Family raises awareness about moped safety after loved one dies in crash

Durham County News

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – A Triangle family wants to raise awareness about moped and motorcycle safety after their loved one was tragically killed in a crash earlier this month.

Harold Taylor, 59, of Durham was riding his moped near Juniper Street and North Guthrie Avenue when a Nissan Altima struck and killed him at the intersection. Police said that Taylor had the right of way.

Khedron Mims, 41, was behind the wheel of the Altima. Mims has been charged with failure to yield right of way and misdemeanor death by vehicle.

“I’m so angry, because if more people would take a second look, things like this can be avoided,” said Eric Taylor, Harold’s son. “When someone is taken from you, you just can’t wrap your head around it. You can’t say goodbye.”

Taylor said he wants to use this as an opportunity to raise awareness about moped safety in the community.

“If you pull up to a stop sign, you take a look around and make sure that there’s no one there,” Taylor said.

The Durham County Sheriff’s Office told CBS 17 that there have been multiple motorcycle or moped related crashes this year in the Durham area.

“It’s definitely an issue in our community,” said Deputy Brandon Smythers with the Durham County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy Smythers said many times the causes of those are drivers not looking out for people on motorcycles, mopeds, or bikes.

“The biggest thing I see is people on their cell phones not paying attention,” Smythers said. “They’ll come into your lane and they’ll just act like you’re not even there sometimes.”

The Sheriff’s Office has a program called Bike Safe NC, which offers free one day classes where motorcyclists can learn how to be defensive while on the road.

“Most people don’t have any training at all when it comes to motorcycle safety, you go take a test at the DMV, and pass a small skills test and that’s the extent of most people’s training,” Smythers said. “At least we are giving them some pointers of a safer way you can do things when you ride.”

As for Taylor, he’s just hoping to use this as a chance to keep this from happening to someone else.

“I hope that others can learn from this and love those around you, because they can be gone in a second,” Taylor said.

The Bike Safe NC classes are available across the state of North Carolina.  

For more information go to the Durham County Sheriff’s Office’s website.

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