Officials launch Minn. motorcycle safety campaign 07 Jun 12

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A spike in Minnesota motorcycle deaths is prompting safety officials to urge motorcycle riders and other drivers to share the road.

The Department of Public Safety said Wednesday that 13 motorcycle riders have died in Minnesota so far this year. That compares with five at this time last year.

Program coordinator Bill Shaffer of the department’s motorcycle safety center tells the Star Tribune  that nearly half of all motorcycle crashes involve another vehicle.

Shaffer says the most common factors attributed to other drivers are inattention and failure to yield the right-of-way.

The safety center is kicking off a campaign this week to encourage motorists to look twice for motorcyclists, including a new TV spot. The campaign also revives the bumper sticker “Start Seeing Motorcyclists.”