Motorcyclist fatalities surpassed the triple digit mark for the first time ever in Colorado, tallying 106 deaths last year according to preliminary data from the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). This figure represents an 11.7% increase from 2014 and 20% increase from 2013. With fatalities on the rise, CDOT is launching a new motorcycle safety campaign that encourages new and experienced riders to participate in motorcycle safety training courses.
“Motorcycle operator safety training courses teach new and experienced riders the skills they need to protect themselves on the road,” said Glenn Davis, CDOT Highway Safety Manager and former training course instructor. “Navigating obstacles, quick stopping and planning escape routes are just as much a part of riding as the thrill, exhilaration and freedom of it.”
In conjunction with Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month in May, and as motorcycle riders suit up and saddle up for the riding season, CDOT kicks off its newest variation of the award-winning Ride Wise campaign to promote training. Using messaging like “live free, die old” and “train for the wind, before you ride like it,” this new awareness campaign targets new riders, as well as the population segments and geographic locations over represented in crash data. The primary objective? Raise awareness about the benefits of, and increase enrollment in, motorcycle operator safety training courses.
With a concentrated effort at the start of the riding season, campaign tactics include onlinevideos, digital advertising, billboards and partnering with dealerships to reach riders as they begin to hop on their bikes for the season. All tactics drive riders and interested parties to a website, where it’s easy to find certified training courses throughout the state.
Preliminary data reports that of the 106 deaths in 2015, 78% were within the 16-55 year old age range and 94% were males. Denver, Jefferson and El Paso counties saw the highest fatality rates accounting for 40% of the crash locations.
The Colorado Motorcycle Operator Safety Training (MOST) program is comprised of 12 independent vendors across the state that provide motorcycle training courses for various riding abilities. The curriculum incorporates classroom education with real-life application on controlled courses, so riders can develop safe riding habits over time. In doing so, riders are better prepared to react quickly in dangerous situations.
Additional resources for riders, including class information, are available at COMotorcycleSafety.com.