Colorado: More motorcycles, even more rider deaths |

Colorado: More motorcycles, even more rider deaths

Melanie Wong
Vail, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Motorcycle fatalities in the state reached an all-time high in 2007, prompting the Colorado Department of Transportation to start a new safety program, “Live to Ride.”

The program, which is in partnership with motorcycle dealers and insurance companies throughout the state, focuses on safety training and awareness. Riders can take a training course called Motorcycle Operator Safety Training through certified instructors.

Allstate and Progressive Insurance are offering discounts for riders graduating from the course. Motorcycle dealerships across the state are also offering discounts for graduates of the course.

The state has also developed a new motorcycle safety Web site to address rider and motorist safety issues, including riding under the influence, use of proper gear, and tips for motorists.

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 Department of Transportation. In the past five years, 402 riders and passengers have been killed in motorcycle crashes. Most were men older than 45, and in most cases, riders were either not wearing a helmet or it was improperly used. 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 the Department of Transportation.

“While the number of motorcycle registrations in Colorado has increased, the rate of fatalities has accelerated at a faster pace,” the state said.

The ‘Live to Ride’ Motorcycle Safety Campaign will continue through the summer months to encourage riders to use safety gear and explain the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

For a list of rider resources, research, and for a list of participating partners, visit

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