Lake Mead Visitor and Resource Protection Patrols Increase this Weekend

Published by The Bee News

May 11, 2023

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BOULDER CITY, Nev. – Lake Mead National Recreation Area is conducting a saturation patrol on May 13 to target speeding motorcyclists traveling along North Shore Road. This road sees an increase in vehicle traffic during warmer months. It is frequently used by motorcycles that travel at high speeds, which endangers other drivers in the area.
This operation is in support of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s efforts this month to remind all motorists that Motorcyclist Safety Is Everyone’s Safety. May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and the end of May ushers in the unofficial start of the summer road travel season. Safe riding and driving practices, and cooperation from all road users, will help reduce the number of fatalities and injuries, not only at Lake Mead, but also on our nation’s highways.
One of the primary contributing factors to motorcyclist fatalities is speeding, and Lake Mead is no exception. Motorcycles are a leading cause of fatalities in the park every year. Nationwide, according to the NHTSA, 34% of all motorcycle riders involved (killed or survived) in fatal crashes in 2020 were speeding, compared to 22% for passenger car drivers, 16% for light-truck drivers, and 7% for large-truck drivers.
Speeding drivers also endanger local wildlife. Bighorn sheep, desert tortoises, and other animals are often found on the roads throughout the park. Maintaining safe driving practices can have a positive impact on them and their habitats.
“At Lake Mead, we like to say ‘Drive like a tortoise,’” said acting Superintendent Mike Gautier. “Keeping your speed down allows everyone to see road hazards, help protect wildlife, and get to their destination safely.”
Alcohol impairment also plays a significant role in motorcycle-involved crash fatalities: 41% of the 2,158 motorcycle riders who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2020 were alcohol-impaired. In 2020, motorcycle riders involved (killed or survived) in fatal crashes had higher percentages of alcohol impairment than any other type of motor vehicle driver (27% for motorcycle riders, 23% for passenger car drivers, 19% for light-truck drivers, and 3% for large-truck drivers).

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