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NEWS RELEASE

CONTACT:
Megan Leonard  651-201-7566
megan.leonard@state.mn.us
 
 
September 16, 2016
Thousands of Motorcyclists Expected for Fall Flood Run this Weekend
Motorists & Riders Should Exercise Extreme Caution along Scenic River Routes
ST. PAUL — Motorists are urged to use extra 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. 17. 
 
So far this season, 43 motorcyclists have died on Minnesota roads, compared to 61 rider deaths in 2015. While fatalities are down at this point, riders and motorists are encouraged to continue sharing the road to prevent any more fatalities this year. Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) officials ask riders to take safety into their own hands and motorists to look twice for motorcyclists.
 
Law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota will be out patrolling the area during the event to ensure a safe riding environment. The Minnesota State Patrol will have troopers patrolling the area as well.
 
“Deadly crashes are preventable, and riders and drivers should work together and make smart, safe choices on the road,” says Lt. Heath Dienger, Minnesota State Patrol. “Travel at safe speeds, give each other space and never drink while riding or driving.
 
DPS offers these safety tips:
 
Riders
  • Be prepared for inattentive drivers by staying focused on riding and keeping your speed in check.
  • 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.

Motorists
  • 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.
 
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 238,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
  • During the 2015 training season, MMSC trained more than 6,000 students statewide.
  • Training courses run through September. A complete list of courses and descriptions is available online at motorcyclesafety.org.
  • Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 100 | Saint Paul, Minnesota 55101-5155 | dps.mn.gov