7 months ago by Bryan Nichols
Enforcement efforts to target license and safety violations
While motorcycle riding is fun and comes with a great deal of freedom, it can also be very dangerous and unforgiving. Illinois State Police District 20 Commander Captain Robert Elliott, is urging motorists to help prevent injuries and death caused by motorcycle crashes, they are a serious and an increasing problem. May is motorcycle awareness month. One driving fatality is one to many and drivers are reminded to “START SEEING MOTORCYCLES/LOOK TWICE” and use CAUTION around them.
The Illinois Secretary of State Office continues to see an increase in registered motorcycles and licensed riders, many without any formal training. During the summer and fall months, District 20 Troopers will be focusing enforcement efforts using directed saturation patrols to specifically target motorcycle safety and license violations. It is imperative that all riders understand the importance of safe and responsible motorcycle use. A crash involving a motorcycle far too often results in life altering injuries or death. Motorcycles account for 3% of all vehicles on the road, but 15% of state total traffic fatalities. Passenger vehicle crashes result in injury 20 percent of the time in contrast, motorcycle crashes result in injury or death 80 percent of the time.
llinois State Police District 20 handled several crashes involving motorcycles last year. Four of those motorcycle crashes resulted in fatalities. Over the last 4 years motorcycle fatalities have continued to rise statewide. Last year 25 percent of motorcycle riders involved in a crash do not possess the proper classification for motorcycle operation. Illinois driver’s licenses are classified according to the type and weight of the vehicles. There are two classifications for motorcycle licenses: (1) Class “L” is any motor—driven cycle between 50cc – 150cc displacement, (2) Class “M” is ANY motorcycle or motor—driven cycle over 150cc. Any motor-driven cycle under 50cc requires a regular driver’s license. In addition, Illinois law requires eye protection for all operators and passengers on a motorcycle or scooter upon any street, highway, or roadway in this state. “Although helmets are not mandatory, they still provide you extra protection if a crash occurs”.
Before you ride, please follow these simple safety rules:
- Always wear a helmet and protective clothing.
- Be seen! Headlight always on and bright clothing are a rider’s best defense.
- Slow Down and ride defensively, Be aware of your surroundings
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Get the proper classification and training.
Contributory causes to motorcycle crashes include driver use of alcohol, drugs, reckless or negligent driving, and operating a motorcycle too large for the driver. The number one cause of fatalities involving motorcycles is a vehicle turning in front of or into the motorcycle. “Motorists need to be more observant by expecting an increase in motorcycle traffic”. Simply put —“START SEEING MOTORCYCLES/LOOK TWICE” and use CAUTION.
We would ask any business with billboard displays to list a simple message “START SEEING MOTORCYCLES”.
A 30 foot motorcycle banner that declares “START SEEING MOTORCYCLES” will be moved around the area throughout the motorcycle season. Any agency, or business or community that wishes it to be displayed should contact Trooper Mike Kindhart at District 20 headquarters 217-285-2034 ext 220.