As many as 600,000 bikers are expected for this year’s rally. Public safety officials are asking everyone to stay alert and reminding other motorists to wear seat belts.
People differ on whether lane splitting on motorcycles should be legal or not, but this technique — as with, for example, permitting “right turns on red” at traffic lights — has more to do with the convenience of drivers or riders than it does with best safety standards. In any event, whatever your stance on the subject, it is NOT legal in Washington State.
“[In the USA, there] were 1,661 motorcycle deaths of people 50 and older in 2015, according to a November 2016 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That’s an increase of nearly 7 percent, up from 1,553 deaths the previous year. That age group accounted for 35 percent of the total 4,693 motorcycle fatalities, the most for 2015.
Whenever people argue that it is the right of a motorcyclist to accept additional risk of serious injuries or death, if they wish to do so, a key part of the argument is casually forgotten, and that is the often huge extra expense to everybody else if the worst happens. It is now many years since the average cost, per body, of fatal road-crashes in the USA went above $1 million. Indeed it is a well above a million dollars now.
Apart from saving lives by means of enforcement and obliging many errant drivers to drive more safely, highly-trained police motorcycle officers often help save lives in other ways, too.
This team of three are from the Netherlands, and this spectacular video brought back good memories from my own years on this job, in Britain. It gives a very good insight into this relatively rare task of facilitating the fastest possible, safe conveyance of a critically ill or injured person to the most appropriate hospital.