MILLCREEK, Utah (ABC4 News) – The number of motorcyclists losing their lives on Utah roads continues to rise, according to the Utah Highway Patrol.
One motorcycle rider tells ABC4 News that distracted driving is one of the biggest dangers he and his fellow riders face.
Rodney Belt has been riding a motorcycle for 40 years and says distracted driving is only getting worse.
“Now you have cell phones, along with McDonald’s, putting on your makeup, or what have you. We have to watch out for you even more,” Belt said.
Belt, who was a safety manager in the transportation field for 20 years, says the distracted driving in addition to Utah’s new lane filtering law is a “recipe for disaster.”
“When you’re driving between two vehicles and you don’t know what anybody in that line is going to do, this creates a more dangerous situation. To me it’s insanity. I can’t believe we actually went to that. You’ll never catch me doing it,”
The Harley lover, who frequents the Barbary Coast Saloon in Millcreek, says unfortunately, drivers won’t change their habits until they lose a loved one, or has a name put on the cross that sits in the parking lot of the bar.
“Everybody whose name is on this is somebody who has been killed while riding or someone who is big in the industry,” Belt told ABC4’s Brittany Johnson.
Some of his closest friends have names on the cross.
“It’s awesome that we memorize them, that there’s a memorial for them, but when something as simple as a traffic accident can put them on that, it can be changed.”
Each year around the Pioneer Day Holiday, Barbary Coast hosts a Ride in Ceremony where people gather around the cross to honor the riders and people close to the motorcycle community who lost their lives.