Calgary

Motorcycle fatality rate on upswing so far this year

Calgary has seen more fatal motorcycle crashes so far this year than all of last year.

4 riders killed in first half of 2016

Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey says in almost all motorcycle crashes, the rider is going too fast. (CBC)

Calgary has seen more fatal motorcycle crashes so far this year than all of last year.

Four people were killed in the first six months of 2016, according to Calgary police. That's up from three in all of 2015.

"In almost half of the crashes, generally, the motorcyclist is going too fast. It's easy to do on a motorbike," said Staff Sgt. Paul Stacey.

"But then it's also very easy for motorcyclists to drive beyond their abilities."

Stacey warns riders to watch their speed, their surroundings and to wear all of the necessary protective gear. 

With new distractions like cell phones and GPS, riders have to be even more careful than they used to be, says motorcycle instructor Trevor Dech.

"When I started teaching in 1991, they rated riding as four times more dangerous. I'd say it's probably 10 times more dangerous," he said.

Roughly 185 motorcyclists die on Canadian roads each year, according to Transport Canada, accounting for around nine per cent of all road fatalities.

Stacey says while fatalities are up, total collisions are down slightly this year.

"That needle can move so easily. When you're talking about a fatal collision it's a matter of sometimes inches and seconds as to it being a minor crash to a major crash," he said.

Dech says the best way to stay safe is to stay sharp.

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