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Sharing the road: Motorists urged to exercise extra care during River Run

April 25, 2019 GMT

BULLHEAD CITY — This week’s Laughlin River Run will go a lot better if drivers and motorcyclists keep their eyes open, local public safety agencies say.

Activities related to the 37th edition of the annual biker run begin today and run through Sunday.

Local roads, particularly Highway 95, will be very congested, said spokeswoman Emily Fromelt of the Bullhead City Police Department. Due to the expected higher volume of traffic, she said, the department will increase patrols.

She said it’s “an effort to deter criminal activity and to help make the weekend as safe as possible for everyone.”

Drivers, she said, should be aware that every automobile has a blind spot not covered by its mirrors.

“Be sure to always check surrounding traffic by looking before changing lanes or turning,” Fromelt cautioned.

Arizona law does not require an adult motorcyclist to wear a helmet, but police and the Bullhead City Fire Department are both urging River Run participants to do so. Nevada and California do have helmet laws.

“A helmet is your most important piece of safety equipment that you can wear when riding a motorcycle,” BCFD spokeswoman Lori Viles said.

Viles said that statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that using a DOT-approved helmet can reduce the risk of head injury by 69 percent and the risk of death by 37 percent. Fromelt said a DOT-approved helmet also can lessen the severity of a head injury.

Fromelt said motorcyclists should expect full enforcement of Nevada and California helmet laws, and that riders or passengers younger than 18 are required to wear them in Arizona.

Riders in Arizona must wear appropriate eye protection unless their bikes have windscreens; Fromelt said that even if the motorcycle has a windscreen, eye protection is recommended.

Lane-splitting — the practice of motorcyclists riding in between cars to navigate traffic — is legal in California, but is illegal in Arizona and Nevada.

Fromelt said Bullhead City’s curfew hours for juveniles will remain the same; children younger than 14 can’t be out between midnight and 5 a.m. Those older than 14 and younger than 18 have a midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew on weekdays and a 1-to-5 a.m. curfew on weekends.

Fromelt said whether citizens have an enjoyable River Run weekend is in their own hands.

“Drive sober,” she said. “Be a patient and attentive driver, buckle up and watch out for motorcycles.”

Viles also said drivers need to remember that all vehicles have blind spots when only mirrors are used.

She said motorcyclists also have to look out, and be aware of how hard it may be for people in cars to see them.

“Remember to stay vigilant,” Viles said. “Be safe, be smart, be seen.”