BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- Two separate accidents involving motorcycles on Stateline roads Saturday serve as a stark reminder for all drivers to share the road.
After seeing a drop in motorcycle deaths in the Stateline last year, the local chapter of A.B.A.T.E is trying to spread the word about motorcycle safety in order to keep that number headed in the right direction.
“We are harder to see, we’re smaller. If you’re used to driving all winter long looking at cars and trucks all winter, and not seeing motorcycles you may miss us because you're not mentally prepared to see us,” says Karl Dahlin, President of the Kishwaukee Valley Chapter of A.B.A.T.E. which stands for A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education. The group is a part of nationwide organization that focuses on the rights of motorcyclists.
The Illinois Department of Transportation reported 9 deadly motorcycle accidents in 2013 across the Stateline, a decrease from the 11 that happened in 2012. Statewide IDOT says the number of deadly motorcycle accidents rose last year.
Dahlin wants to encourage all bikes to make sure they take the proper safety classes before hitting the road. He says his group has seen a growing trend in people getting in bikes without first getting the proper endorsement on their driver’s license.
"You’re not as safe as some on who has been through the course; you're more likely to be an in accident because you don't have the same skill set to draw from,” says Dahlin.
Northern Illinois University offers free motorcycle training courses. You can learn more about those classes here: http://www.niu.edu/mcycle/
For more on the Start Seeing Motorcycles campaign: http://startseeingmotorcycles.org/default.asp