Although motorcycle deaths in Maine are almost half of what they were a year ago, State Police have organized a working group to review last year’s numbers.

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2015 ended with 32 motorcycle deaths.   So far this year there have been six motorcycle deaths, compared to ten at this same time in 2015.

The study group is made up of State Police, the Bureau of Highway Safety, the Department of Transportation, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Maine Motorcycle Political Action Committee and the United Bikers of Maine.

John Kohler, Motorcycle Safety Program Coordinator from the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles, compiled these statistics of the 2015 fatal motorcycle crashes --

- All crashes occurred during dry road conditions.
- 74% were during daylight hours.
- 73% involved excessive speed.
- 74% alcohol use was confirmed or suspected.
- 33% were a result of improper cornering.
- 74% were not wearing a helmet.

- Nearly half of crashes did not involve other vehicles
- 3 involved wildlife (2 deer, 1 moose).

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The group also concluded that poor judgment by the operator of the motorcycle was a factor in most of the crashes .

The latest motorcycle death took place last week in China when the motorcycle pulled out in front of a vehicle.  Leonard Huff, 73, from Saxonburg, PA died Saturday from his injuries at the hospital. The crash took place on Friday, as Huff was driving out of the parking lot of Red’s Restaurant along Route 3 and into the path of an oncoming car.

The motorcycle study group had the following safety tips --

- Don’t ride a motorcycle unless you have been properly trained and licensed to do so.
- If you are already properly licensed take an experienced rider’s course to freshen up your skills.
-Slow down, especially on corners and rough terrain.
-Don’t ride impaired (alcohol or drugs).
-Wear proper safety equipment.(helmet with face shield or eye protection, jacket, boots, gloves and leather gear)