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"Dial a Ride" offers motorcyclists a safe way to get home

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Fergus Falls, MN (WDAY TV0 - With 29 motorcyclists dying on Minnesota roads so far this year, a plan to reverse that grim trend. It comes from an 800-number, a free ride home and, two-wheel trailer: For the bike.

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In Fergus Falls this afternoon, the "Dial a Ride" project unveiled, an effort to give motorcyclists an option, if they have too much to drink.

Ray Aafedt travels Minnesota's byways, on his road bike. He's a teacher and preacher of safe motorcycle driving.

And so today, he brought Dial a Ride to Otter Tail County, where five people have died the last five years, alcohol a factor in more than half those deaths.

Ray Aafedt/Dial a Ride for Bikers/Fergus Falls, MN: “If you are impaired in anyway, it is just not a good deal you don't want to kill anyone else and you don't want to kill yourself.”

Today, Ray demonstrated just how Dial a Ride Works. Someone driving a bike has too much to drink at a bar, simply dials the 800 number, and a registered volunteer close by not only picks you up, but trailers your bike as well. And hauls you both home.

Jane Patrick/Otter Tail Safe Communities Cord. “I think one of the most important thing with motorcyclists is that they are afraid to leave their bike behind, and you can't blame them for that it is often in a parking lot.”

Otter Tail County is home to a thousand lakes and more than a thousand miles of roadway, it is attractive to group rides, one reason this is so important.

Patrick: “We welcome all those riders here and now we have one more resource locally should they become impaired.

Offut says the number of motorcycle owners in Minnesota is at an all- time high. With more of them on the road, it is hoped the two wheel drivers will take advantage of a free ride home if needed. Better option than jail or a morgue.

Liquor stores and bars in Otter Tail County and outstate Minnesota will have coasters and table tents listing the 800-number. 

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Kevin Wallevand
Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.
(701) 241-5317
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