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Ahead of Sturgis, Highway Patrol Urging Safety On Roads

August 3, 2013, 10:00 PM by Stephanie Gregory

Ahead of Sturgis, Highway Patrol Urging Safety On Roads
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Heavier than normal traffic is on the roads across KELOLAND as thousands of bikers head out west for the 73rd annual Strugis Motorcycle Rally.

"We've been going to Sturgis, many of us, since 94 and before," biker Dan Rakitnichan said.

But, as thousands of bikers head out, Highway Patrol is asking all drivers to take extra caution on the roadways.

"Now that the rally has started, we're seeing a lot more motorcycles on the road," Trooper Issac Kurtz said.

Before the rally starts on Monday, almost anywhere and everywhere you look you will find a motorcycle.

These bikers ask other motorists to do one thing: "Stay off your cell phones. If they are on the cell phones they have a big blind spot," Rakitnichan said.

The Highway Patrol says about one-third of deadly motorcycle crashes happen each year in the West River counties, during a two-week period around the annual rally.

"You have got to stay safe, you have got to stay healthy, then you have fun, that is the most important part," Rakitnichan said.

Protecting everyone's safety: The Highway Patrol has some tips.

"Make sure you are checking your blind spots, checking over the shoulder when they are changing lanes," Kurtz said.

Highway Patrol also asks bikers to ride in single-file lines, watch speed on curves, and remember to wear a helmet before jumping on your two-wheeler. 

The Highway Patrol says riders should brush up on safety techniques and get a virtual look at many good motorcycle routes at southdakotarides.com

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