Rise in Del. motorcycle deaths

September 3, 2008 3:43:50 PM PDT
There is a disturbing rise in the number of motorcycle deaths in Delaware. In fact, there have been almost as many people killed in the past few days than in all of last year.

Throughout 2007, 11 people died in motorcycle crashes in Delaware. Since July 20th alone, there have been 10 deaths.

Police say the crashes are no accidents. The drivers are simply going too fast.

"We're finding out that these bikes are travelling at 80, 90, 100 miles per hour," said Cpl. Jeffrey Whitmarsh of the Delaware State Police.

In Delaware there is no law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, and police say in many of the cases a helmet wouldn't have helped.

"When you're travelling at 80, 90 miles per hour, guess what: Luck is not on your side, and neither is physics," Cpl. Whitmarsh said.

Safety instructor and ex-cop Bruce Taylor wonders if bikers are taking their state-mandated lessons seriously.

"What are they thinking?" Taylor wonders. "You're not only endangering yourselves, you're endangering all of the other people out here on the highway."

Delaware State Police hope bikers do start taking those lessons seriously.

"We're going to have to continue investigating these, and we're going to continue to knock on the family's door and say 'we're sorry to tell you that your son or your daughter has died," Cpl. Whitmarsh said. "It hurts even more when they find out it was a senseless act and that person didn't have to die."

The most recent motorcycle fatality happened on Monday in Rehoboth Beach.

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