Suncoast area bikers want driver license laws changed

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Posted: Sunday, January 19, 2014 6:27 pm | Updated: 9:36 am, Mon May 5, 2014.

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.

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  • Tag Along posted at 9:08 am on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    Tag Along Posts: 1

    Hello my biker friends. My wife and I are 71 years of age. We ride my bike here in Sarasota and also in Germany, Austria and in the Italian Alps during the summer months . I feel a lot safer riding over there even though people drive a lot faster. Nobody drives a car over there over 80.

  • upright posted at 6:33 am on Tue, Jan 21, 2014.

    upright Posts: 1

    pretty entertaining to see WWSB quote convicted felons

  • tim posted at 7:53 pm on Mon, Jan 20, 2014.

    tim Posts: 106

    i'm a biker but i do not want any new laws testing 70yo drivers. i'm going to be 70 in a scant 13 years and i can guarantee that i'll still be riding my Harley. i don't want the gov targeting me because of my age..... the police and the courts already have a lot of discretion to get bad and incompetent drivers off the roads. they need to start doing their jobs. i've had "young" drivers pull out in front of me IN MY RED CAR and my motorcycle. in fact, i can remember only one incident with an old driver but he was intentionally forcing me off the road. hostile drivers and distracted drivers (CELL PHONE USERS!) are the main threat and they tailgate with impunity. again; the cops need to go after these folks but they don't...... fellow bikers; it helps to honk, flash lights and slow down when you see someone preparing to turn into your path. it hard to do when riding in a group but that's why i don't.

  • Girlrider posted at 12:43 pm on Mon, Jan 20, 2014.

    Girlrider Posts: 1

    I find sad how no one get more than a paraghaph in the news if they were just a fallen rider.
    I am very dissapointed just because your a somebody you get all alot more media space.
    I have lost more than three because of the elderly not paying attention.
    I think no matter what walk of life or income your from we need to pull together...Florida does have issues no doubt.
    We need to work on the driver renewal programs, age, ability etc.
    People need to be held accountable....
    We all do these benifit rides year after year and remember the great times.
    Why not put our efforts in ABATE who goes to congress and fights for our rights and all the fallen riders. Member or not.
    The next one down could be your mother, father, brother , sister or a loved one

  • tim posted at 8:35 am on Mon, Jan 20, 2014.

    tim Posts: 106

    more big-gov isn't necessary to keep the old, incompetent drivers off the roadway. cops and courts need to start doing their jobs! 70yo is too young to start scrutinizing motorists. make it 80 and i'm on board. btw; i am a motorcyclist.

  • Bayliner20 posted at 6:58 am on Mon, Jan 20, 2014.

    Bayliner20 Posts: 1

    Many thanks to ABC 7 and Todd Dunn!! Todd thank you for the time you put in, even though you had no one holding the camera for you! Great edits!!! Thank you for the coverage you let the world see!! I'm not a member of The D.O.G.'s but we like how they do things. We give all the support we can for Dave "Tipper" Yarzab's family. We rode in and we weren't the last to leave but as 6:3ish we wanted to ride towards home. It's dark out! Thank god my girl saw the car almost cut us off coming into our lane, because she was already holding onto the seat rest (sissy bar) so I could brake HARD! Blew the horn. But the point is: LOOK TWICE. The three head lights (one big light in the middle & two smaller lights on each side) should not look like a street light in a cars side mirrors. All The D.O.G.'s care, they have Wifes, Husbands, & kids. We're happy we were there to show our support. [smile]


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