Motorcycles will commandeer roads for a good causeFor 46 years, masses of motorcycles have come blazing through Red Wing and other river towns as part of an effort to raise money for the Gillette Children’s Hospital in Minnesota.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
For 46 years, masses of motorcycles have come blazing through Red Wing and other river towns as part of an effort to raise money for the Gillette Children’s Hospital in Minnesota.
Today marks the 47th Spring Flood Run, which will have as many as 30,000 Harley Davidsons, Suzukis, Yamahas, Kawasakis and other bikes filling up the southbound lanes on various roads along the Mississippi and St. Croix river valleys. Local law enforcement officials are using the event as a way to remind drivers to take extra caution when sharing those busy scenic routes this weekend.
“Motorists should look twice for motorcyclists, especially at intersections and when making left turns,” Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Cmdr. Kris Johnson said.
Deputies, police officers and state troopers will conduct additional enforcement to ensure a safe riding environment during the Flood Run. They will target speeding and impaired driving, and are encouraging motorists to be responsible by protecting themselves as well.
“Be prepared for inattentive drivers by riding sober, keeping your speed in check and making yourself visible to drivers,” Red Wing Police Chief Tim Sletten said.
With nearly 230,000 registered motorcycles and more than 400,000 licensed operators in the state, ridership is reaching record highs, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reported.
To date in 2012, two motorcyclists have been killed in crashes in Minnesota. A week ago, two separate motorcycle accidents occurred in the same area of Goodhue County just 15 minutes apart.
The Goodhue County Sheriff’s Office, Red Wing Police Department and Minnesota State Patrol are offering several tips to ensure safety on the streets.
• Remain focused while driving and stay at a safe and reasonable speed. Two of the most-cited contributing factors to motorcycle accidents are excessive speeds and inattentiveness.
• Check twice for motorcyclists before entering an intersection, where a majority of vehicle and motorcycle crashes occur.
• Wear brightly colored protective gear, including a helmet, if driving or riding a motorcycle.
• Keep a safe distance from all other motorists on the road, especially motorcyclists.
• Don’t drink and drive. Impaired riders are involved in about a third of all motorcycle fatalities.