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Officials warn as Utah motorcycle deaths see record increase

A Harley Davidson motorcycle sits along U.S. Highway 89 near Orderville, Utah following a fatal crash on June 2, 2018. Image courtesy Utah Highway Patrol.

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (AP) — State officials say motorcycle deaths in Utah rose by 24% last year — from 38 to 47 — for the highest increase in state history.

The Utah Department of Transportation and the Utah Highway Patrol organized an event Tuesday in West Valley City featuring some crash survivors to urge all drivers to look more carefully for motorcyclists and to urge cyclists to take more steps to protect themselves.

The event was held at Bill’s Boneyard, a junkyard where crashed motorcycles often end up.

Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street urged cyclists to enroll in a rider skills class. He says 93% of motorcyclists killed in crashes never took such a class.

He says the state set up a website, ridetolive.utah.gov, where residents may receive a 25% discount on such courses.