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Number of motorcycle deaths in Arizona continues to increase

The number of people dying in motorcycle crashes continues to go up in Arizona, according to the state’s annual statistics on roadway fatalities that came out Monday. Last year, 139 people in Arizona were killed on motorcycles. That’s a 5 percent increase from the year before.

Between 2010 and 2011 the problem was even worse. That’s when the Arizona Department of Transportation recorded a 55 percent jump in motorcycle fatalities. Public safety officials are concerned, said ADOT Spokesman Doug Nintzel.

"Motorcycle safety is one of those categories where we’re really going to have to step things up here in the state because there was a significant increase," Nintzel says.

He added his department has recently started revamping the state’s highway safety plan. When it comes out next spring, it will likely include recommendations to improve motorcycle fatalities.

As for overall motor vehicle crashes, ADOT's annual report shows 823 people died on the roads last year. That is basically the same as 2011.

"We'd like to see a larger more significant drop in deaths and crashes across the state," Nintzel says.