Rice County motorists are asked to pay particular attention to motorcyclists now that the weather has brought even more riders out on the roads. This is a good time to remember how important safety is for motorcyclists and motorists – slow down and use extra caution especially this Memorial Day weekend.
In Rice County there have already been three serious motorcycle crashes in the past few weeks. On April 1, a van pulled in front of a motorcycle on Hwy. 3; April 18, a truck and motorcycle collided on Hwy. 246 and CR 1 and on May 10 a motorcyclist crashed causing serious injuries to his passenger. One of the driver’s has been charged with Criminal Vehicular Operation due to alcohol impairment and causing significant injuries. Don’t take your bike on a wasted ride. Start seeing motorcyclists! Motorcycle season is in full swing, and it’s extremely important for drivers to look twice for motorcyclists on Minnesota roads.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Motorcycle Safety Center (DPS-MMSC) offers these safety tips for motorists and motorcyclists:
- Watch for motorcycles. Due to their 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 before changing lanes or making a turn.
- 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.
Sheriff Troy Dunn recently completed an advanced motorcycle skills training course and encourages all riders to sign up for a course. Sheriff Dunn says “New riders should take a course when they first start riding and a take additional courses every couple riding seasons to make sure they are the best rider they can be. It’s always good to sharpen your skills and work with certified instructors to help you break bad habits and ride safer.” Courses are held locally at Faribault Harley Davidson as well as other locations throughout the state.
Check the website at the Motorcycle Safety Center for further information.
You will also be able to test your skills on the SMARTRAINER when it visits Faribault in August. The motorcycle simulator, which is used for training, will be available at the RIDE in Faribault at the Harley Davidson Shop on Saturday, August 12, 2017. Come and check your skills in a virtual environment. Participants may register for a prizes.
Recent MMSC Activity and Statistics
- There are more than 236,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.
- During the 2016 training season, MMSC trained nearly 6,000 students statewide
- Follow MMSC on Twitter @MnDPS_MCSafety and “like” MMSC on Facebook.
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.