May 14 – The Illinois Department of Transportation is working to raise awareness about the alarming number of motorcyclists involved in fatal crashes as the weather warms up.
Motorcycles in Illinois account for 3 percent of the state’s registered vehicles, but motorcyclists account for 15 percent of total road fatalities. There were 1,097 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2017. Of those, 162 were motorcyclists, eight more than 2016, according to preliminary state data.
Those are numbers IDOT and Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Harley-Davidson owner, want to reduce. The state launched its Start Seeing Motorcycles safety and training program to promote awareness and safety. It is implemented each year to align with the riding season and more opportunities for motorcycle travel.“You’re gonna be seeing a lot more motorcycles on the road, and its imperative that drivers start looking for them while they’re out and about on their daily travels,” Guy Tridgell, spokesman for IDOT, said.
IDOT doesn’t just want motorists to be on the lookout for bikers; they also want motorcyclists themselves to be safe. “One of the things that we’re proud of at the Illinois Department of Transportation is that for close to 40- some years we’ve offered free motorcycle training classes.,” Tridgell said. “We’ve trained approximately 400,000 riders during that time.”
The Start Seeing Motorcycles campaign will use targeted banners and yard signs to remind drivers to look for riders. Additionally, the program’s website will provide access to free motorcycle training courses for those who are interested.
For information, go to startseeingmotorcycles.org