Motorcycle fatalities on the rise - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Motorcycle fatalities on the rise

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YAKIMA, Wash -- More and more Americans are hitting the road on motorcycles because of high gas prices. But motorcycle fatalities are also increasing.

Nationwide, fatalities involving motorcycles are up 116%. Last year there were 84 deaths in Washington, with about ten of them in the Yakima area.

As a result, the Washington State legislature is trying to improve safety for those who ride. One purposed bill, which has passed the Senate, but not the House, would allow police the option to impound a motorcycle on the spot if the driver doesn't have the proper license. Currently, the can only issue a citation.

About 60% of motorcycle drivers have the correct license.

But even though motorcycle enthusiasts say safety is a major concern, they worry that their bikes will be damaged by tow trucks if police decide to impound instead of issue a citation. Many motorcycles cost more than $20,000.00, and few tow trucks are equipped to tow them safely.