Motorcycle Season Shifts to Top Gear, Riders
Urged to Take Steps to Ensure Safe Travel
“Gear Up-Ride Smart” Promotes Safety Through
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[April 21, 2016]
– With spring cruising in and motorcycle season shifting into top
gear, Illinois riders are eager to enjoy warm weather on the open
road again. Before taking the first ride of the season, the Illinois
Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Illinois State Police remind
motorcyclists to take necessary steps to ensure their safety and
“Gear Up – Ride Smart.”
The annual campaign urges riders to take precautionary measures
before getting back on their bikes. Motorcyclists are encouraged to
conduct a pre-ride safety inspection of their bike and refresh their
riding skills with a motorcycle training class.
Proper safety gear is essential to safe riding. Motorcyclists are
encouraged to wear the right safety equipment and accessories,
including high-visibility (Hi Viz) clothing, eye protection, gloves,
jackets, pants, boots and a U.S. DOT-approved helmet, at all times.
“While most motorcycles are only on the road for part of the year,
they account for almost 15 percent of all traffic fatalities”
Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said. “By
choosing the proper safety equipment and brushing up on their
skills, riders can do their part in making 2016 even safer for
motorcycles on Illinois roads. The message is simple: Gear Up – Ride
Illinois is one of two states that offer free motorcycle training
classes to licensed residents. Since the Cycle Rider Safety Training
Program (CRSTP) started in 1976, more than 400,000 riders have
learned the basics of motorcycle riding or taken advantage of the
opportunity to learn more about motorcycle safety.
The program is available throughout the state for all skill and
experience levels. Classes are formulated for beginner, intermediate
and advanced riders to teach them how to safely operate a motorcycle
and sharpen their knowledge and riding skills. CRSTP is paid for by
Illinois motorcyclists through a portion of their license and
registration fees. For more information and to register in IDOT’s
motorcycle safety courses, click here.
"Motorcycle season is upon us, and with it comes increased need for
rider safety," said ISP Director Leo Schmitz. "Alcohol remains the
number one contributing factor for motorcycle crashes. We can't
stress enough the importance of refraining from drinking alcohol
when riding a motorcycle. We encourage riders to participate in a
motorcycle safety refresher course, to wear high visibility clothing
and a helmet. The proper mind set and the proper gear can assist in
preventing a traffic crash, and it can also protect you if you are
involved in one."
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Alcohol contributes to approximately 40 percent of motorcycle
fatalities. The “Don’t Drink and Ride” campaign reminds
motorcyclists to never mix alcohol with riding. DUI offenders are
subject to penalties including fines, suspension of driving
privileges and possible jail time.
Other Gear Up- Ride Smart Statistics:
- Three percent of total vehicle registrations are
motorcycles, yet motorcycle fatalities account for more than 14
percent of all vehicle fatalities.
- About half of motorcycle rider fatalities occur in crashes
involving just the motorcycle. About 40 percent involve
motorcycle riders who had been drinking.
- Motorcycle fatalities decreased from 155 in 2013 to 119 in
2014. The number increased to 146 in 2015, according to
- Motorcyclists need to be properly licensed and continue
training, especially after a new bike purchase.
Check out this video for useful tips on how to stay safe this
riding season. To learn more about IDOT’s motorcycle safety
initiative, please visit
For additional riding tips, visit the Motorcycle Safety
[Illinois Department of