Motorcycle deaths up this year

With the debauchery-fueled Sturgis motorcycle rally set to kick off next week, state safety officials thought now was a good time to remind the public to "share the road"-- especially since motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in Minnesota.

In a press release put out today, the Department of Public Safety laid out some stats. The skinny: 27 motorcyclists have been killed so far this year. At this point last year, 25 bikers had killed. Obviously not a statistically significant jump, but last year was the deadliest year in 23 years, so the bar was already high.

(From the press release):

According to Cheri Marti, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), nearly half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle. Marti emphasizes that because motorcycles are smaller than other vehicles, it is more difficult to judge their speed and distance. "Watch carefully for motorcycle riders this weekend, and expect to see them throughout the summer and well into fall," says Marti.

The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center, an OTS program, offers expert riding tips and training for new, returning and advanced riders. For more information or to sign up for a training course, call 800-407-6677 or visit Tips for riders to be more visible in traffic can be found at