Watch for uptick in motorcycle traffic

August 9, 2016 GMT

The Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), in conjunction with the Nebraska State Patrol (NSP) encourages all motorists to be aware of the potential for increased motorcycle traffic on Nebraska roadways as we wrap up the summer travel season.

“Our roadways are always busy,” said Director Kyle Schneweis, Nebraska Department of Roads. “When you add the potential for increased motorcycle traffic to the numerous roadway work projects currently underway, the result is a need for increased awareness on the part of every driver.”

“The Sturgis Rally is a big draw for motorcyclists from across the country,” said Colonel Brad Rice, Superintendent of the Nebraska State Patrol. “With the likelihood of increased traffic, we want to remind all motorists of the need to share the road, in order to prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries.”

According to statistics from the Department of Roads’ Highway Safety Office, to date in 2016, 13 people have been killed in crashes involving motorcycles. There were 26 people killed in crashes involving motorcycles on Nebraska roadways in 2015, with 20 motorcycle fatalities recorded in 2014 and 14 in 2013.

With a smaller profile, motorcycles are often hidden in a vehicle’s blind spot or missed in a quick look. Motorists are encouraged to always make a visual check for motorcycles by checking mirrors or blind spots before leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.

Motorcyclists are reminded they must obey the same rules of the road as the rest of the motoring public. Nebraska law requires motorcycle riders and passengers to wear a DOT compliant helmet. A Class M (motorcycle) license or Class M endorsement on a regular operator’s license is also required.

Statistical information and laws pertaining to motorcycles can be found on the Department of Roads’ Highway Safety Office webpage at http://www.transportation.nebraska.gov/nohs/areas/tr1facts.html.

With a myriad of road construction projects underway across the state, drivers are reminded to exercise caution in work zones and to remember fines for infractions double when workers are present.

Keep up to date with road conditions and constructions projects by utilizing 511, Nebraska’s Advanced Traveler Information System at www.511.nebraska.gov. A Nebraska 511 mobile app is also available to download at no cost for smartphone users. Simply search your app provider for Nebraska 511.

NDOR and NSP encourage all motorists to partner with them to save lives on our roadways, by doing their part. Watch out for each other, obey the posted speed limits, exercise caution in work zones, always buckle up and never drive impaired or distracted.