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Motorists urged to see motorcycles

With winter finally in the rear-view mirror, Gov. Bruce Rauner is encouraging all drivers and motorcycle enthusiasts to be extra cautious as more bikes start hitting the roads.

Rauner joined motorcycle safety advocates and officials from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to kick off Motorcycle Awareness Month and IDOTs annual Start Seeing Motorcycles Campaign.

“I’m an avid rider myself,” Rauner said, “I know how important it is for all of us to be aware of who’s on the road with us. Just last week, a good friend of mine, a veteran, was seriously injured when a pick-up truck didn’t see him. He’s still in the hospital today. We're asking everyone to stay focused and check their rearview mirrors and blind spots before changing lanes. We all have a part to play when it comes to keeping our roads safe.”

Although motorcycles represent 3 percent of total vehicle registrations in Illinois, they account for 15 percent of traffic fatalities. There were 1,097 traffic fatalities in Illinois in 2017 – 162 were motorcyclists, eight more than 2016, according to preliminary data.

During the riding season, Start Seeing Motorcycles banners and yard signs will be on display throughout the state, reminding the public to always stay alert for motorcycles.

All riders are urged to take precautions to ensure they stay visible to other motorists. By wearing the appropriate protective gear, getting regular maintenance checks and taking advantage of IDOT’s free motorcycle safety courses, they make the roads safer for themselves and other drivers.

Visit for more information on IDOT’s free motorcycle training and safety programs.

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