Motorcycle Fatalities Surge In The Peach State

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The Governor's Office of Highway Safety is reporting that fatalities involving motorcycles have risen nearly 150% over the last six years, while crashes involving motorcycles have risen nearly 100%

The figures were released in conjunction with the Governor's declaration of May, as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

The campaign is timed with the spring season, when many motorcycle enthusiasts hit the streets.

"They generally get out there on it and try to learn it all on their own and they wind up hurting themselves. About 82% of motorcycle fatalities are single vehicle accidents," said Bart Williams, Department of Driver Services motorcycle safety instructor.

Local motorcycle safety instructors like Bart Williams say gas prices are also leading to more people buying bikes and signing up for safety courses.

Williams says the number of people signing up for classes has risen so much the past few years, the department is in dire need of safety instructors in the Southwest Georgia District.

In 2006, 148 motorcycles died on Georgia roads and another 3,082 were injured, the department said.

The safety campaign reminds motorcyclists to ride defensively, within the speed limit, and to always wear a helmet.

It also promotes rider training offered through the state department of driver resources and it includes an ad campaign.