Public safety officials are hoping to reduce the number of motorcycle related fatalities this year, but the effort is off to a rough start. Three people were killed in motorcycle crashes over the weekend in Union, Polk and Jasper Counties. The crashes in Des Moines and Reasnor involved drivers and passengers who were not wearing helmets.

Scott Falb is with the Iowa Department of Transportation. “It’s early in the year to be having a three fatality weekend,” Falb said. “We’re hoping it’s not a portents of things to come.” Motorcycle crashes in Iowa last year claimed 49 lives. All but nine of those victims were not wearing helmets. Falb says there wasn’t a lot of motorcycle riding time last year because it was an unusually cool and wet summer.

“We would go two or three weeks at a time without a (motorcyle) fatality, then we would have a bunch of them when the weather got nice again,” Falb said. Iowa is one of only three states in the country without a law regarding helmet use.