CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Dozens of orange traffic cones were flattened Tuesday as six police officers learned how to operate newly purchased, three-wheeled motorcycles.
The officers in training, each from different police and sheriff's departments, completed about 16 hours of closed-course training to drive the Can-Am Spyder roadster, a motorcycle with two front wheels and one rear wheel.
The state purchased 10 of the cycles this spring for use in DUI control, said Bob Tipton, director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. Normally, motorcycles are used by the departments for speed and traffic control, he said.
"We were looking for a new hook on catching drunk driving with motorcycle control," Tipton said.
The bikes cost $23,700 each plus another $40,000 each to outfit them with a radio, cameras, LED lights, sirens and stationary and moving radar detectors. The bikes will be sent to the departments at the beginning of August, he said.
The Barboursville Police Department and sheriff's departments in Monongalia and Jefferson counties will each get one bike. The State Police, the Beckley Police and the Wheeling Police will each receive two bikes. An additional bike is being negotiated, but has been offered to the Kanawha County Sheriff, Tipton said.
Tipton said the Highway Safety Program would be collecting data for a year to see if the bikes help curb DUI arrests and citations.
Charleston officers Ray Coleman and Travis Hill led the instruction Monday and Tuesday by letting the officers in training get familiar with the bike's controls and how it maneuvers. The officers were instructed through traffic cone simulations such as pulling out into traffic, stopping, reversing and making 360-degree turns.