ST. PAUL - Motorists who plan to take in the beauty of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers this weekend had best prepare themselves to see something else.
Motorcycles, and lots of them.
The Department of Public Safety (DPS) is giving drivers a heads-up that The Flood Run is set for this Saturday, September 17, on the roads that lead up and down the Minnesota and Wisconsin borders between the Twin Cities and Winona. As many as 30,000 motorcycles are expected to take part.
Law enforcement agencies in southeast Minnesota will be out patrolling the area during the event attempting to ensure a safe riding environment. The Minnesota State Patrol will have troopers on the road 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.
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 of the season, riders and motorists are encouraged to continue sharing the road to prevent any more fatalities this year. DPS officials ask riders to take safety into their own hands and motorists to look twice for motorcyclists, and offers the following advice.
- 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.
- 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.