ST. PAUL — Riders and motorists should exercise extreme caution this weekend along the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers as thousands of motorcyclists take to the road for the Spring Flood Run Saturday, April 17. The ride typically attracts thousands of riders and takes them on route between the Twin Cities and Winona.
Preliminary reports show two riders died in motorcycle crashes so far this season. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials ask riders and motorists to share the roads. Riders should take safety into their own hands and motorists should look twice for motorcyclists.
Law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota, along with Minnesota State Troopers, will be out patrolling the area during the event to ensure a safe riding environment.
“We want riders to enjoy the spring ride and make it home safely. That takes motorcyclists and other motorists working together to share the road,” says Lt. Gordon Shank, Minnesota State Patrol. “Motorcyclists should ride sober and ride at their own pace in groups, while other motorists should give riders space and diligently check blind spots before changing lanes and at intersections.”
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. 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 three-second following distance and check blind spots.
- Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.
While in Minnesota, follow required COVID-19 mitigation measures including face coverings, social distancing and limits on gatherings. Learn more at staysafe.mn.gov.
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.
Recent MMSC Activity and Statistics
- There are approximately 216,000 registered motorcycles and 412,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
- During the shortened 2020 training season, MMSC trained approximately 2,700 students statewide.
- Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.