More motorcycles on the road during the summer months
Law enforcement agencies in Southwest Washington will be on the lookout for unsafe driving and driving behaviors, all in an effort to track down bikers.
“It is very important that a rider understands what his abilities are on his specific motorcycle and that he rides within his abilities so that he does not end up on the ground, or maybe even worse,” said Patrick Spak, a Clark County Sheriff’s Deputy. Office.
Drivers of traditional vehicles must also be aware of their surroundings. Especially during the summer riding months, Spak said.
“Make sure you always double-check in your blind spot. Make sure you look left and right before changing lanes, ”Spak said. “Look for motorcycles all around you. “
Target Zero, the campaign to have zero fatalities on Washington’s roads by 2030, focuses on motorcycle safety awareness this month.
One of the first priorities is to educate the constituency public about safety. According to Target Zero, there is a misconception that most motorcycle fatalities are caused by vehicle operators. The numbers say the opposite. Last year, 70% of fatal accidents involving motorcycles in Washington were caused by bikers.
Motorcycles make up 3 percent of vehicles registered in Washington, but 15 percent of fatalities in the state are motorcyclists.
Spak is a traffic detective, an expert in the investigation of serious or fatal accidents.
“When we watch them, it’s because of risky, illegal and dangerous behavior,” Spak said. “Speeding. People surpass their driving skills, especially on twisty and twisty roads. People making dangerous and dangerous passes. And ride under the influence.
Beginning Saturday, county and city law enforcement will focus on riding safety in a high-visibility enforcement campaign across the region.
This isn’t just for horse riders, however.
“We are going to enforce all types of dangerous behavior from drivers that cause crashes. That’s what we’re going to be looking for with motorcycles and vehicles, with the goal of reducing motorcycle collisions and fatalities, ”Spak said.
Lately, the numbers have gone in the wrong direction, according to Target Zero. There have been over 90 runners killed in crashes in each of the past two years. This is the highest number of biker fatalities in a single year since 1982.
Additional patrols for this campaign are funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. There is also a website designed for cyclist safety, courtesy of the WTSC and in partnership with Target Zero: https://itsafineline.com/
Spak grew up in the Seattle area. His father is retired from the police. His uncle is also in the police. They all specialize in traffic control.
“It’s a job I thought I was good at, and it’s something I would appreciate,” Spak said. “It is very gratifying and very rewarding to do something better than me, to reach out to the community and to help the community in different ways.”
It is not about issuing quotes. It’s about safety and education, Spak said.
“I always try to educate the runner not only on what the law is but also why,” said Spak. “This is not only to protect yourself, but also to protect others. “
Motorcycle safety is of particular interest to Spak. He is also a rider.
“Every time I ride, I have to consciously ride around myself. I have to constantly anticipate what the other riders are going to do, ”said Spak. “You’re in a smaller vehicle and people can’t see their blind spots. The automotive public also find it difficult to estimate the speed of a motorcycle. So many factors. I have to ride very defensively so as not to be involved in a collision. This is something all bikers should do too.
To learn more about Target Zero, visit: https://wadrivetozero.com/