Former law enforcement officer turns experience into wisdom for motorcyclists

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — It’s getting warmer and many New Mexicans trade four wheels for two, which means May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

If you’ve driven along roads like Coors, you may have noticed the safety messages posted. They remind drivers to share the road with motorcyclists.

Still, if you’re on two wheels, it’s important to remember to be cautious too. Motorcycle crashes aren’t uncommon and they can become more of a risk as the weather warms up.

“I know a lot of riders. They put their bikes away during the winter time and then they come out in the summer and they just want to ride 100 miles, 200 miles. Sometimes in those 200 miles, things happen,” Eric Montano said.

Montano is very aware of how things can happen. During his time as a New Mexico State Police officer, then as a Bernalillo County deputy, he has been at the scene of many motorcycle crashes.

Now as he’s off the force, Montano dedicates most of his time to providing safety training to riders. He does this through his business, ProRider Albuquerque.

“We took skills from the police motor skills, that police officers use and we condensed them into a course for civilians. We thought that was just a great idea since we have so many riders here in New Mexico. This would be a great idea, a great safety course,” Montano explained.

Certified instructors and former law enforcement officers teach the courses. There are three types of courses too: Advanced riding, precision and control, and a defensive riding course.

“These skills are perishable, you need to practice them,” Montano stressed.

After years of seeing the impacts of distracted driving and poor road safety, he says these types of accidents can and should be prevented.

One way to increase safety is to wear a helmet. However, the U.S. Department of Transportation says helmet use is down from 69% in 2020 to 64.9% in 2021.

If you’d like to learn more about Montano and ProRider, click here.