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Here is the link: http://content.usatoday.com/dist/cu...spx?cId=mycentraljersey&sParam=38284056.story

Interesting news.

Motorcycle deaths down 10% in '09 Posted 4/21/2010 11:45 PM ET
Enlarge By Michael Hamtil, AP
Dallas Police Senior Corporal David Frykholm inspects the helmet of an officer who died in a motorcycle crash while escorting U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's motorcade in Dallas in 2008.

By Larry Copeland, USA TODAY
Motorcycle fatalities declined last year for the first time in 11 years, a safety group reports today. Such deaths had been rising while nearly every other category of traffic death went down.
Based on preliminary data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is projecting that motorcycle deaths fell at least 10% to 4,762 last year.
"This is fantastic news, but we don't want to get too excited, because one year doesn't establish a trend," says Vernon Betkey, chairman of the GHSA, which represents state highway safety offices. "The real challenge is sustaining the momentum, making it several years in a row."
THREE KILLED: Truck-motorcycle crash Among the reasons cited by the GHSA for the drop:
• The economy. People drove fewer miles on motorcycles, just as they've driven cars less.
• Fewer rookie cyclists. With less disposable income, fewer inexperienced riders are buying motorcycles.
• Safety programs. Since 1997, more states have targeted motorcyclists with education and enforcement of laws on helmet use, insurance and drunken driving.
Jeff Hennie, spokesman for the 250,000-member Motorcycle Riders Foundation, discounts the first two. He attributes the drop to $25 million in federal motorcycle safety education grants since 2006.
"We think that program allowed the states to get creative with their motorcycle safety programs, and they began programs to educate the rest of the motoring public to look out for motorcyclists," he says. "Motorcyclists are definitely a different breed. We believe so strongly in education, not legislation."
Betkey and others say there's still work to be done:
• Boost helmet use. Thirty states don't have universal mandatory helmet laws.
• Reduce drunken motorcycling. About 30% of motorcyclists killed in wrecks are legally drunk, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says.
• Cut aggressive driving. Thirty-five percent of cyclists involved in fatal crashes were speeding, compared with 23% of passenger-car drivers.
• Train bikers more.
Motorcycle deaths fell in about three-fourths of the states, the GHSA projects. Noteworthy declines: California, 29%; Florida, 27%; and New York, 16%.
Study author James Hedlund, a former associate administrator at NHTSA, says states can't let their guard down. He notes that motorcycle fatalities dropped nearly 60% from 1980 to 1997 but then began to rise.
"Just because it went down last year, that doesn't mean it'll stay down," he says. "Now is the time to put programs in place that you know work."

Posted 4/21/2010 11:45 PM ET

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There have been about six riders killed in this area over the last 10 months, some out alone, some on group rides. What hasn't changed is the consequences for the cagers. Last week a 17-year old girl wiped out a rider, 54 years old, a widower with two daughters and a Patriot Guard rider. She received a ticket for illegal lane change. Last July, a road captain for the Bikers for Christ was riding sweeper for a group, and was killed when a woman blew a stop sign at about 60 mph. She got a ticket for running a stop sign. Bikers down here and all over this state are organizing to call a halt to this blatant double standard. I don't see much difference in what happens to those who fall, or to those who kill them.
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