State police urge caution with motorcycles

By on May 16, 2010

Illinois—The Illinois State Police District 2 Interim Commander, Lt. Todd Rohlwing, reminds the public that with the arrival of warmer weather, the motorcycle season is officially under way.

People need to be aware of motorcycles and use caution around them, and motorcyclist themselves need to drive defensively in the event they are not seen. Illinois State Police District 02 urges motorcycle riders to use caution when riding this summer.

According to the National Safety Council, the number of motorcycle fatalities has steadily increased 131 percent from 1998 to 2008. There are several reasons for the increased fatalities: more motorcycle drivers on the roadways due to gas economy and recreation, new drivers with little or no riding experience, failure to wear helmets and driving under the influence.

District 2 troopers and their special enforcement teams will be out on the highways and rural roads keeping an eye out for drivers who are operating unsafe motorcycles, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, driving without the correct driver’s license classification and driving under the influence.

The state police offers the following safety tips for new riders all the way up to seasoned veterans:
• Although Illinois does not mandate wearing a motorcycle helmet, use of approved helmets, protective body wear, boots and gloves is strongly recommended.
• Improve your visibility by wearing brightly colored clothing during the day and reflective clothing at night.
• Don’t drink and ride. Alcohol slows reactions and impairs function.

If you are caught riding without the proper classification, you could lose all of your driving privileges for a period of three months, Throughout the summer, the state police will have increased focused enforcement patrols on both motorcycle violations and those violating the traffic laws around motorcycles.