Get your motor runnin'. Or maybe not. Responding to a statewide increase in motorcycle fatalities, the Los Angeles Police Department this weekend plans to crackdown on two-wheeled law breakers.
The LAPD cites a 91 percent increase in motorcycle fatalities from 2000 (275 dead) to 2008 (533). In Los Angeles County alone, fatal motorbike collisions have increased 62 percent between 2004 (70) and 2008 (114). Survivor crashes are also up, 47 percent, with 1,996 such injury accidents in 2004 and 2,927 in 2008.
The department states that riding while drunk and high accounts for some of the increase. It also cites speeding and youth as a factor. The LAPD encourages young bikers to get safe-riding training through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program (1-877-743-3411).
The department will be "cracking down" on two-wheeled traffic violators in the city Sunday, with a special focus on areas (communities it does not divulge) where motorcycle riders congregate.
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Of course, if the rain predicted for Friday and Saturday continues through Sunday, it might not be much of a crackdown at all: The department usually benches its motorcycle units on wet-road days, and we assume most of you cheesy riders out there do the same for safety's sake.