Community Motorcycle Safety Motorcycle fatalities in California decline

Motorcycle fatalities in California decline

During the first six months of 2009, motorcycle fatalities in California have declined, reversing a troubling 11-year trend. From January through June of 2009, 198 persons were killed in motorcycle related crashes, compared to 264 for the same period in 2008, according to preliminary figures supplied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. After seeing increases averaging 10 percent per year since the low point of 204 fatalities in 1998, this signals a decline of 25 percent.

"We are very heartened by these numbers," said Christopher J. Murphy, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). "If they continue, it means more motorcycle riders are getting home alive, which is what we have been working for."

While every other category of traffic fatality has seen declines since 2005, motorcycle deaths have continued to rise. Overall traffic fatalities dropped nearly 21 percent in the last three years in California. During that same period, motorcycle fatalities increased over 19 percent.

Officials point to actions begun several years ago when the upward trend was noticed. Motorcycle safety has had a high priority with state traffic and transportation agencies as well as in the state’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan. Programs encouraging the driving public to be more aware of motorcyclists on roadways and urging motorcycle operators to ride more safely have been given added emphasis in recent years.

"We have really been working at encouraging riders to get training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Training Program (CMSP), no matter what their age or experience," said Joe Farrow, California Highway Patrol Commissioner. "Our efforts are paying off as 2008 saw the most students trained in any year since the beginning of the CMSP. While I’m encouraged by the good news, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper training, proper licensing, and alert driving to keep riders and motorists alive on our roadways."

Research undertaken to help stem the previously increasing rise in fatalities showed that 37 percent of riders killed were not properly licensed for motorcycles. Additionally, 70 percent of fatal crashes involving motorcycles were found to be the fault of the motorcycle operator. Particularly of interest is that while the fast accelerating ‘Super Sport’ type motorcycle favored by younger males constitute only 14 percent of registered motorcycles, they account for 38 percent of motorcyclists killed.

"We hope that increased awareness of the problem has produced a greater safety mindset among motorcycle riders and all who share the road," said Murphy. "Welcome as these numbers are, they would only return us to 2004 levels if they continue through the year. That’s still more than double 1998 levels. We can’t let up on the effort."

SOURCE California Office of Traffic Safety

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Desert Express First Look

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Desert Express by Hessler Rallye Team The paint is barely dry on the 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT, and we already have...

Kawasaki Electric Motorcycle First Look (8 Fast Facts)

Kawasaki Electric Motorcycle: Sportbike with Gearbox Kawasaki has revealed its electric motorcycle research project at EICMA 2019. Rather than a scooter or a superbike, Kawasaki has...

2020 Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR (Long Range) First Look: 9 Fast Facts

The 2020 Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR is the "long range" version of the base Enduro, updated with a larger fuel tank to go over 300 miles. Here's a first look.

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited Buyer’s Guide: Specs & Prices

2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited This motorcycle is the big daddy of the Harley-Davidson lineup. With an MSRP of $44,039, the 2020 Harley-Davidson CVO Limited features...

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP Test: Super Performance on the Street

2019 Ducati Hypermotard 950 SP Test: Out In the Street When the Hypermotard came onto the scene in 2005, it immediately staked its claim in the...

HJC i10 Review: High-Quality Basic Motorcycle Helmet

HJC i10 Motorcycle Helmet Test: Snell Approval and More Since the debut of the high-end RPHA line six years ago, HJC has been consistently upgrading...