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MERIDIAN -- With the weather getting warmer, more people are hitting the roads on their motorcycles, and safety advocates are trying to get more drivers and riders thinking of motorcycle safety.

Saturday at High Desert Harley-Davidson in Meridian, bikers came together for a bit of a celebration.

However, the Idaho STAR Spring Opener was also a time for organizers of the state's motorcycle safety program to remind riders about how they can be safer on the roads.

We can take whatever your riding is, to the next level, said Stacey Axmaker, Director of the Idaho STAR Program.

STAR offers eight courses for riders of all experience levels.

The skills necessary to put your bike where you want, when you want every time, and that's what we need on the street, said Axmaker.

Saturday, they were demonstrating some of the finer points of riding, and trying to spread the word about their program.

It's fun to watch, they're really good, said Jeanne Witty, who came out to the Opener. The way they maneuver the bikes is just unbelievable.

I just love cruising around Idaho. Lonnie Phelps has decades of riding experience, but says he still learned plenty when he took the course. There are things you forget... It's a great program.

Organizers say the program is making a difference. Using motorcycle crash data since the program started in Idaho, they say STAR training reduces riders' crash risk by 79%, and their fatal crash risk by 89%.

Those numbers are music to Ken Gurr's ears. He was was in a serious motorcycle accident (which wasn't his fault) a few years ago. Yeah, I got run over in 2008... 17 months in a wheelchair for that. It was an eye-opener.

And Axmaker hopes the program can be an eye-opener and life-saver for riders around Idaho. We're all about reaching each rider who comes to our class, and giving them something that can help them on the street.

Besides learning how to control your motorcycle better, safety advocates say there are some things you can do before you get on your bike to be safer; ride sober and dress safely, which includes wearing a helmet.

If you want to take any of the STAR courses, you can get more info here.

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