South Dakota Sees Record Number Of Motorcycle Fatalities

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A record number of motorcyclists have died on South Dakota roads this year.

In 2015, 31 people have died in motorcycle crashes in the state, 50 percent higher than the 15-year average and the most in recorded history. The Department of Public Safety says records go back to 1963.

The increase is in part likely a reflection of more machines and more riders. The number of licensed motorcyclists in South Dakota last year was up 69 percent from 20 years earlier, and the number of registered bikes more than tripled.

Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl says the 75th anniversary of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally also was a factor in the record number of deaths. There were 14 motorcycle fatalities in and around the rally.

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