While some of the decrease can be tied to the fewer number of miles traveled by the state's drivers in 2008, that decrease was only 3.4 percent nationally, compared to the 14 percent drop in deaths.
The one category that is bucking the trend is crashes involving motorcycles. Motorcycle deaths rose 8.1 percent, from 518 in 2007 to 560 in 2008. This negative trend goes back to 1998 when there were only 204 motorcycle fatalities, an increase of 175 percent in 11 years.
"Motorcycle safety is a rapidly emerging concern," said OTS Director Murphy. "These bikes are heavier, faster, and more difficult to control than ever before. Riders must get proper training, must wear proper protective gear, and must be extremely mindful of safety and avoiding dangerous situations."
To help counter the trend in motorcycle deaths, the CHP has instituted a new campaign to convince riders to take training classes through the California Motorcyclist Safety Program. The campaign also encourages car and truck drivers to be mindful of motorcycles in traffic.
For over two years California state, county, and local governments, as well as numerous advocate groups, businesses, community organizations and individuals, have been actively pursuing work on over 150 specific actions contained within the California Strategic Highway Safety Plan. The Plan is an unprecedented collaboration of those working across the entire spectrum of traffic safety, with the goal of significantly reducing deaths, injuries and economic losses resulting from traffic safety crashes.
|SOURCE Office of Traffic Safety|
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