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Randy Walton
Randy Walton
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North County Motorcycle Fatalities Follow U.S. Trend

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Yesterday another person lost his life in a motorcycle accident. This time it was in Ramona, but I have been noticing more and more motorcycle fatalities in the local paper and wondered if I am just noticing more, or whether there are actually more. Well, according to a recent study, the number of motorcycle deaths in North County this year was unprecedented.

As of December 22nd, the CHP has investigated 15 motorcycle crash fatalities in Northern San Diego County. There were only eight last year, and four the two years before that.

Law enforcement can’t explain the increase, but apparently the North County increase in fatalities follows a national trend.

The number of people riding motorcycles, especially baby boomers, has grown, but the number of fatalities has increased at a far more alarming rate, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Last year, motorcycle fatalities made up 11 percent of all traffic deaths nationwide, compared with 5 percent in 1997, the organization reports.

Authorities blame the rise in deaths on several factors, such as inattentive motorists and rider inexperience.

Much of the blame has been placed on the motorcyclists themselves, whether it’s inattentive driving or inexperienced riders. Of the 15 deaths this year, the motorcyclist was determined at fault in 11 of them. And the culprit in those 11 is usually speeding. Interestingly – but probably not surprising – two groups have been identified and being the victims of most of these motorcycle accidents – young Marines and older riders.