WSP Chief: Troopers will be on the hunt for irresponsible motorcycle behavior

Don’t be a maverick, stay out of the danger zone

As the weather warms up — it’s beautiful outside, what are you doing staring at a computer screen? — law enforcement (and news reporters) watch with dread as the number of motorcycle fatalities climbs.

That dread was reflected in a statement the Washington State Patrol issued today, noting that State Patrol Chief John Batiste is not order troopers to crack down on dangerous motorcycle behavior.

“What order could I give that would be more powerful than their own experience investigating these completely preventable tragedies?” Batiste said in the grim, but tongue-in-cheek statement. Troopers see first hand the carnage, they help load injured riders into ambulances and frequently make death notifications to families.

The point of the statement was to emphasize: “You can bet troopers will be cracking down on irresponsible riding behavior.”

Last year 73 riders were killed in motorcycle crashes in Washington. In half of those it was a single-vehicle crash, and in the majority of the total it was the rider who caused the crash.

Speed, intoxication and inexperience are the contributing factors in many cases, the statement notes.

“This isn’t about clueless drivers pulling out of their driveways in front of motorcycles,” Batiste said in the statement.

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