The number of fatalities linked to New York state motorcycle crashes jumped by 35 percent last year.

State Department of Motor Vehicles commissioner Mark Schroeder said more motorcyclists died in 2020 compared to the previous year even though fewer vehicles were on the road.

Traffic volume for much of the past year was lower because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

State records indicate 179 people were killed in motorcycle crashes in 2020. That compares to 133 people who died as a result of crashed in 2019.

So far this year, officials say there has been one fatality and more than 40 reported injuries in the first few weeks of the riding season.

Schroeder is urging car and motorcycle drivers to stay alert and avoid distractions.

A Binghamton man was killed last week in a motorcycle crash near Kamikaze Curve at the Route 17/Interstate 81 interchange in the city. Police said he had been weaving in and out of traffic at a high rate of speed before he lost control of his bike.

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