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Police step up interstate patrols

March 12, 2009 by · Comments Off on Police step up interstate patrols 

Commuters driving into and out of the rest of Hampton Roads and the Peninsula should use extra care during the next couple of days, as the Virginia State Police have announced stepped-up enforcement along area interstate highways.

The effort represents the next phase of Operation Air, Land and Speed, whose purpose, according to a VSP press release, is “to save lives by preventing traffic fatalities and reminding drivers to buckle up and slow down through high visibility and strict enforcement.”

This will be the second time the enforcement campaign has targeted I-64, I-264, -464 and I-664 in the Hampton Roads area. A similar effort in July yielded 3,303 violations during a two-day period. According to the state police, there were 1,684 speeders stopped, 298 reckless drivers cited, five impaired drivers arrested and 189 seat belt violations written up. The project also resulted in 21 drug or felony arrests.

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Lead law throttles youth powersports

February 18, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

IRVINE, Calif. — A new federal law aimed at protecting children from lead in toys has also forced a nationwide halt in sales of off-road motorcycles and recreational vehicles built for young riders, killing off a multimillion-dollar industry that was thriving despite the recession.

Thousands of powersports dealers were told to halt sales of vehicles designed for children 12 and younger because of new lead restrictions in an act of Congress that took effect Feb. 10.

Even used vehicle sales are banned by law passed in response to lead found in toys imported from China.

“We’re out of business as far as the youth market goes,” says Rick Rizzon, owner of Rizzon Cycle in Middlesex, N.J. “It’s crazy.”

With the motor vehicle industry already hurting from recession, he said the ban means a 20% drop in sales of youth off-road motorcycles and the parts business for bikes already sold.

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Information from the AMA on the Law can be found here.

Woman accused of forging records to obtain dead boyfriend’s Harley

February 11, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

HAMPTON — – A woman from Hampton falsified records to obtain her dead boyfriend’s Harley Davidson, police say.

Angela Faye Garner, 43, of Bradley Place, was charged with two counts of altering and forging a vehicle registration, one count of forging public records and one count of unlawfully obtaining documents from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) , on Jan. 22, Hampton police spokeswoman Cpl. Allison Good said.

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State trooper injured when motorcycle hits car on shoulder

February 10, 2009 by · Comments Off on State trooper injured when motorcycle hits car on shoulder 

HAMPTON – A Virginia State Police trooper was injured this morning in a collision with a college student who was running late for a class and attempted to drive on the shoulder of Interstate 64.

Trooper Becky Curl, a 10-year state police veteran, was transported to Riverside Regional Medical Center in Newport News. There was no immediate information on her injuries, but police spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Cotten said the injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Just after 9 a.m., Curl was riding her motorcycle eastbound on the right shoulder of I-64, with lights and sirens on, responding to an accident near the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel.

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WERA Motorcycle Races Launch 2009 VIR Spectator Season

February 6, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Danville, VA (February 6, 2009) – WERA motorcycles usher in VIRginia International Raceway’s spectator race season for 2009 with their March 21-22 race schedule.

“We’re looking at a really great 2009 season at VIR,” said track general manager Josh Lief. “Kicking off the season with WERA’s great motorcycle racing is a fine start for the year. We invite all our fans to come out and help us welcome the new race season.”

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Motorcycle gang charged in mob beating

January 30, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Investigators on Wednesday morning arrested three suspected members of an alleged violent motorcycle gang, “The Renegades.”

Sgt. Danny Buie with Suffolk Police said his department, working with investigators in Chesapeake and North Carolina, discovered the motorcyle gang while investigating the alleged mob beating of a tattoo artist in Suffolk.

“It was an educational experience for me today,” said Sgt. Buie.

Sgt. Danny Buie said investigators with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies seized a room full of evidence from Renegade hangouts in Suffolk, Chesapeake, Elizabeth City, North Carolina and Hertford Co. North Carolina.

Police say the gang’s clubhouse is in Elizabeth City.

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Economy slows traffic on Blue Ridge Parkway

January 23, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

As the economy decelerated and gas prices soared, annual visitation to the Blue Ridge Parkway dropped by more than a million motorists in 2008.

The 469-mile scenic highway drew 18.25 million visitors last year, down from 19.29 million in 2007, according to statistics from the National Park Service.

The 2008 visitation was the lowest in the past eight years and the first time below 19 million during that span.

Parkway officials have not traced a cause for the decrease in visitors, and Scott Bell, the Park Service official who tallies visits, declined to speculate.

Campgrounds along the parkway’s first 106 miles — which includes Bedford, Amherst and Nelson counties — saw fewer out-of-state visitors last year than normal, said Randy Sutton, an interpretive ranger for the parkway’s Ridge District.

Bikers along the East Coast usually flock to the ridge-top road, he said, but 2008 saw less motorcycle traffic, leading to a reduction in accidents.

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Virginia: Proposal Eliminates Safety Check on Red Light Cameras

January 20, 2009 by · 2 Comments 

Virginia legislative proposal allows cities to use the shortest possible yellow time at red light camera intersections.

A bill introduced last week in the General Assembly quietly seeks to eliminate a significant motorist protection built into Virginia’s existing red light camera law. The proposal of a pair of Democratic state delegates representing Virginia Beach, Joseph F. Bouchard and Robert W. Mathieson, would delete just three words from that statute, but the change would have wide-ranging effects. Under current law,
cities that want to install traffic cameras must first submit a detailed engineering justification to state transportation experts.

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