PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) With the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally just a few weeks away, the South Dakota Office of Highway Safety is working extra hard to remind motorcyclists and motorists, both to be cautious on state roads. Highway Safety Director Lee Axdahl says that so far this year, there have been about eight motorcycle related fatalities in South Dakota. Last year’s total was 25. Axdahl says generally about half of each year’s motorcycle fatality count occurs around the time of the annual rally. Axdahl says some of the accidents are caused by factors like speed; but says sometimes, inexperienced riders trying to tackle the twists and turns of roadways in the Black Hills fall victim to motorcycle crashes, too.
Axdahl says a year-old website called www.southdakotarides.com contains clips of virtual rides on some of the state’s roadways to give bikers an idea of what they can expect. Also right now, a campaign promoting motorcycle safety is underway on radio and television in South Dakota and some neighboring states and another media push reminds vehicle drivers to be watchful of motorcycles.
Axdahl says his department will have a presence at the rally this year, which is scheduled for August 5-11.
In addition to the focus on motorcycles, the Highway Safety office has centralized its various safety campaigns like seatbelt use, picking a designated driver and checkpoint alert reminders on the website www.drivesafesd.com.
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