Illinois urges motorcyclists to take steps to improve safety

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois officials are urging motorcyclists to brush up on their skills and use proper equipment as they take to the roadways. The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois State Police say more motorcycles will be on the road as the weather improves. They’re launching a joint safety campaign aimed at reducing accidents and deaths. Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn says though motorcycles are only on the roads for part of each year, they account for nearly 14 percent of all traffic fatalities. He says riders should do pre-ride safety inspections and wear high-visibility clothing and a U.S. Department of Transportation-approved helmet. Illinois also offers a free Cycle Rider Safety Training Program to licensed residents. The program is paid for through a portion of motorcyclists’ license and registration fees.