Maine Motorcyle Deaths Spiked In 2015
More motorcyclists died in Maine in 2015 than in any year during the previous two decades.
The Associated Press reports the state finished the year with 32 motorcycle deaths, the most since 1991. Safety officials say several factors combined for the spike.
Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety says mild weather that extended the riding season may have contributed to more cyclists being on the road. Ten of the deaths happened between September and December.
John Kohler is the motorcycle safety program coordinator for the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles. He says the biggest factors in fatalities were excessive speed, alcohol, lack of training and lack of a helmet.
Three-fourths of the deaths involved excessive speed and victims not wearing helmets. Six involved people without license or permit.
There were 155 highway deaths in Maine That’s an increase from 131 in 2014, which had the fewest deaths since World War II.
State officials and instructors have also expressed concern about aging riders, particularly those return to cycling after some years away, sometimes with heavier and larger machines they've not had training on.