ST. PAUL, Minn. – Thousands of motorcyclists will kick off the unofficial start of Minnesota’s motorcycle riding season during the “Spring Flood Run” Saturday, April 16. The route takes riders along the scenic Mississippi and St. Croix Valley roadways between the Twin Cities and Winona.
Motorists will need to use extra caution this weekend with as many as 30,000 motorcyclists riding between the Twin Cities and Winona for the event.
Motorcyclists and motorists can work together to make the Spring Flood Run a safe event. Riders should take safety into their own hands and motorists are encouraged to always look twice for motorcycles.
To ensure a safe riding environment, law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota will have extra patrols during the event. Minnesota State Patrol will have troopers patrolling the area as well.
“It only takes one bad decision to cost someone their life,” says Lt. Tiffani Nielson, Minnesota State Patrol. “Motorcyclists and drivers need to step up and take action to prevent these crashes. That means riding and driving responsibly and sharing the road.”
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Safety Center (DPS-MMSC) offers these safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists:
- 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 or changing lanes.
- Give riders room and check blind spots.
- Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.
- Be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding and keeping your speed in check.
- Wear the gear. Motorcyclists are highly encouraged to 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.
- Take a training course. Training is underway at most MMSC training sites. Visit motorcyclesafety.org for information.
- Riders interested in building upon existing skills should take the Intermediate Rider Course. MMSC training sites are hosting an Intermediate Rider Course training weekend the weekend of May 7 and 8, where all courses are guaranteed to run with any enrollment.
About the Minnesota Department of Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 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 more than 236,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
- During the 2015 training season, MMSC trained nearly 6,000 students statewide.
- Some MMSC courses have been renamed to reflect skill level, including the Intermediate Rider Course, MN Advanced Rider Course and MN Expert Rider Course. A complete list of courses and descriptions is available online at motorcyclesafety.org.
- Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.