The centerpiece of the campaign is a 30-second statewide radio
public service announcement to be aired on selected stations this
week during morning and afternoon drive times to remind listeners to
share the road. The ad stresses that both bicyclists and motor
vehicle drivers have to obey traffic laws and urges drivers to give
bicycles at least three feet of space when passing.
of our campaign is simple," said Milt Sees, acting secretary of the
Department of Transportation. "When we all obey traffic laws, show
courtesy and share the road, we all get where we're going safely.
It's especially important for drivers to be on the lookout for
bicyclists now that the weather is warming up and more and more bike
riders are out on our roads."
The number of bicyclists killed in crashes with cars in Illinois
increased slightly last year, from 21 in 2005 to 24 in 2006. This
came after such fatalities had decreased the year before from 25 in
The executive director of the League of Illinois Bicyclists, Ed
Barsotti of Aurora, said: "Bicyclists have a legal right to be on
the road. Motorists need to recognize this and pass bicyclists with
at least three feet of clearance. Bicyclists also need to observe
all traffic laws, for their own safety and the safety of others."
Illinois State Police Director Larry G. Trent said: "Crashes
involving motorists and bicyclists can be prevented if motorists and
bicyclists observe traffic lights and stop signs, yield the right of
way, and show courtesy. Motorists also must observe all speed limits
to assure their safety and the safety of others, including
Rick Vulpitta, executive director of the Illinois Safety Council,
said: "Being a safe driver means more than just observing traffic
laws. It involves staying alert and being focused on the roadway at
all times. Distractions of only three seconds can lead to
collisions, injuries and fatalities on the road."
Illinois' "Share the Road" campaign was introduced during a
noontime news conference Monday on the plaza of the James R.
Thompson Center in downtown Chicago, where wallet-size cards with
Illinois bicycling laws and "Share the Road" bumper stickers were
distributed to the public.
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The Illinois campaign coincides with May being
Bike Month, during which people are encouraged to bicycle for
their health, fitness, recreation and to get out of their cars and
on their bicycles to commute, shop and tour.
Last year, the League of Illinois Bicyclists teamed up with the
Department of Transportation to produce and distribute a bicycle
safety video that was given out to more than 2,000 driver education
programs and police departments throughout the state. The video
highlighted a number of danger zones for motorists and bicyclists
and provided instruction on how to get through these zones safely.
The danger zones are:
cyclists too closely. Motorists should pass cyclists with three
feet or more of space.
Motorists failing to
yield when making right and left turns in front of bicyclists.
Motorists in parked
cars opening their doors into bicyclists.
driveways, alleys or side streets without looking for cyclists
in the roadway or on sidewalks and side paths.
moving farther into a lane when the lane is too narrow for
motorists to pass safely.
moving farther into a lane to avoid dangerous road conditions,
such as broken glass, bad pavement and storm grates.
across lanes in traffic to make proper left turns.
Bicyclists who ride
illegally against the traffic.
For more information on bike-riding safety, visit the following:
[Text from Illinois
Department of Transportation news release received from
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]