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SD officials give motorcycle safety tips prior to Rally

Published: Jul. 11, 2021 at 9:07 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - As the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally approaches, serious injuries and deaths in motorcycle crashes are expected to go up. Officials say bikers need to be especially careful on sharp turns and curves in the Black Hills.

A fatal motorcycle accident this past week on Nemo Rd. has officials reminding bikers of some safety tips as the Hills prepares for the annual Bike Rally.

Tom Horan, Region Operations Officer with the South Dakota Department of Transportation, said that given the landscape of the Black Hills, bikers need to be especially careful on sharp curves.

“The reason we have sharper curves is that the terrain that they’re built-in is difficult to build a road, and so they might be a little bit sharper, if motorcyclists do leave the road, then they might have to deal with other things like a rock slope,” Horan said.

According to officials, over the past 15 years, nine fatal accidents have occurred at the intersection of Nemo Rd. and Pine Dr.

Tyler Blakeman, a rider from Illinois said that his fellow motorcyclists should be careful of their surroundings this summer, especially when they’re surrounded by larger vehicles. But, says safety, goes both ways.

“It’s not that they don’t pay attention but, they’re just used to seeing other cars,” Blakeman said. “So, you have to drive pretty defensively a lot of the time, especially when you’re out on these open roads.”

The South Dakota Department of Public Safety says in addition to riding defensively, cyclists should slow down on turns, wear protective gear, and never drink and ride.

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