IDOT introduces 'Gear Up -- Ride Smart' motorcycle safety campaign
use of proper riding safety gear, warns against drunk driving
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[April 01, 2013]
CHICAGO -- The Illinois
Department of Transportation kicked off the "Gear Up -- Ride Smart"
motorcycle safety campaign last week in partnership with the
Illinois State Police, Gold Wing Road Riders Association and A
Brotherhood Aimed Towards Education, known as ABATE. The campaign
promotes safe motorcycle riding through continued training and use
of proper gear, and reminds all motorcyclists to get licensed, get
proper training and keep motorcycle equipment well-maintained. "Gear
Up -- Ride Smart" also warns against riding after drinking.
Motorcycles represent 3 percent of total vehicle registrations, yet
motorcycle fatalities account for more than 15 percent of all
vehicle fatalities. Statistics show that about half of motorcycle
rider deaths occur in crashes involving only the motorcycle, and
approximately 40 percent of those fatalities involve motorcycle
operators who rode after drinking.
"Motorcyclists are at an increased risk of injury or death when
involved in a crash," said Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L.
Schneider. "When alcohol is added, the results often are horrendous.
Illinois has embraced 'Driving Zero Fatalities to a Reality' and
wants all travelers on Illinois roadways to be safe. That's why we
encourage all motorcycle riders to get prepared early in the spring
season by taking a training or refresher course on motorcycle
safety, and to always wear the proper gear and never ride impaired."
Motorcycle riding groups echo this safety message. When properly
trained and equipped, motorcyclists greatly improve their prospects
for a safe ride.
"Our goals are to educate our members in proper riding techniques
and safe operation, and to improve public acceptance and awareness
of motorcyclists while maintaining a friendly, fun atmosphere," said
Jerry Allhands, Illinois District educator for the Gold Wing Road
Riders Association. "The Illinois District of the GWRRA is proud to
cooperate with the state of Illinois and all of its departments in
educating the motoring public."
"For the past 25 years, ABATE of Illinois Inc. has been involved
in motorcycle safety, awareness and education," said Mike Myers,
state coordinator for the organization.
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"This year, ABATE of Illinois has developed a 'Ride Smart'
program promoting the smart riding choices a motorcyclist should
consider before they start the motorcycle and decisions they will
make during that ride. ABATE says some choices include checking your
bike before each ride, hydrating with water, evaluating your medical
condition before and during the ride, never assuming you are seen by
other motorists, using proper braking techniques, staying alert
during the entire ride, and using all appropriate and highly visible
"As in anything we do in life, it comes down to the choices that
we make that have the greatest impact on our lives," said Myers. "So
my brothers and sisters, please 'Gear Up and Ride Smart.'"
"Motorcycle riders are more at risk of injury than any other
motorists at any given time," said Illinois State Police Lt. Col.
Terry Lemming. "The ISP encourages all motorcyclists to practice
safe riding habits and wear the appropriate equipment for personal
safety and the safety of others."
The Department of Transportation encourages all Illinois
motorcycle riders to help create a safer motorcycling environment
for all. To learn more about IDOT's motorcycle safety program, laws
and regulations, statistics, and additional educational materials,
or to see a sponsor list for literature distribution locations,
Illinois Department of
Transportation file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]