Hundreds of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts will converge on Sturgis next week, and regional law enforcement agencies are working to keep motorcyclists safe to and from the rally.

August 1-21, agencies from Nevada to North Dakota are joining forces to raise everyone's awareness of motorcycle safety through a campaign called Safe 2 Sturgis.

"I created this campaign specifically to remind motorcyclists and motorists that traffic is up 30 percent right now," said Gina Espinosa-Salcedo, Regional Administrator with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Wyoming Highway Patrol Colonel Kebin Haller says often times it's not recognized, but the Cowboy State does see a significant number of motorcycle fatalities.

"Last year Wyoming recorded 24 (and) this year, to date, we've had 12," said Haller. "Historically we average about three fatalities the week before, during and after Sturgis."

Espinosa-Salcedo says motorcycle fatalities are up 19 percent in the region, and interestingly enough, only 40 percent involve vehicles.

"It's largely motorcyclists that we're trying to reach," said Espinosa-Salcedo. "We're trying to encourage people to ride safely and to do everything that they can to protect themselves when they're riding."

"Riders have a personal responsibility to their own safety and security," said Haller. "This year we would like the number to be zero fatalities around Sturgis."

Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media
Joy Greenwald, Townsquare Media

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