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 Fall Flood Run. As many as 30,000 riders will be traveling between the Twin Cities and Winona on Saturday, Sept. 21.
So far this season, 39 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads, according to preliminary reports, compared to 52 at the same time last year. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials ask riders and motorists to safely share the road. 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.
Wisconsin law enforcement will have an increased enforcement presence along the Wisconsin portions of the route.
“We want everyone to have a safe, enjoyable ride,” says Lt. Gordon Shank, Minnesota State Patrol. “That takes a joint effort. 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.”
“The Wisconsin State Patrol is pleased to partner with other law enforcement agencies and traffic safety advocates to support the Fall Flood Run,” said Lieutenant Les Mlsna with the Wisconsin State Patrol’s Northwest Region. “Along with additional officers to help keep traffic moving safely, our motorcycle safety training program will have staff and interactive displays located in the Buffalo County community of Nelson along the Flood Run route.”
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 two-second following distance and check blind spots.
- Pay attention and drive at safe speeds.
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 223,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
- During the 2018 training season, MMSC trained more than 5,000 students statewide.
- Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.