The number of licensed motorcycles in Washington state is on a steady rise. Unfortunately, according to accident statistics provided by the Washington State Patrol, the number of fatal collisions involving motorcycles is increasing just as rapidly. This year to date, a total of 13 motorcyclists were killed in traffic accidents throughout the state, and 11 of these collisions, nearly 85 percent, were determined to be the fault of the person riding the motorcycle. Recently, three fatal motorcycle accidents occurred throughout the state in the period of a single weekend, and all of them were determined to be the fault of the motorcyclist. This increasing trend has been noticed over the past several years by law enforcement officials throughout Washington, state patrol representatives contend, and the increasing motorcycle accident rate can be traced to the rising number of novice motorcycle riders on the road. Motorcyclists with little experience at the handlebars often exceed the legally enforced speed limit and attempt riding maneuvers that are beyond their skill level, law enforcement authorities say. Operators of motorcycles must take responsibility for their own safety on public roads, State Patrol representatives say, and refrain from unsafe cycling practices, such as attempting to ride while under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol. Novice motorcyclists riding bikes too advanced and powerful for them to safely control and older operators who haven’t taken updated motorcycle safety training classes are the most likely to be killed in a motorcycle collision, law enforcement officers report.