ST. PAUL — Riders and motorists should exercise extreme caution this weekend along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers as motorcyclists ride in the Fall Flood Run
, Saturday, Sept. 18. The annual ride historically attracts thousands of riders, taking them on a route between the Twin Cities and Winona.
Preliminary figures show 53 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads so far this season. The loss of life exceeds the 44 motorcyclist deaths for all of 2019 and an already high year-to-date 49 fatalities for 2020. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials are urging riders and drivers to prevent serious and fatal crashes by working together to make safety a priority for the remainder of the motorcycle season.
Law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota, along with Minnesota State Troopers, will be patrolling the area during the event to ensure a safe riding environment.
“The Fall Flood Run offers a great time and amazing route to ride, and riders and motorists can keep it that way by riding smart, driving smart and looking out for each other,” said Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol. “With the heartbreaking pace at which motorcyclists are losing their lives on the road this year, we want riders to have fun but don’t ease up on safety. Ride sober. Watch your speed. Wear the gear. Drivers, always look twice for motorcyclists and check your blind spot before switching lanes. Traveling down the road is not a competition with other riders and motorists. It’s about safely sharing the road.”
DPS offers these safety tips:
- Be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding, keeping your speed in check and maintaining a two-second following distance.
- Wear the gear. Motorcyclists should wear a DOT-approved helmet and brightly colored protective gear for visibility and protection.
- Don’t drink and ride. Every year about one-third of all motorcycle fatalities involve impaired riders.
- Watch for motorcycles. Due to the smaller size of motorcycles, their speed and distance is more difficult to judge.
- Always look twice before entering a roadway, turning left or changing lanes.
- Give riders room by maintaining a two-second following distance and check blind spots.
- Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.
The Fall Flood Run route spans from Minnesota into Wisconsin. Riders who are not familiar with the route should be cautious when riding on unfamiliar roads.
Riders can prevent crashes on unfamiliar roads by riding at safe speeds, riding sober and riding within their skill set.
About the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,200 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center
The Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC) provides high-quality rider education, training and licensing to prevent motorcycle crashes and the resulting fatalities and injuries. It was created in the early 1980s to address record high motorcyclist fatalities.
The MMSC provides on-cycle and classroom rider training courses, develops awareness campaigns and informational materials, and coordinates third-party skills testing for motorcycle license endorsement through the Basic Rider Course and evening testing at select DVS Exam Stations.
Motorcycle safety is a component of Toward Zero Deaths (TZD), the state’s primary road safety initiative. A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists support a goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes — education, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response.
2021 MMSC Statistics
- There are more than 259,000 registered motorcycles and more than 397,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
- During the 2021 training season, MMSC trained more than 4,100 students statewide.
- Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.