- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 1, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - With months of the motorcycle season left, authorities are asking riders and motorists to make safety a priority.

Authorities say 47 riders have died in motorcycle crashes so far this year. That number exceeds the total for all of 2014. At this time last year, there were 32 rider deaths in Minnesota.

The Department of Public Safety says there’s no specific reason for the increase in fatalities this year, but more than half of the riders who died weren’t wearing helmets. In addition, half of the fatal crashes involved just the motorcycle, and no other vehicles.

DPS’s Bill Shaffer says these deaths are preventable, and authorities urge riders to take a training course, wear protective gear and slow down.

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