Motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in Colorado, doubling from 45 in
1995 to an all-time high of 90 deaths in 2007, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). In the past five years (2003-2007) in Colorado, 402 riders and passengers have been killed in motorcycle crashes.
Of those riders, the majority (80 percent) were either not wearing a helmet or it was improperly used. The majority (88 percent) were men and 44 percent were age 45 or older. Alcohol was a factor in 35 percent of the fatal crashes.
“These statistics are very troubling,” said Pam Hutton, chief engineer and the Governor’s representative for highway safety at CDOT. “While the number of motorcycle registrations in Colorado has increased, the rate of fatalities has accelerated at a faster pace. Most Coloradans, riders and motorists alike, believe one of the single best things one can do to reduce the number of fatalities is to be more aware and take a rider training class. That’s why CDOT has launched a new motorcycle safety program, called ‘Live to Ride,’ to encourage rider
education and motorist awareness.”
CDOT also has developed a new motorcycle safety Web site (www.comotorcyclesafety.com) to address rider and motorist safety issues, including riding under the influence, use of proper gear, and tips for motorists.
“We saw a record number of motorcycle crashes and fatalities on Colorado roadways last year, especially in Denver, El Paso and Adams counties,” said Sergeant Rich Munroe, supervisor for the Colorado State Patrol’s motorcycle team. “Many men think they’re invincible, but when they encounter unexpected road hazards, far too many of them are not experienced enough to handle these types of situations. Statistics show that training and helmet use can reduce the number of fatalities and reduce medical cost of injuries sustained.”
CDOT’s new motorcycle program focuses on training as the first step a rider can take to riding safer, and enjoying the ride longer even for those experienced riders who have been riding for years. CDOT has partnered with a number of organizations throughout the state to encourage more riders to take a motorcycle safety-training course offered by MOST-certified trainers.
MOST stands for Motorcycle Operator Safety Training, and its mission is to provide high-quality, low-cost motorcycle training to residents and active-duty military personnel. MOST is administered by CDOT and offers courses that prepare motorcyclists of all skill
levels to ride safely, have fun and stay alive.
CDOT has also partnered with insurance companies Allstate and Progressive to offer discounts for completing a MOST safety training class. “Insurance companies have signed on as ‘Live to Ride’ campaign partners because they know many riders also care about the pocketbook advantages to safety training,” said Carole Walker,
executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association. “Many insurance companies offer discounts of 10 to 15 percent for graduates of certified training courses.”
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