Take two motorcycles, add excessive speed and a narrow residential road lined with parked cars, and you all too often wind up with a tragedy like the one that occurred Tuesday evening in Chesapeake. Two motorcyclists speeding down Holly Cove Drive off of Airline Boulevard in the northwestern part of the city crashed into each other, slammed into a parked vehicle and flew into a concrete utility pole that snapped from the impact.
Police had not released the motorcyclists’ names as of Wednesday morning, but one of the bike riders died on the scene. The other, who was not wearing a helmet, went to Sentara Norfolk Hospital with head and brain injuries.
Hampton Roads has seen more than its share of fatal motorcycle accidents this year. A large number of these accidents have resulted from unsafe riding. Riders have died after losing control of their bikes while speeding. Others have died as result of not following basic traffic rules such as always passing on the left. Too many have died after climbing onto their motorcycles while drunk. It’s too early to calculate the death toll among motorcyclists in Virginia for 2009, but in 2008, nearly 90 people died in speed-related motorcycle crashes alone throughout the Commonwealth.
Motorcyclists already face risks of serious and fatal collisions with much larger vehicles on the road. Bike riders do not need to increase their risks for injury and death by operating their motorcycles in unsafe ways.
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