BOISE - 2017 has so far proven to be the deadliest year in a long time for motorcycle crashes.
Out of the 14 traffic-related deaths this year in Boise, eight of those were motorcycle fatalities.
That’s a significant increase from years past.
In 2016 there were zero, four in 2015, two in both 2014 and 2013, and just one back in 2012.
Sgt. Tom Fleming with Boise Police Department’s Motorcycle Unit says the reason for the uptick is unclear, but says in most of those accidents the rider was at fault.
“For the most part, we can contribute it to a few things,” says Fleming. “Usually it’s the rider themselves not following the rules of the road like speeding, running red lights or stop signs, and then quite honestly we hear it all the time, but not wearing a helmet.”
And of the eight fatal Boise motorcycle crashes this year, six were during Idaho's 100 Deadliest Days.
“People are out riding earlier and later, we do unfortunately have alcohol involved with riders and drivers of other vehicles, so it does make it a little deadlier in terms of the number of people that are out at that time traveling,” explains Fleming.
Deadly motorcycle accidents statewide haven't increased as dramatically.
There have been 25 motorcycle fatalities to date in 2017 and 23 last year.
To cut down on those statistics, Fleming says riders to need to better follow the rules of the road, such as going the speed limit, obeying traffic laws, and wearing a helmet, even though it’s not required.
He also recommends taking a class.
“I think above that they should really be interested in taking safety classes to become better riders like getting into the STAR program, not just getting the license but making them a better rider,” says Fleming.
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