Advocacy group: fatal motorcycle crashes on the rise

Brittany Costello
January 01, 2018 05:51 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – 2017 was a deadly year on the road for motorcyclists, with fatal crashes a statistic already on the rise, according to officials with the New Mexico Motorcycle Rights Organization.


Whether it's because of the unusually mild weather, distracted drivers or lack of motorcycle education, the setting up of crime scene tape around motorcycles lying on their side in the street is becoming an all-too-common sight.

"Right now, because of the unseasonable weather, there's a lot more of us out on the road – that could be contributing to that," said Raymond Gallegos of the Motorcycle Rights Organization. "A lot of people think because it's December, January, the motorcyclists are in."

When those crashes happen – especially fatal ones – the group is called out. To help aid the families of victims, they try to keep their own statistics.

And those records show the number of fatal motorcycle crashes was up this year, with 59 – an increase of 16 over 2016.

"For the community as a whole, it's pretty sad," Gallegos said. 

MORE: Fatal motorcycle crashes in New Mexico, according to the Department of Transportation

There are a number of factors for the eye-opening increase, from motorists texting to a lack of attention by anyone involved in an accident. For Veronica Tovar and Stanley Cordova, it was a driver who ran a red light as they were delivering Christmas toys in November.

They were hit, and Cordova lost his life.

"It's hard," Gallegos said. "It's hard for us, and I can only imagine how hard it is for the families. We try to give comfort where we can."

The University of New Mexico also tracks the number of fatal crashes. The school's records show crashes involving all vehicles were slightly down from 2016, though December's numbers have not been included as of yet.


Brittany Costello

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