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From the Raceway to the Freeway, Speed Kills

Florida motorcyclist Bill Warner recently died when his bike careened out of control at nearly 300 miles per hour. Warner was participating in an annual speed trial hosted by the Loring Timing Association and was attempting to break a record for reaching 300 miles per hour in less than a mile when he was thrown almost 1,000 feet from his motorcycle. Despite being girded in full protective armor and surviving the initial impact, Warner died after being taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

While most motorcyclists never approach the speeds at which Warner was travelling, many motorcycle accidents involve speeds that are well above the legal limit. According to government crash statistics, excessive speed is a major cause of injuries and deaths each year. Indeed, avoiding excessive speeds goes a long way to avoiding motorcycle crashes on our roads.

Stiff penalties for excessive speed citations

In an attempt to reign in bikers whose speeding puts them and other motorists at risk, the Florida legislature passed a law that punishes excessive speeds with large fines. The law, which went into effect in 2008, levies the following penalties:

  • $1,000 fines for speeds 50 miles per hour over the limit
  • $2,500 fines for second offenses
  • $5,000 fines for while third offenses, in addition to license forfeiture for 10 years

Shockingly, 80 people were cited within an hour and a half on the second day the law went into effect, some with speeds of over 140 miles per hour. In an effort to target other unsafe practices on the road, the law also prohibits popping wheelies, requiring both wheels to remain on the ground while the motorcycle is being driven.

Those injured in accidents involving excessive speed should speak to a qualified lawyer to determine the role speed played in their injuries and pain and suffering.

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