Costa Rica’s Roadway Safety Council, or COSEVI, is developing a “National Plan for Motorcyclists” that aims to reduce by 20 percent the number of fatalities in the next six years.
Through September of this year, 84 people were killed in motorcycle accidents, an increase of 19 compared to last year. In 2012, 105 of a total of 330 roadway fatalities involved motorcycles, the highest number in the past 13 years.
A COSEVI report released Monday shows that most of the deaths occurred in the cantons of Pococí in Limón; Alajuela Central; San Carlos, in northern Alajuela; Puntarenas Central; San José Central; and Pérez Zeledón, south of San José.
The data are a result of an analysis of accident statistics in the last 13 years, COSEVI’s Director of Plans and Projects Roy Rojas said. Most of the accident victims were men aged 15-35, and residents of rural areas.
Motorcycle accidents occur more frequently during mid-year and year-end vacations, and during Easter Holy Week. During the period of study, most accidents occurred between Friday and Sunday.
A report by the Traffic Police in July stated that during the first five months of this year, motorcycle deaths increased by 56 percent over the same period last year.
Accidents also are becoming a financial burden on the National Insurance Institute (INS). Last year, INS spent $40 million on medical care for injured motorcyclists, Rojas said.
Two Spanish experts financed by the Development Bank of Latin America will help draft the COSEVI plan, with input from the National Roadway Council, the University of Costa Rica’s National Structural Materials and Models Laboratory, the Federated Association of Engineers and Architects, INS, the Red Cross, public transportation companies and motorcycle associations.