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Published: Sunday, 7/30/2006

Safe riding classes urged for novice motorcyclists

As the number of motorcycles crashes continues to rise, state and local officials are urging all motorcyclists to practice safe driving behavior and for recently licensed individuals to enroll in motorcycle education courses.

"There's a lot of people dying on motorcycles," said Gwen Neundorfer, coordinator for the Lucas County Traffic Safety Program.

There were 177 fatal motorcycle crashes reported in the state last year, a 25 percent increase from 2004. Eleven of last year's fatal crashes occurred in Lucas County, one more than the year before, according to county statistics.

To date this year, five fatal motorcycle crashes have occurred in the county.

More than half the time, authorities faulted the motorcyclist for the accident.

The increase in fatalities has followed an increase in the number of motorcycles registered with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

There were 333,145 registered motorcycles last year, a 17 percent increase from 2001, according to the traffic safety program.

Those wishing to enroll in a local motorcycle education course may call Motorcycle Ohio at 614-466-4041.

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