During an event this weekend in Randle hosted by A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments (ABATE), law enforcement will increase patrols in East Lewis County to ensure motorcycle safety.
According to its website, ABATE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “fighting anti-bike legislation and promoting fair motorcycle legislation. ABATE does not advocate that you ride without a helmet when the law is repealed, only that you have the right to decide.”
During its June 24-26 event called the ABATE Spring Opener, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office, the Morton Police Department and the Washington State Patrol will be working overtime to focus on traffic safety violations, according to a news release from the Washington state Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC).
The release stated that more motorcycle riders are killed or injured in crashes during summer months than any other time of the year.
“Motorcyclists are vulnerable road users and continue to be over-represented in deadly crashes,” said WTSC Director Shelly Baldwin. “These crashes are preventable and we are working together to keep motorcyclists safe.”
Also stated in the release was a note that WTSC and participating law enforcement agencies condemn profiling. It stated that “trained and commissioned law enforcement officers will be conducting patrols enforcing traffic violations as defined by Washington state laws.”
Preliminary data from the commission show that out of 663 total traffic fatalities in the state in 2021, 93 were motorcyclists — 14%.
“The common belief that most motorcycle crashes are caused by other motorists is inaccurate,” read the release. “In actuality, 70% of all fatalities are due to motorcycle rider error. When we break this down by type of motorcycle, sport bikes are overrepresented — 86% of these fatalities were rider-caused.”
In the last five years in Washington, an average of 88 motorcyclists died each year.
“Summer events can bring thousands of people together from across our state,” Baldwin stated in the release. “We want to ensure that everyone enjoys the weekend and arrives back home safely.”