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Motorcyclists test skills on state's virtual simulator

March 23, 2019 05:36 PM

Spring is here and that means motorcyclists will be back on the road.

Safety was a priority at the annual Donnie Smith Bike Show in St. Paul.

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The Minnesota Department of Public Safety used the opportunity to get its SMARTrainer ready to ride for motorcyclists. The interactive simulator lets people test out their skills in a virtual experience.

"You get on there, and it wakes you up again because it will run you through touring or city driving, urban, anything you want to go through in these scenarios," said Scott Steffen, a RiderCoach for the state's Motorcycle Safety Center.

"I have been riding for a long time, and I get off that and I have sweaty palms," said Jim Tschida.

Tschida took a practice run. He started the 'Look For Me, Not Your Phone' campaign after being the victim in a distracted driving accident in 2014.

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"It's a life-changing experience... we are bringing awareness to distracted drivers to make people more aware to put down the phone," said Tschida.

Certified RiderCoaches are on hand to provide feedback and even suggest specific classes with the Motorcycle Safety Center.

"Just because you have experience, every year you need to sharpen your skills. We all get rusty. We have been sitting around for several months over the winter, maybe looking at the bike, maybe not, so you have to get out there. Check the air in the tires, make sure it's safe, check all your lights, but then take one of these classes," said Steffen.

The ultimate goal is to prevent motorcycle crashes. Preliminary reports show 58 motorcyclists died in crashes last year.

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Credits

Ashley Zilka

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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