JEFFERSON CITY - Motorcycle fatalities declined dramatically in 2009 in Missouri and nationwide on the heels of 11 straight years of dramatic increases in motorcyclist deaths. In 2009, Missouri saw a 21.5 percent decrease in motorcycle fatalities while nationwide fatalities have declined by at least 10 percent.
In an effort to continue this decrease, the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety has joined with federal, state and local highway safety, law enforcement, and motorcycle organizations in proclaiming May 2010 as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.
"Because of the increase in motorcyclist deaths in the last decade, motorcycle safety has been a priority for Missouri," said Leanna Depue, MoDOT Director of Highway Safety. "We are happy to see that those efforts are paying off with lives saved."
In 2009, 85 people were killed in motorcycle crashes. Ten percent of Missouri's 2009 fatalities involved a motorcycle, and 99 percent of the people who died in crashes involving a motorcycle on Missouri roads were the motorcyclist.
"As the weather improves, more and more motorcyclists are hitting the roads," Depue said. "Drivers of all vehicles need to be extra attentive and make sure you share the road and everyone Arrives Alive."
From May to August, paid advertising will remind motorists to "Share the Road" while also reminding motorcyclists to do their part by wearing a helmet and protective clothing.
Posters, brochures and billboards featuring Gary Pinkel, Mizzou football coach and motorcycle enthusiast, will also help drive home the message.
For more information about motorcycle safety, visit www.saveMOlives.com.