Rider Fatalities Up Slightly
PennDOT issued a press release stating that Pennsylvania highway deaths in 2008 dropped for the fourth straight year, the lowest total in fourteen years. Although overall traffic deaths did drop, PennDOT showed slight increases in unrestrained, alcohol related and motorcyclist fatalities. Unrestrained fatalities increased to 567 from 559 in 2007, while alcohol related fatalities also rose to 531 from 525. Motorcyclist fatalities increased nearly fiver percent to 236 from 225 in 2007.
While any increase in motorcyclist fatalities is unacceptable, an increase of eleven was not totally unexpected. Motorcycle registrations increased in 2008 to 390,283 from 360,287 in 2007. Pennsylvania continues to attract more out of state riders each year, with it’s bike-oriented events such as Johnstown’s Thunder in the Valley, York Open House, Thunder in the Cascades and more on a list that is growing all the time.
Pennsylvania state troopers last year set a new record for the number of arrests for driving under the influence. State police announced that it made 16,000 DUI arrests last year, an increase of three percent over 2007 and the highest yearly total in the department’s history. Alcohol-related crashes fell by three percent last year, while the number of fatalities from those crashes were down by nine percent.