Warm Weather Brings Bikers to Minnesota Roads

Officials Remind Riders of Safety Hazards

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Warm weather has riders taking their motorcycles out on Minnesota roads, and safety is critical, especially early in the riding season.

Safety officials remind motorcyclists to be cautious of spring hazards and remind other drivers to safely share the road.

Spring brings deadly hazards to motorcyclists.

Snow run-off freezes at night, pavement is uneven and there is sand and gravel at intersections and turns.

Last year, the first motorcycle fatality of the season happened March 11.

It was the second earliest motorcycle fatality ever in Minnesota.

The earliest was Feb. 28, 2002.

According to preliminary reports, there were 44 motorcycle fatalities in 2014.

That is down from 60 fatalities in 2013.

“It’s up to both riders and drivers to reduce these tragedies,” says Bill Shaffer of the Minnesota Motorcycle Safety Center (MMSC). “Riders need to sharpen their skills and motorists need to share the road.”

As the shift to warm weather continues, and with the potential for difficult road conditions, traffic safety officials offer these reminders:

Motorists are advised to watch carefully for motorcycles in traffic and always look twice before turning or changing lanes.

Riders are advised to wear full, brightly-colored protective gear, including a DOT-approved helmet.

Riders should travel at safe speeds, pay attention, maintain a 2-second following distance and ride sober.

Riders should seek safety training.

There are more than 236,000 registered motorcycles and more than 414,000 licensed operators in Minnesota.

MMSC rider training helps new riders develop skills to earn a license and helps returning and experienced riders sharpen their skills.

A complete list of courses is available online at motorcyclesafety.org

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