Motorcycle fatalities prompt stepped-up patrols
A rash of motorcycle fatalities in 12 weeks in the North Puget Sound region has prompted state and local law enforcement to step up their safety patrols.
The Washington State Patrol will be paying special attention to motorcycle riders in the coming days and weeks.
“We have got to change this tragic trend,” said captain Jim Lever, commander of WSP troopers in Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom counties. “Virtually all of these fatalities were the result of riders going too fast or otherwise riding above their skill level.”
Troopers will focus on those violations known to cause fatalities: speed, DUI, aggressive driving, and the failure to wear an approved helmet.
“It used to be that automobile drivers were at fault in most motorcycle collisions. Now, the majority of motorcycle crashes are the fault of the rider themselves,” Lever added.
The most recent fatality occurred October 23 when an officer from the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol crashed while off duty on a personal bike.
Another group with a spike in fatalities is older riders buying large cruising bikes without ever having ridden before.
Troopers will also be strictly enforcing the requirement for riders to have a motorcycle endorsement on their state driver’s license. About 40 percent of riders killed are found to be unendorsed.
Riders found without an endorsement will be cited and will not be allowed to continue riding. For further information contact Trooper Keith Leary at 425/508-0793