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Careful Down There in Pierce County

So how many "emphasis patrols" or "task forces" have we had this year, targeting a specific violation? Seems there is always one or another going on somewhere. Anyway, if you ride a motorcycle in Pierce County, expect a little extra attention. It's because they love you, and care about you.

Pierce County: Task force targets speeding and impaired motorcyclists

Jul 21 2009

Law enforcement officers are hitting the streets of Pierce County this summer with a series of patrols aimed at reducing fatalities among motorcyclists.

The Tacoma-Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force campaign will target risk-taking motorcycle riders who endanger themselves and other drivers. The patrols begin Thurs., July 23, and will run through Sept. 30.

Pierce County has averaged nine motorcycle fatalities per year over the last five years. However, the number of fatalities spiked to 11 in 2008. "We have been able to reduce automobile fatalities in the county significantly over the past five years, but motorcycle riders are over represented in these fatalities," said Mike Mitchell, chief of the Bonney Lake Police Department and chairman of the Tacoma-Pierce County DUI and Traffic Safety Task Force."

One suspected reason for the increase in fatalities is motorcycles are becoming more popular: the number of registered motorcycles in Pierce County has increased by nearly 57 percent over the past five years. In addition, motorcycle engines are getting bigger and more powerful, and there are concerns that new or inexperienced riders are not sufficiently ready to handle a larger bike. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently showed that some of these high-speed motorcycles deliver more horsepower per pound than a typical NASCAR race car.

Officers kicking off the patrol on July 23 will be looking for speeding riders as well as those who are impaired by alcohol and drugs. Data gathered by the task force showed that alcohol was involved in fatal motorcycle collisions more frequently than with other types of vehicles.

Some of the patrols will utilize Washington State Patrol aircraft so the motorcyclists traveling at high speed can be safely apprehended with the aid of monitoring from above. Additionally, a DUI enforcement unit, along with officers specially trained to recognize and identify drug impairment, will work with the motorcycle enforcement team.

Vehicles operated by a rider without the proper license, or someone who has not been to an approved rider course or passed a knowledge and riding test, will be impounded, said Sgt. Paul Schneider, Traffic Sergeant, Pierce County Sheriff's Office.

Targeted roads will include Highways 161, 162, 167, 7, 512, 702, Orting Highway East and Pacific Avenue in Lakewood. A separate speed-reduction project is taking place in the City of Tacoma.

Motorcycle safety is a two-way street. While motorcyclists need to slow down, be visible (including dressing appropriately) and ride sober, automobile drivers also need to pay careful attention to motorcyclists. Drivers who report being startled by motorcycles "coming out of nowhere" probably would have seen the motorcyclists had they checked their blind spots, said Sgt. Schneider. "Use your mirrors to watch for motorcyclists and share the road with them once you spot them."

Participating in the summer patrols and other scheduled educational activities are the Lakewood and Puyallup Police Departments along with the Washington State Patrol and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. The project is funded by a grant from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.

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Old 07-22-2009, 07:16 PM
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They need money, & as they said, bikes are popular & up 57% There a easy target!
Old 07-22-2009, 08:30 PM
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If they want to reduce motorcycle fatalities they should ticket every moron in a car who's talking on the phone, texting, applying make up, reading, or has a freakin' mini faux dog in their lap.

And extend deer season to all year long.
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Old 07-22-2009, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lambert View Post
If they want to reduce motorcycle fatalities they should ticket every moron in a car who's talking on the phone, texting, applying make up, reading, or has a freakin' mini faux dog in their lap.

And extend deer season to all year long.
+1 to what Rich said... Most drivers don't even know there might be a motorcycle behind them or in the immediate vicinity. I used to ride quite a few years ago and rode for a number of years. Some people just don't have the presence of mind of awareness to be a safe driver.
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:04 AM
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How about a task for for, oh, I don't know.... CRIME!
Our office had $50,000+ worth of equipment stolen from it last month, but all the Tukwila PD seems be doing about it is running a speed trap across the street weekdays from 9-5.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:02 AM
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Oh, and just for the record, if the officer in the white suburban was wondering why I was in such a hurry this morning, it's because I was trying to warn people of impaired, speeding motorcyclists. I hope you noticed that I slowed down for about 2.8 seconds as I passed, out of courtesy to you.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:12 AM
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crime

Quote:
Originally Posted by gtc View Post
How about a task for for, oh, I don't know.... CRIME!
Our office had $50,000+ worth of equipment stolen from it last month, but all the Tukwila PD seems be doing about it is running a speed trap across the street weekdays from 9-5.
yeah, and the $3K worth of mountain bikes stolen out of the back of my car last weekend at the Northgate Mall parking lot in broad day light!
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Old 07-23-2009, 10:38 AM
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Oh man... that really sucks... I would go postal if someone stole my mountain bike.
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:11 AM
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If they want to reduce motorcycle fatalities they should ticket every moron in a car who's talking on the phone, texting, applying make up, reading, or has a freakin' mini faux dog in their lap.
Very true Rich, but technically, if it can fit in a microwave, I don't call it a dog.
I was riding my motorcycle on Sunday when the nice lady behind me decided she really wanted to be infront of me. So she squeezed her car between me and the sidewalk on a 2-lane road. Where was the emphsis patrol for that maneuver?
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Old 07-23-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter_Middie View Post
Very true Rich, but technically, if it can fit in a microwave, I don't call it a dog.
I was riding my motorcycle on Sunday when the nice lady behind me decided she really wanted to be infront of me. So she squeezed her car between me and the sidewalk on a 2-lane road. Where was the emphsis patrol for that maneuver?
Rex, hence the term, "faux dog".

Last summer, on the way to work, I had some woman pass me at about 60 in the middle turn lane of a 30mph road. This is at about 4:45am in the dark. She came out of nowhere and surprised the crap outta me. Normally I'm pretty good about situational awareness on my bike, but this was one of those WTF!!! moments that take a couple of seconds to process. I was waiting for the cop that was chasing her to come up behind me, but she turned into to Boeing...just another drive to work.
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Old 07-23-2009, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SherpaDog View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich Lambert View Post
If they want to reduce motorcycle fatalities they should ticket every moron in a car who's talking on the phone, texting, applying make up, reading, or has a freakin' mini faux dog in their lap.

And extend deer season to all year long.
+1 to what Rich said... Most drivers don't even know there might be a motorcycle behind them or in the immediate vicinity. I used to ride quite a few years ago and rode for a number of years. Some people just don't have the presence of mind of awareness to be a safe driver.
Half of em wouldn't even know if there was a semi parked on their back bumper, they're that friggin' clueless.

Only this morning I watched a woman in a Ford Exploder take time out of her important phone call - not even hands-free - to talk to the kids in the back. Fortunately she was able to muster just enough concentration to push the idiot pedal turn the wheel-thingy and negotiate the corner without hitting anything.

When did driving become background task anyway?

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Old 07-23-2009, 10:27 PM
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When did driving become background task anyway?

Exactly. For far too many people these days, "driving" is second or third on their list of priorities when behind the wheel of a car.
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:58 AM
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Here's a good article on driving while distracted (DWD).

http://www.daytondailynews.com/news/dwd--driving-while-dialing--among-top-driver-distractions-study-finds-65929.html

The conclusion is one of the more disturbing things I've read in a while - "In the long run, it will take new technology to solve the problems created by the old, he said. Cars of the near-future are likely to be designed with collision warning and aversion systems that help save drivers from their own inattention."

I think we should head the other direction and go old school on their a$$ - get rid of drink holders, power ports, automatic transmissions, and power steering. That'd keep people connected to the driving experience...and boost ridership on public transportation.
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Old 07-24-2009, 08:43 AM
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Agreed - there just isn't enough to do just to keep the vehicle operating anymore. If both hands and feet were busy most of the time, no one would have time for all of the distractions.

On the other hand, I've let non-enthusiasts drive my car and most of them hate it. There is too much for them to do. These are the folks who would ride the bus in preference to being "forced" to drive a car like mine. They are also the ones with more flippin' electronic gadgets to distract them in their cars than I have in my home.
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Old 07-24-2009, 09:58 AM
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Congratulations gentlemen, I believe you have just solved this country's transportation, energy independence and environmental problems in one fell swoop, all while making the roads a safer place!

Now, which of you wants to run for President? (I can't, I'm a darned Limey..)

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Old 07-24-2009, 02:23 PM
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FWIW, sure have seen a shedload or riders in nothing but shorts & a helmet lately.
Must be a part of the Skin Graft Task Force funded by a grant from Evergreen...
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Old 07-29-2009, 06:49 AM
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Freedom. It's all about freedom from gubmit interference. You *******s should be discussing how we can eliminate regulations. If we could do that, then the "market" would solve all these problems.
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:04 AM
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Freedom. It's all about freedom from gubmit interference. You *******s should be discussing how we can eliminate regulations. If we could do that, then the "market" would solve all these problems.
see what spending a week in a dress will do to someone.

superman has gone over to the darkside
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Old 07-31-2009, 08:24 AM
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Freedom. It's all about freedom from gubmit interference. You *******s should be discussing how we can eliminate regulations. If we could do that, then the "market" would solve all these problems.
Sad part this is the market regulating it self. The Police have all had their budgets cut, as has all the local Government. So, now they are just doing selective taxation, giving stupid tickets, to cut the short gap.
Old 07-31-2009, 08:56 AM
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not quite correct. the state receives federal funding for all of these "emphasis" patrols. if the state were worried about the public-at-large, they would continue this type of enforcement year round. however, all of these "emphasis" patrols have a beginning and an end date. these dates are within the range of days required by the federal government for the state to qualify for the funding

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Old 08-29-2009, 06:03 PM
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