Suncoast area bikers want driver license laws changed

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OSPREY, FLA. - Riding a motorcycle is full of dangers including distracted drivers.

“You just got to be real careful when you are riding. You got to look out for everything and everybody,” said Rod “Fat Boy” Girwood.

But motorcycle riders say the sense of freedom they experience while on the road is worth the risk.

“We love what we do. We love getting out getting our knees in the breeze and the air in our hair, we know it is dangerous but that is what we love,” explained Jerry “JD” Donella.

On Sunday, a group of 100 motorcycles hit the road to honor their friend Dave “Tipper” Yarzab who was killed on his motorcycle New Year’s Day.

“Killed by an 85 year old that failed to look twice,” said Donella.

While celebrating the life of their friend the bikers were also trying to raise awareness of the importance for drivers to check twice for motorcycles.

“It takes five seconds and potentially that five seconds could save a life.”

Donella is the president of a local riding club where Yarzab served as the vice president. He believes the 85-year-old driver who killed Yarzab should not have been driving. He told ABC 7 his club is now working to get laws changed in Tallahassee.

“Tippers Bill is going to try to instill non automatic license renewals for people over 70 years old that can just simply email it or mail it in for another six years.”

He knows mistakes happen but he doesn’t want to lose another motorcyclist and friend because of driver’s physical impairments.

“We are not holding any anger or any resentment. We let that pain go and what we want to do is make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

After Sunday’s ride, the bikers gathered at Hoosier’s Bar and Grill in Osprey and raised money for Yarzab’s family who are still trying to cope with death.