IDOT joins other motorcycle safety advocates to encourage riders to
'Gear Up - Ride Smart'
advised to use proper safety gear, get bikes checked and not ride
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[April 02, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD — In an effort to
reduce motorcycle fatalities and injuries, the Illinois Department
of Transportation and the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association
joined forces to kick off the 2014 riding season's "Gear Up -
Ride Smart" motorcycle safety campaign. As the riding season gets
underway, IDOT and IMDA are urging cyclists to have their bikes
safety-checked to make sure they are in proper running condition,
check their high-visibility clothing and take advantage of the free
motorcycle training classes throughout the state.
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.
"We want to eliminate
fatalities on Illinois roadways, and motorcyclists can help by
ensuring they are wearing the proper gear, taking a training or
refresher course as needed, and not drinking and driving," said
Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. "Motorcyclists
are at an increased risk of injury or death when involved in a
crash, so it is imperative that all riders 'Gear Up - Ride Smart'
this riding season."
Jay Hall, president of the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers
Association, stressed the importance of having motorcycles checked
thoroughly so riders are ready for long summer rides. As with
automobiles, a well-maintained bike makes for a safer ride. Also
important is the need to wear the proper protective gear. By taking
the necessary precautions — bike in proper running condition, tires
checked, fluids and brakes checked — and ensuring their gear is "hi-viz,"
riders can keep themselves and others safe on the roadway.
Terry Redman, manager for IDOT's Cycle Rider Safety Training
Program, reminds riders that warmer weather brings out more bikes
and that the motoring public is not always used to sharing the road.
Motorcycle fatalities increased from 148 in 2012 to 155 in 2013,
according to provisional data. IDOT encourages all riders to make
the right choices: checking the 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 hi-viz riding gear.
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Motorcyclists need to be properly licensed. Also critical to safe
riding is continued training, especially after acquiring a new bike.
Illinois is one of two states in the nation offering free motorcycle
training classes to residents licensed in the state.
Sign up for a class — beginners, intermediate or advanced.
Riders have a responsibility to help ensure safety on the roadways.
Hall, the IDMA president, reminds riders to make that appointment
to have your bike checked out before your first ride. Don't be left
on the side of the road.
"Gear Up - Ride Smart" also warns against riding after drinking
or taking medications. A rider has difficulty staying alert when
under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Remember that when properly
trained and equipped, motorcyclists greatly improve prospects for a
safe ride. Riding offers freedom and enjoyment, but it is your
responsibility — for your safety as well as others — to "Gear Up -
IDOT encourages all Illinois motorcycle riders to help create a
safer motorcycling environment for all. To learn more about IDOT's
motorcycle safety program and courses, laws and regulations,
statistics, and additional educational materials, visit
Illinois Department of
Transportation file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]