First half of year posts increase in highway deaths

Motorcyclists, bike riders and pedestrians are keeping the undertakers busy, according to the nation’s road security agency, which released statistics for the first half of 2012 Tuesday.

In the first half of the year there were 177 traffic deaths, some 13 more than in the same period the year before. Some 50 persons on motorcycles died, eight more than in 2011. That is a 28 percent increase, said the Consejo de Seguridad Vial.

The agency noted that motorcycle riders are supposed to wear a helmet and a reflective vest during periods of low light, such as night or during a thunderstorm.

Many of the motorcycle accidents that took place during the first half of the year did not have anything to do with visibility. In several cases motorcycles collided head on.

Deaths of bicycle riders also showed increases in the first half of the year. There were 18 deaths, four more than in 2011, said the Consejo. That means that 10 percent of all road deaths were those on bikes, said the agency.

Bike riders also are supposed to have helmets and should wear reflective garments. Bikes are a common means of transport in rural areas where some residents cannot afford cars. There were several deaths where riders were in the middle of the highway at night with their bike and perhaps under the influence of alcohol.

The Consejo said that 36 pedestrians lost their life in the first half of the year. These deaths represent the third highest category of road deaths. The highest are those of the 46 motorists operating their vehicle at high velocity and the 20 who were drunk behind the wheel, said the Consejo.

Many pedestrians do not seem to take advantage of the bridges that have been insta

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