By Rolf Boone / The Olympian
Possibly enticed to speed because of lower traffic volumes created by the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a spike in motorcycle fatalities, a spokesman for the Washington State Patrol said this week.
Twenty-five motorcyclists have died so far this year throughout the state, including eight deaths during the week of May 3 and 12 in April.
“Starting off the year with this many is alarming,” said Sgt. Darren Wright.
Some of those fatalities:
• A 62-year-old Arlington man died April 17 when an oncoming Jeep turned left in front of his motorcycle north of Arlington, according to the Washington State Patrol.
• A 61-year-old Snohomish woman died April 13 in a motorcycle crash near Stanwood, according to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office.
• A 38-year-old Everett woman was killed April 8 when she was riding as a passenger on a motorcycle that was traveling northbound on I-5 when it went off the road, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.
The state was home to 92 motorcycle fatalities in 2019, the most here since 1982, according to the State Patrol.
Most fatalities happen during July and August. Combine that with the number of fatalities already and the year could exceed last year’s totals.
“We’re not off to a good start,” Wright said.
The State Patrol is urging riders to follow the rules of the road.
“Enjoy your ride but stay safe, obey speed limits, wear safety gear, be visible to other drivers, pay attention, and always ride sober,” a news release reads.
For beginning riders, and even those with experience, Wright also encourages both to seek rider training.
“Rider training is always a good idea,” he said.
Herald staff contributed.