IDOT, law enforcement and safety advocates launch 'Start Seeing
Motorcycles' campaign statewide
Motorcycle Awareness Month
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[May 10, 2012]
-- With motorcycle riding season officially under way, the
Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police, Gold
Wing Road Riders Association and A Brotherhood Aimed Towards
Education teamed up to kick off the "Start Seeing Motorcycles"
campaign across the state and urge all motorists to share the road.
Gov. Pat Quinn also demonstrated his strong support for motorcycle
safety and issued a proclamation declaring May as Motorcycle
Awareness Month in Illinois.
"As the weather improves and riding increases in popularity, more
motorcyclists are hitting the roads," said Illinois Transportation
Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "With that in mind, passenger cars and
trucks need to be attentive and make sure they ‘share the road.' A
motorcycle is one of the smallest vehicles on our roads; therefore,
every driver needs to proactively look for them before changing
lanes or merging with traffic."
Throughout the rest of the riding
season, motorists will be reminded to "Start Seeing Motorcycles" in
an effort to help keep motorcyclists safe. Changing the driving
habits of motorists and motorcyclists alike will help decrease the
number of motorcycle fatalities and injuries in crashes.
Motorcyclists are reminded to make sure they are visible to
motorists and that they strictly follow the rules of the road.
IDOT also reminded motorcyclists of their responsibilities to be
alert to other drivers, never ride while impaired or distracted, and
always wear a DOT-approved helmet and other brightly colored
"Whether you are traveling in a vehicle or riding on a
motorcycle, safety should be the number one priority," said Illinois
State Police Commander Scott Abbott.
"As we prepare for the spring and summer months, motorists are
reminded to watch for motorcycle traffic and obey all traffic laws,
especially those pertaining to speed and lane changes," he added.
"May is Motorcycle Awareness Month," said Carleen Grant,
coordinator for A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois. "A.B.A.T.E. strives each
year to educate both motorists and motorcyclists to be aware, not
only during the month of May, but all year. Motorcycles are
everywhere. One hundred forty-four motorcycle fatalities across the
state last year is tragic. To lose even one life is unacceptable.
Through A.B.A.T.E.'s comprehensive safety and awareness program, we
hope to help bring those statistics down. Remember, it only takes a
moment to ‘Look Twice to Save a Life.'"
Motorcycle fatalities accounted for 16 percent of total
fatalities within Illinois in 2011. Statistics show that a
motorcyclist is more vulnerable than a passenger vehicle occupant in
the event of a crash. Research from the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration show that per vehicle mile traveled,
motorcyclists are about 39 times more likely than passenger car
occupants to die in traffic crashes.
IDOT offers the following tips for drivers in an effort to help
keep motorcyclists safe on Illinois roadways:
motorcycle is a vehicle with all of the rights and privileges of
any other motor vehicle.
Always allow a
motorcyclist the full lane width -- never try to share a lane.
Perform a visual
check for motorcycles by checking mirrors and blind spots before
entering or exiting a lane of traffic, and at intersections.
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Always use your
signal well before changing lanes or merging with traffic.
Don't be fooled by
a flashing turn signal on a motorcycle -- motorcycle signals
frequently do not auto-cancel and riders sometimes forget to
turn them off. Wait to be sure the motorcycle is going to turn
following distance -- three or four seconds -- when behind a
motorcycle so the motorcyclist has enough time to maneuver or
stop in an emergency.
Never tailgate. In
dry conditions, motorcycles can stop quicker than cars.
Never drive while distracted.
Motorcyclists can increase their safety by:
Participating in a
free IDOT motorcycle training class.
Making sure they
are properly licensed.
Avoiding riding in
poor weather conditions.
colored protective gear and a DOT-approved helmet.
Using turn signals
for every turn or lane change, even if the rider thinks no one
will see it.
tape and stickers to increase conspicuousness.
IDOT also offers free Cycle Rider Safety Training courses
statewide for motorcycle riders to acquire additional safety
knowledge and training. Approximately 21,000 riders are expected to
receive training this year. For more information about class
schedules of the
Rider Training program, the "Start Seeing Motorcycles" campaign
or safety tips, visit
Department of Transportation file received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]