Fatalities, new report put blemish on Bike Week

Filed under DAYTONA BEACH, LEAD STORIES, NEWS

FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

Bike Week 2017 continues through this weekend with hundreds of thousands of bikers participating in events just for them throughout Volusia County.

Bikers from around the country hang out this week on Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard. Events along the boulevard will continue through the weekend. Activities are planned by the Second Avenue Merchants Association.
(PHOTOS BY DUANE C. FERNANDEZ SR./HARDNOTTSPHOTOGRAPHY.COM)

During the start of the two-week event, however, there was some disturbing news revealing that Florida had a 30 percent increase in motorcycle deaths in 2015.

According to AAA, In 2015, 606 people died and 9,045 were injured in motorcycle crashes on roads in the state.

And during the first weekend of Bike Week, which started on March 10, there were at least three major motorcycle crashes in Volusia. Two people died and six were injured within 24 hours.

“We normally do see an increase in the number of traffic fatalities, but we’ve all been saying how this year seems to be busier than the last eight years,” Daytona Beach Police Sgt. Kelsey Harris said in an Orlando Sentinel article. “It’s been bad out there for crashes, and between everything else going on, it’s keeping us very busy.”

Motorcycle enthusiasts were doing a little shopping with vendors on Mary McLeod Bethune Boulevard this week.

How counties ranked
According to the new report, Miami-Dade County ranked first with 67 deaths and Hillsborough County was second with 48 deaths.

There were 26 motorcycle crash deaths in Orange County in 2015; the county tied with Lee County in sixth place.

Volusia and Polk counties tied for 11th place with 21 motorcycle crash deaths reported.

No helmets
The study also found the majority of bikers claim to wear a helmet, but only 47 percent were seen wearing one while driving.

About 40 percent of motorcyclists killed in crashes between 2013 and 2015 were not wearing helmets, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Time and time again, the effectiveness of motorcycle helmets has been proven through scientific study,” AAA public policy manager Karen Morgan said. “AAA strongly supports a universal helmet law in Florida.”

It is legal in Florida to ride without a helmet.

5 Responses to Fatalities, new report put blemish on Bike Week

  1. matty

    Watched 3 harleys blantently run a red light so they “could stay together”. How cute. But watch out for bikers they say. Had two bikes with girl friends on back squeeze between me and another car on highway. But watch out for bikers they say. Bikers riding 3 wide as i pass and hanging over my lane. But watch out for bikers they say. Then there is the wheelies at 60 miles an hour. But i need to watch out for bikers they say.
    bikers might want to do a lttle to protect themselves so we don’t need to do all the work.

    • grb

      So you talked to the bikers who ran the red light? Since you quoted them…

      you witnessed a possible situation that could have caused a crash “riding three wide” but still proceeded to squeeze your vehicle in the lane?

      Sounds like you feel entitled to the road and maybe harbor some ill feelings towards “bikers”

  2. matty

    All drivers matter

  3. ian

    But yet myself and my club do NOT ride like that and on a regular basis get cutoff,people switch lanes without using there mirrors and will turn into your oncoming path right in front of you “not seeing you”-THAT’S were the phrase “watch out for motorcycles comes from jackass

  4. Jim

    So I was in Titusville today and I was in the left travel lane on US1 coming up onto Country Club. There was a cop in the left turn only lane at the light, which was red at the time. As I approached the light it turned green and the cop blatantly pulled out to his right, no lights, no signal, nothing and he cut me off. The problem is nobody pays attention, not even cops. I followed him for nearly three miles and he never turned on any emergency lights, he never sped up as if he were in a hurry or on a call, he simply changed his mind when the light turned green and pulled into the travel lane from the left turn only lane.

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