Illinois DOT launches spring motorcycle safety campaign

Publish Date: 
Apr 5, 2013

CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has launched the “Gear Up-Ride Smart” motorcycle safety campaign in partnership with the Illinois State Police (ISP), Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA) and ABATE.

The campaign reminds riders to get licensed, get proper training and keep motorcycle equipment well maintained. “Gear Up – Ride Smart” also warns against riding after drinking.

“Our goals are to educate our members in proper riding techniques and safe operation, and to improve public acceptance and awareness of motorcyclists while maintaining a friendly, fun atmosphere,” said GWRRA Illinois District Educator Jerry Allhands. “The Illinois District of the GWRRA is proud to cooperate with the state of Illinois and all of its departments in educating the motoring public.”

Motorcycles represent 3 percent of total vehicle registrations, but motorcycle fatalities account for more than 15 percent of all vehicle fatalities in the state. Statistics show that about half of motorcycle rider deaths chappen in motorcycle-only crashes, and about 40 percent of those fatalities involve alcohol.

“Illinois has embraced ‘Driving Zero Fatalities to a Reality’ and wants all travelers on Illinois roadways to be safe,” said Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider. “That’s why we encourage all motorcycle riders to get prepared early in the spring season by taking a training or refresher course on motorcycle safety, and to always wear the proper gear and never ride impaired.”

This year, ABATE of Illinois has developed a “Ride Smart” program promoting the smart riding choices a motorcyclist should consider before they start the motorcycle and decisions they will make during that ride. The ABATE checklist includes checking the bike before each ride, drinking plenty of water, evaluating your medical condition before and during the ride, never assuming other motorists see the rider, using proper braking techniques, staying alert during the entire ride and using  appropriate and highly visible riding gear.

To learn more about IDOT’s motorcycle safety program, laws and regulations, statistics, and additional educational materials, or to see a sponsor list for literature distribution locations, please visit

Posted by Holly Wagner