Seventeen motorcyclists have died in El Paso County this year — nearly double any other county in the state, transportation officials said Friday while calling the increase in motorcycle fatalities across Colorado "startling."
Since January, 100 motorcyclists have died, marking a 12% increase over the 89 fatal crashes from the same time last year, according to data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. In 2019, there was a total of 103 motorcycle fatalities for the year, CDOT reported.
“With the fall riding season approaching and many riders currently enjoying the warm weather, we are urging drivers to use caution and be aware of motorcyclists,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Office of Transportation Safety, in a statement. “Drivers, please remember to look twice and save a life.”
Despite representing only 3% of the vehicles, motorcyclists make up 23% of all deaths on Colorado roadways, CDOT said.
To date, there have been nine fatal crashes in Adams County and nine in Jefferson County.
Through a new campaign and partnership with CDOT, Grease Monkey will place 60,000 safety stickers on cars that receive oil changes at 64 of its locations in an effort to remind drivers to stay alert, the release stated.
CDOT will also debut a fleet car that displays the message: “Look twice before turning left. You could save a rider’s life,” along with an image of a motorcycle crash in which the motorcyclist is thrown from the bike. The car will be driving throughout the Denver metro area in the next two months, CDOT said.
CDOT encouraged drivers to check blind spots, look twice and use extra caution when turning left, never follow motorcyclists too closely and eliminate distractions while driving.
On Thursday, an 81-year-old man died in a motorcycle crash near Lake George in Teller County, the Colorado State Patrol reported.