Motor cop killed in head-on collision with motor cop

Dailies -



One motor cop was killed and another broke his leg yesterday in Torrance when they rode head-on into each other at high-speed. The officers were escorting a funeral procession for another officer who had died of cancer. They were doing what is known as ‘leap-frogging.’ The idea is that an officer blocks an intersection until the last car in the procession passes, then rides as fast as he can to the next intersection to block traffic. How the officers collided head-on hasn’t been explained.

It’s nice to know that police officers always wear armored abrasion resistant gear, full-face helmets and obey the traffic laws they’re there to enforce.

  • Ben Incarnate

    I find the typical lack of gear on motorcycle cops difficult to comprehend. I don’t know if that would have mattered here, though.

    • Sean Smith

      I don’t think better protective gear ever hurt anyone. It’s possible that if he’d been wearing a real helmet and armor that he could have gone home to his kids. It’s really, really sad.

      I kinda feel bad even bringing it up here, but I have a hard time respecting someone lecturing me about how un-safely I’m riding who’s dressed like that. It’s just really hypocritical.

      • Alex

        I’m somewhat shocked by the amount of gear the polizei wear here compared to the motorcycle cops at home. If the German cops have no problem scooting around with a full helmet and armored gear, why are our US cops too cool for school with their skid lids and short sleeve shirts? As much as I don’t really like police, it’s still shitty to hear that they lost THREE in the same day when two of the deaths could have possibly been averted.

        • JaySD

          What further gets me is how the bikes are armored, full nice crash bars etc. But nothing for the riders.

          Admittedly chest impact wise a bulletproof vest is a pretty good setup I know some guys who wear them instead of roostguards/chest armor for offroad.

          If there is a concern when off the bike about a full face then why not use a convertible/flip up?

          • Sean Smith

            A lot of CHiPs rock the convertible now and it’s definitely a move in the right direction.

  • joshua

    Getting snarky at the end of something like this is off-putting. I agree with what you said, I just think a little more tact given this fellows misfortune would be good.

    • Scott-jay

      +1, Motorcycle cops offer easy stereotypes including “fellows” & “sincere motorcyclists”.
      Bless their hearts; if they’re posing, it’s as motorcycle cops.

    • Sean Smith

      The point of this news story is that the regular news didn’t say anything about what is actually a pretty big deal.

      • Ben Incarnate

        Agreed. I think your point is important, Sean, as is Joshua’s. What happened here is a damn shame that may have ended up differently with appropriate gear.

        Maybe that’s a topic worth pursuing. Find some motorcycle cops from different areas to interview, see what’s what and why. Shed some light on the big deal. As a bonus, an article like that might be a more appropriate place for wit.

  • Beale

    Motoport makes a very good motorcop outfit out of Kevlar. I don’t understand the shirtsleeves and saladbowls that I see most cops wear while riding.

    • Sean Smith

      +1 I’ve seen the stuff and I wholly approve.

      • Joel

        Ditto. I bought Motoport pants and it saved me on a slide across the 10 freeway. My Fieldsheer jacket didn’t fare so well.

  • 85gripen

    The motor cops where I live seem to have adopted modular helmets. I think I’ve seen LA County Sheriff, LAPD as well as CHP all wearing modulars now. I’m sure they don’t wear full armor (except bulletproof vests). Part of the problem may be the climate. I’m sure all that gear gets ridiculously hot patrolling the San Fernando Valley in the middle of summer.

    • 85gripen

      I was wrong about the CHP. I saw a Chippie on a bike on the way home and they’re still rocking the open face helmets. However, I’m pretty sure LAPD and LASD wear modulars.

      • Sean Smith

        I’m pretty sure that the rules vary from department to department, but it’s also up to the cop whether or not they want to gear up.

  • John

    Wow, terribly sad. I agree that officers should practice what they preach and wear proper equipment, I hope city budget wrangling through the years isn’t partly to blame for this. some of the comment snark is unsettling given what happened….

    P.S. everyone loves to kick moto-cops when they’re down,,,until an angry redneck tests your manhood with a truck and a two foot pipe.. …all of a sudden you can’t speed dial fast enough.

    • Sean Smith

      A cop isn’t going to magically appear out of thin air to save you from an angry redneck; it’s up to you to defend yourself from crazy folk.

      • John

        exactly my point…hopefully we’re in agreement here…just a comment on some commenters…coming from a land where cops practically don’t exist (unlike in the US, these guys thrive on bribes,,,spaghetti western on bikes in some areas), if you’re brave enough to skillfully skirt the laws you’d better be prepared for the occasional scuffle.

  • Dennis

    The Seattle Police Department last year made decent gear an option, some at the cop’s own expense, after several years of foot-dragging. Now they just need to ditch the Harleys and get some decent police bikes, like the Washington State Patrol.

  • Chris Davis
    • Ben Incarnate

      What’s he wear while riding on the street?

      • Sean Smith

        T-shirt, open face and spandex pants tucked into his horse riding boots circa 1863.

        • Ben Incarnate

          He stays on the scene like a sex machine.

  • Tommy

    I’ve been noticing full faces on some cops here in LA a bit more regularly lately (or maybe I just keep seeing the same cop.) Its a move in the right direction. I seriously worry for these guys all the time. In general moto cops have always been pretty cool to me, I know atleast 2 incidents where a bike cops just told me to chill that a car would not have. They have a bit of respect for bikers, they should have a bit more for themselves.

  • zato1414

    I have never been preached to by a police officer about my riding gear. They always give me my warning ticket and let me know the deer are out tonight and have a safe ride.

  • sbraman

    The gear is because of politics in many areas.
    John Q public would be sacred by an armored full face helmeted officer, and if you scare the public, they complain to the elected politicians and they mandate stuff that makes you look open and friendly, at the expense of officer safety. In upstate NY many towns and cities will not even allow officers to where mirrored sunglasses… to intimidating…. a full face helmet, is simply out if the question.
    Yeah I know sounds stupid, but it’s all about not scaring an already scared public, that is being kept that way by the federal govt.
    Sad state of affairs currently, considering the founding fathers felt very strongly that the govt should be afraid of the people not the other way around.

    • Sean Smith

      “considering the founding fathers felt very strongly that the govt should be afraid of the people not the other way around.”

      Things have changed just a bit since the time of the founding fathers. They rebelled over 5% taxes and went to war against the most powerful nation in the world. Now, we’ve got insane income taxes, 9.75% sales tax in CA, fines and fees coming at us from every angle and less freedom than ever before.

      • wwalkersd

        It wasn’t the amount of the taxes, it was the issue of taxation without representation. The Colonies had no voice in Parliament.

        And despite all those taxes you mention, we still have pretty much the lowest taxes in the developed world.

        • BMW11GS

          Until you get to higher income brackets…even the much lambasted Scandinavian wellfare states have lower top marginal rates.

  • Mark D

    On the subject of gear, I’ve always thought it was strange that Police cops who ride BMWs around me wear full gear and flip-ups, while the ones who ride Harley’s wear nylon shirts, salad-bowl helmets, and jodhpurs.

  • HammSammich

    WA State Patrol seems to be taking Trooper safety seriously. This is the description of their official motorcycle uniform from their website, but I’m not sure if it’s all mandatory or not:

    “Today, the leather jacket has been replaced by an Aerostich riding suit. Motorcycle officers also wear full-face convertible helmets and Gerbing heated jacket and pant liners.”

    I had to check, because I generally see them pretty well geared up around here.

  • Alex

    I know a few m/c cops have tried to get their Departments to let them wear ‘real’ gear but the Brass is still clinging to the 1950′s mentality that a cop in full gear is too intimidating to Susy Homemaker.