To further help reduce the number of crashes, IDOT will unveil a new
audio public service announcement to be aired on statewide radio
stations from May 4 through Sept. 30. This advertisement will
highlight the risks and responsibilities associated with motorcycle
riding as well as remind all travelers to share the road.
you ride, be aware of your surroundings; others may not see you,"
said Larry Kolling, Illinois district motorist awareness coordinator
for the Gold Wing Road Riders Association. "Whenever there is a
motor vehicle-versus-a-motorcycle accident, most of the time the
operator's comment is, ‘I did not see the bike.' This is the reason
why we, Gold Wing Road Riders Association Motorist Awareness
Division, are glad to partner with IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety
in bringing motorcycle awareness to the motoring public. GWRRA Rider
Education Division uses Rider Ed Seminars to educate its members in
using safe practices while riding, and the Motorist Awareness
Division conduct(s) presentations to bring awareness to the motoring
public that we (bikers) are on the roads too. 'Look Twice -- Save a
The overall number of traffic fatalities in Illinois dropped from
1,248 in 2007 to 1,043 in 2008. Motorcycle fatalities decreased from
157 in 2007 to 135 in 2008.
"We are moving in the right direction with our traffic safety
efforts; however, motorcycle fatalities remain a concern," said
Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken. "In an effort to
further reduce traffic fatalities from historic low levels, our
highly skilled motorcycle enforcement officers will be deployed on
interstates throughout the state with the mission of checking for
proper license endorsements, speed limit enforcement, reducing
fatalities and making other vehicle drivers more aware of
motorcyclists. Officers will also be enforcing fatal five
violations, which include speeding, safety belts, improper lane
usage, following too closely and driving under the influence."
"Motorcycles give the Illinois State Police officers more
mobility to maneuver in traffic. They are easily recognized by the
public and have proven to be effective in speed enforcement as
well," said acting IDOT Secretary Gary Hannig. "We anticipate that
deployment of the motorcycle patrol unit will cut down the number of
drivers exceeding the speed limit and will ultimately reduce the
number of crashes, deaths and injuries."
In 2008, IDOT's Division of Traffic Safety trained 15,954
students in its Cycle Rider Safety Training Program, which is
marking its 33rd year in operation. This is up from 14,917 students
in 2007. These courses are conducted in numerous locations
The Cycle Rider Safety Training Program is supported through
motorcycle license and registration fees. Classes are free to any
Illinois resident 16 years of age or older who holds a valid
driver's license or permit. For additional information on course
locations and schedules, go to
Furthermore, from 2007 through 2009, IDOT has increased awareness
among motorists by posting 10-, 20- and 30-foot banners reading
"Start Seeing Motorcycles" in high-traffic areas such as law
enforcement agencies and motorcycle clubs statewide.
In addition, IDOT is again this year sponsoring the annual
"Windshield Washing Project," in which numerous motorcycle clubs are
washing windshields of cars and trucks at IDOT interstate rest areas
across the state on weekends during the month of May. Participating
club members are distributing "Start Seeing Motorcycles" bumper
stickers to motorists to remind them to watch out for motorcycles
that have not been in the driving mix over the winter months.
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ISP also offers the following safety tips for new riders all the way
up to seasoned veterans:
does not mandate wearing a motorcycle helmet, use of approved
helmets, protective body wear, boots and gloves is strongly
visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing during the day
and reflective clothing at night.
Be alert for
animals alongside and on the roadway, not only in rural areas,
but in urban areas as well.
Don't ride beyond
80 percent of your riding capabilities. To do so leaves no
margin for the unexpected.
When riding with
another motorcycle, stagger your position. This allows both
riders to take evasive action safely should the need occur.
Don't become fixed
on what's just beyond your front tire. Be aware of what's ahead.
Safe riders remain aware of developing situations 12 to 16
seconds ahead. This includes other vehicles, potholes, roadway
obstructions and other potential hazards. This allows time to
plan and react in a controlled manner.
Oil, grease and
other fluids from cars and trucks generally collects in the
middle of the lane. Avoid these potentially slick areas by
riding in the normal wheel tracks of these vehicles.
In the event
emergency braking is required, remember motorcycles have far
better stopping capabilities than cars and trucks. As you're
avoiding the hazard, scan for a safe escape route while watching
for vehicles approaching from behind.
through an intersection, check left, check front, check right
and check left again. Checking left first is important because
this is the first lane you cross. Continue to scan in the
intersection in a clockwise pattern, checking traffic
approaching in front, in case that vehicle turns left in front
of you; 77 percent of motorcycle crashes involving another
vehicle happen in this manner.
Don't lend your
motorcycle to someone without knowing his or her skill level and
making sure they have the proper license.
Don't drink and ride. Alcohol slows
reactions and impairs function.
To sign up for and find out more about IDOT's Cycle Rider Safety
Training Program, go to
Department of Transportation
file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]