Governor proclaims Aug. 12 'Colorado Motorcycle Memorial Day'

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DENVER (KKTV) - 2019 is on pace to become one of the deadliest years on the road this decade for motorcyclists.

To date, there have been 65 fatal motorcycle crashes, compared to 60 at this time last year.

Since 2012, motorcycle fatalities on Colorado's roads have increased 30 percent:

Source: Colorado Department of Transportation

State officials are hoping to increase awareness about motorcycle safety, both for riders and the drivers who share the roads with them.

With 103 helmets lined up on the yard, CDOT and State Patrol honored the lives lost in 2018 with a ceremony at the transportation department's Denver headquarters Monday.

Gov. Jared Polis issued a proclamation designating Aug. 12 as Colorado Motorcyclist Memorial Day.

“Today we speak for the ones who can’t be with us,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew in a statement released Monday. “If you’re in a car or on a motorcycle, we want everyone traveling on Colorado’s roads to be watchful and safe.”

Officials released the following reminders to the public:

Check blind spots.

Since motorcycles are much smaller than cars, it is easy for them to get lost in blind spots. Before making any lane changes, thoroughly check all blind spots and use traffic signals.

Look twice.

When making lane changes, turns, merging and other traffic changes, check twice to save a life.

Use extra caution when turning left.

Motorcycles are smaller which makes it hard for drivers to determine their speed accurately. When making left turns, look carefully for motorcyclists as the eye is not trained to detect them, then take the time to more accurately gauge their speed before entering the intersection.

Never follow motorcyclists too closely.

Motorcycles and their riders can slow down quicker than cars. Giving riders more space than a car ensures that drivers have enough time to slow or stop.

Eliminate distractions while driving.

Being mindful and aware of driving situations, changes on the roadways and other unexpected incidents increases the safety for drivers and motorcyclists.

“Colorado State Patrol witnesses motorcycle crashes that could be prevented on our roads every day,” said Col. Matthew Packard, CSP chief. “With the increasing number of distractions on our roadways, we need each person being safe and looking twice for motorcycles.”