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Aug 1st 2016, 07:02 AM   #1
  Mar 2016

Whatcom County law enforcement conducting speed emphasis patrols

Not sure what this means practically, but stay safe out there regardless.

Whatcom County law enforcement agencies will be is going to be conducting speeding emphasis patrols from Friday, Aug. 5, to Sunday, Aug. 7, to help increase safety on the roads.

Read more here:
Aug 1st 2016, 07:16 AM   #2
 SmokeyMcNug's Avatar
  May 2016
  Olympia, WA

  1996 Kat 600 "Ras-tana"
i heard a psa on the radio about wsp targeting bikers....
Aug 1st 2016, 07:34 AM   #3
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Yep. Big reader boards on 16 and I-5 saying "Motorcycle Safety Patrols On Now".

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Aug 1st 2016, 09:18 AM   #4
 Tripledij's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Custer WA

  Aprilia Tuono 1100
Ugggh. Might be a good weekend to get caught up at work.
Aug 1st 2016, 10:00 AM   #5
 motomike's Avatar
  Jul 2016

  Ducati MTS Enduro, BMW RnineT, R1200S, R1100S BCR
Wish they would emphasis bad driving techniques. Failing to yield in the left lane, not using signals when changing lanes, severe tailgating, not dimming your brights etc...etc...etc.
Aug 1st 2016, 10:10 AM   #6
 SmokeyMcNug's Avatar
  May 2016
  Olympia, WA

  1996 Kat 600 "Ras-tana"
And i see how well their emphasis patrols did for cell phone use.....

Oh and left lane camping too.
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Aug 1st 2016, 11:14 AM   #7
  Jan 2016
  Newcastle, WA

  1995 Suzuki Katana
This is what they are up to for 7/29 to 8/14 in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties.

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Aug 2nd 2016, 11:28 AM   #8
  Mar 2016
  Federal Way

"Safety patrols," that's cute... I get that speed can be a factor, but these usually translate to a bunch of tickets for 9 over and no improvement in traffic safety.

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Aug 3rd 2016, 08:37 AM   #9
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
Yeah, these aren't about safety, just money. The reality is they are targeting bikes in order to check for "equipment violations". They don't need special patrols for speeding.

This gives them the opportunity to stop you to check your helmet, exhaust, license, etc.

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Aug 4th 2016, 09:26 AM   #10
 wooden's Avatar
  Jan 2016

  '14 St3R, '05 DR650
If you emphasize your speed enough, they won't chase.
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Aug 4th 2016, 10:02 AM   #11
 SmokeyMcNug's Avatar
  May 2016
  Olympia, WA

  1996 Kat 600 "Ras-tana"
Originally Posted by wooden
If you emphasize your speed enough, they won't chase.
fold your plate at an inward angle so its more difficult to see, but still there and "visible"-ish...

Edited by SmokeyMcNug on Aug 4th 2016 at 11:04 AM
Aug 4th 2016, 01:57 PM   #12
 Texasl's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Northeast Olalla

  07 Guzzi
Okay, all of you black helicopter pilots, here is the response I got when I contacted WTSC about the patrols, which is targeting not only unsafe motorcycle operation but also unsafe driving around motorcycles.

Yes, at the conclusion of the Washington Traffic Safety Commission's (WTSC) 2016 motorcycle safety campaign, we will distribute a recap of the enforcement activity on our social media and other outlets.

It's A Fine Line

We shared some results after last summer's patrols, and I've included more detail for you below. I haven't heard any "hornets" buzzing this year, but we've received some questions about the plans and purpose of the motorcycle safety patrols. We always welcome the chance to share statewide serious injury and fatal motorcycle crash data and discuss the purpose and effectiveness of High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) patrols. We appreciate the opportunity to discuss our love for riding motorcycles and driving cars. I take every chance I get to remind people that crash data is not numbers, but it's individual family members, friends, and neighbors who should have made it home safely to their families. These crashes are tragic but almost always preventable. You are interested in data, and I know you will assist us in sharing this information to better educate all riders and drivers to make our roads safer.

Attached are crash maps for Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties for 2011-2015. These are the three counties in our state with the highest number of serious injury and deadly motorcycle crashes. Here is some recent data that will be included in the 2016 version of Washington's Strategic Highway Safety Plan: Target Zero.

Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) Data:

From 2012-2014 in our state, motorcycles made up just 4 percent of the registered vehicles, but accounted for almost 17 percent of all traffic fatalities (224 of 1336). Impairment and speeding are major contributing factors, and most fatalities are male.

Number of motorcycle fatalities compared to overall traffic fatalities in Washington State (FARS):
2008 = 78 of 521 (14.9%)
2009 = 68 of 492 (13.8%)
2010 = 68 of 460 (14.7%)
2011 = 70 of 454 (15.4%)
2012 - 82 of 438 (18.7%)
2013 = 73 of 436 (16.7%)
2014 = 69 of 462 (14.9%)
2015 = 75 of 567 (13.2%) (preliminary)

A common belief among some motorcycle riders is that other motor vehicle drivers are the cause of most motorcycle crashes. In actuality, 75 percent of all fatal motorcycle crashes were traced to causal factors committed by the motorcyclist.

Alcohol and/or drug impairment was a factor in 57 percent of fatalities and 11 percent of serious injuries. Marijuana has become a larger contributing factor in crashes in recent years.

Speeding was involved in 51 percent of fatalities and 30 percent of serious injuries among motorcyclists.

Lane departure (running off the road) contributed to 49 percent of fatalities and 28 percent of serious injuries.

For more complete data, follow this link on the WTSC website, click on All Washington State" to download the Excel spreadsheet, and you can look at a year to year comparison for Motorcyclists or other traffic data sets:

Quarterly*Target Zero*Data | Washington Traffic

Some highlights from the 2015 summer motorcycle safety campaign in Pierce, King, and Snohomish Counties (July 31 - August 16, 2015):

The Washington State Patrol (WSP) contacted (stopped) 443 vehicles and 46 of them were motorcycles. Participating law enforcement agencies in King County made a total of 580 contacts and about 10% of those stops were motorcycles. Pierce County had similar numbers to WSP. Snohomish County had fewer agencies and officers participating and had about half the number of stops. On average in each county, about 10% of all vehicles stopped during this motorcycle safety campaign were motorcycles. Officers tell me this is typical being that motorcycles are only 4% of Washington's registered vehicles. When the weather gets dry and warm, that ratio of motorcycles to other motor vehicles increases slightly on our roads. During these HVE patrols, officers follow the crash data maps to patrol the locations where the highest number of serious-injury and fatal motorcycle crashes occur.

WSP stopped a total of 443 motor vehicles (all motor vehicles including motorcycles.) Remember that one stop can result in more than one citation and/or warning, so the number of citations and warnings issued won't add up to the number of stops. WSP results included DUI (1 arrest), Misdemeanor Arrest (1 arrest), Speeding (275 tickets and 49 warnings), License violations (5 tickets for driving while license suspended, 9 no valid operator license, 3 no motorcycle endorsement), Seat Belts (22 tickets and 5 warnings), No Insurance (12 tickets), Aggressive Driving (30 tickets), Cell phone use while driving (9 tickets), Texting while driving (3 tickets), and Motorcycle Helmets (10 tickets for no helmets or illegal helmets).

Of the 46 motorcycle contacts made by WSP during this 2015 campaign, they wrote 21 citations and issued 20 warnings. The other five stops were cleared without written warning or citation.

Other law enforcement agencies (non-WSP) in King County made 580 contacts and issued 567 citations or infractions. Results in King County included DUI (5 arrests including 4 alcohol only and 1 drugs only and 1 repeat DUI offender), Misdemeanor Warrant Arrest (5 arrests), Other Misdemeanor Warrant Arrests (5 arrests), 1 Stolen Car Recovered, Speeding (215 tickets and 42 warnings), Negligent Driving (3 tickets), License violations (25 tickets for driving while license suspended or revoked, 11 no valid operator license, 8 no motorcycle endorsement including 1 motorcycle impound), Seat Belts (18 tickets and 4 warnings), No Insurance (64 tickets and 6 warnings), Aggressive Driving (30 tickets), Cell phone use while driving (50 tickets and 3 warnings), Texting while driving (10 tickets and 1 warning), Equipment Violations (24 tickets and 63 warnings), and Motorcycle Helmets (10 tickets for no helmets or illegal helmets).

Activity from other law enforcement agencies (non-WSP) in Pierce County was similar to WSP and slightly below the number of contacts made in King County. As I mentioned, Snohomish County had fewer participating agencies and officers and did about half of the activity of the other areas.

Before the 2015 HVE patrols began, we heard concern from a small number of riders that this could be a way to profile motorcyclists. This was a great opportunity to share the motorcycle crash data and effectively communicate the purpose of these patrols through our news release, public events, and other social media outreach in advance of, and during, the patrols. The activity stats from the patrols clearly show that all motor vehicles were stopped and cited for various infractions. Again, in all three counties, about 10% of the stops were motorcycles and 90% of the stops consisted of other motor vehicles. As a driver on our roads, and as someone whose family is out driving on our roads, I'm aware of the dangerous and illegal activity that some drivers display. And I'm thankful that many of these drivers are being stopped and ticketed or arrested for their behaviors that are known to cause serious and deadly crashes.

An interesting related story: WTSC partnered with Dept. of Licensing and WSP to distribute motorcycle safety information at our booth at the Vintage Motorcycle Festival in Tacoma last Saturday. It was a fun event and we had a chance to talk to hundreds of riders throughout the day. I was excited that every rider who approached our booth and engaged in discussion was in support of safety gear and motorcycle helmets. Many were carrying their helmets and wanted to discuss make, model, price, etc. and several others actually walked back to the parking lot to get their helmets and jackets so they could show us the quality of their gear. A few riders even shared their crash stories and stated that their helmet or leathers saved them from additional injuries. These riders were proud to talk about their respect for the motorcycle and importance of safe riding. It was a productive day.

The main purpose behind any of our traffic safety HVE patrols is to raise awareness of traffic safety issues and change driver behavior to prevent these serious crashes. Talking to riders on Saturday and reading comments on our social media reminds me that most citizens want to do the right thing behind the wheel or in the saddle and arrive home safely to their families.

Thanks for your continued partnership.

Mark Medalen
Motorcycle Safety Program Manager
Washington Traffic Safety Commission
Olympia, WA"
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Aug 4th 2016, 02:09 PM   #13
 VeritasImageryNW's Avatar
  Jan 2016
  Allyn, WA

  '06 HD Street Bob, '85 Yamaha FJ600, '99 Honda CBR600f4
And my issue is this: shouldn't they be doing this all the time? Shouldn't they be targeting unsafe driving behaviors every day? Isn't that their job? The problem isn't with what they "say" the purpose is, the problem is with what the unspoken purposes are.

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Aug 4th 2016, 03:43 PM   #14
  Mar 2016

Originally Posted by Texasl
The main purpose behind any of our traffic safety HVE patrols is to raise awareness of traffic safety issues and change driver behavior to prevent these serious crashes.
Based on the statistics that they provided, the number and percentage of motorcycle deaths stay about the same year to year. So... not sure if these HVE patrols work. It might, given time, but unlikely.

As VeritasImageryNW mentioned, I believe that High Visibility Enforcement should be all year round, and should mean that the cops show themselves (high visibility and all that) so that people would see them and slow down. Instead of hiding and catching speeders. I think this would prevent a lot more people from speeding.

Now if the cops are always visible and people still get tickets for whatever reason... Darwinism.

Either way, stay safe out there ladies and gents.
Aug 4th 2016, 11:01 PM   #15
  Jan 2016
  Newcastle, WA

  1995 Suzuki Katana
Based on looking at the crash maps mentioned in Larry's post I've come to a couple conclusions.

First, stay the hell out of major cities. Everett/Lynwood, Seattle, Greater Tacoma are all deadly.

Second, stay away from major industrial or commercial areas. Tukwila/Kent/Auburn Valley, Bothell-Everett Highway and Marysville/Tulalip/Arlington.

Lastly, based on the stats provided by the state: If motorcycle riders wouldn't drink and ride and kill themselves at rates FAR above the general public, the fatality percentage would drop drastically.

Motorcycles make up 4% of registered vehicles, 17% of all vehicle deaths, 224 of 1336. Of those 224 deaths 57% were alcohol/drug related. Take those out of the equation and you are left with 96 of 1208 deaths, that folks is 8% of all deaths, a far better looking number. Still twice the percentage of registered bikes, but then that is somewhat to be expected, as even the simplest low speed get off could prove fatal due to the lack of protection inherent in riding a bike.

TLDR simple answer: Don't drink or drug and ride, period.

Not to play the gear nazi, but I wonder what the numbers might be if more riders wore even the most basic of protective gear vs the helmet and a hoody look...
Texasl, Malay, JeffE and 1 others like this.

Edited by skjeflo on Aug 4th 2016 at 11:09 PM

  PNW Moto > Washington > Seattle > Bellingham

conducting, county, emphasis, enforcement, heads, law, patrols, speed, speeding, whatcom

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