Every year since 1983, May has been proclaimed Motorcycle Awareness Month by the Governor of Illinois, and by the many local and county governments that sign proclamations presented by A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois, Inc. (A Brotherhood Aimed Toward Education). The goal of this group is to make people aware that with the onset of the warm weather, motorcyclist will be returning to the roads and highways, therefor being mindful of their presences is of utmost importance so as to avoid fatalities.
Statistical data on crash causation reveal that when motorcyclists crash with other vehicles, the other vehicle driver has often violated the motorcyclist’s right of way. Drivers may not expect to see motorcyclists on the road and may simply not recognize a motorcyclist in their direct line of sight. Crashes that happen when a driver pulls into the path of an oncoming motorcyclist and claims not to have seen him/her approaching are often called “looked but failed to see” crashes. (information from here)
As a result of these types of crashes some States and motorcyclist organizations such as ABATE have developed communication and outreach campaigns to increase other drivers’ awareness of motorcyclists as well as urge motorcyclists to take an accredited rider training courses, such as the ones provided by Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT).
To launch Motorcycle Awareness Month, ABATE organized a rally. Six hundred and fifty bikers from all over Illinois gathered in Springfield, today, to ride in the Annual Freedom and Awareness Parade. Riders gathered at the IDOT building parking lot at 8:00 a.m. for the lineup. At 1:00 p.m. bikers road towards the Capitol Building, where they parked their bikes and gathered around to listen to dedications and speeches.