injured in 2017. Shriner says he worked with the Nebraska Safety Council to start a campaign about looking both ways for motorcyclists when driving.
The wheels are turning on a new campaign this summer. The new approach coins a common explanation police get when bikers fall victim to crashes.
"The approach we're taking is, 'I didn't see him,'" Shriner said. "Four powerful words. [It's] the reason why drivers didn't see them--because of distractions."
Family and friends are remembering the lives of Jason and Megan Burgess. Shriner is remembering them too. His Harley motorcycle had a previous owner who was killed in a crash. He says his bike is a tribute to bikers who lost their lives.
"I've had my near-misses and had my collisions," Shriner said. "We shouldn't have to give up riding our bikes because we fear that we're going to be killed today."