Wednesday, April 6, 2011

CHP Launches Crackdown on Speeding Motorcyclists in Ortega Highway

With 52 motorcycle crashes and 7 fatalities reported 2009-2010 on Ortega Highway (highway 74), the mountainous 33-mile stretch is now the target of the California Highway Patrol’s crackdown for unsafe motorcyclists.

The crackdown includes stepping up the enforcement of motorcycle laws on the winding, two-lane highway, and a public awareness campaign depicting a mangled motorcycle with the flashing sign, “Are You Next?” to warn motorcyclists about the dangers of driving too fast.

According to the CHP, about 1/3 of the motorcycle-involved collisions from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2008 were because of unsafe speeds. CHP Officer Brad Barksdale said that the purpose of the campaign is for motorcyclists to realize that there are other people on the road and that it is selfish for them to drive at high speeds, pass on curves, and go over double-yellow lines.

Although Ortega Highway is a great road for motorcycling, even private citizens welcomed news of the campaign. According to Mike Caudill, CEO of a Temecula firm specializing in automotive industry and a bike enthusiast, there are many too many motorcyclists on the road who do not understand how to ride a motorcycle. He said that the road is not a place for excessive speed and to just, “Take it to the track.”

The fund for the campaign is from the $185,000 grant given by the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported that around 900 Americans are killed every month because of speed-related motor vehicle accidents. Compared to passenger car drivers, motorcyclists are more apt to speed because of a lot of bikes have high performance capabilities which would encourage its riders to engage in risky driving behavior such as speeding and accelerating quickly or weaving in and out of lanes at a high rate of speed.

While most motorcycle riders killed in single-vehicle crashes were speeding, it is also a huge factor in collisions between a motorcycle and another vehicle. In 2-vehicle crashes, 77 percent of the motorcycles were struck in the front which means that the rider may have been tailgating or driving too fast to stop in time from hitting the vehicle ahead of him.

Injuries from motorcycle accidents may run up to thousands of dollars worth of treatment, and injured motorcyclists run the risk of losing many days of work and income. Speeding may be fun and exhilarating especially for bikers – but the cost and legal liability you may potentially face in a motor vehicle accident is never worth that risk.

For more questions about speed-related crashes and motorcycle accidents, you may call the Mesriani Law Group at (310) 826-6300 or send them an email at