Illinois May Add Motorcycle Safety to Driver's Ed

Hearing that an Illinois legislator backs a bill mandating motorcycle awareness warms my heart. When I found out that same lawmaker was not a rider, I was outright surprised. That's exactly what Representative Tom Bennett of Gibson City drafted, though. And he allegedly doesn't own a bike.

Under the proposed law, driver's education classes would require more time devoted to motorcycle awareness and safety. The legislation came about to emphasize awareness of surroundings while driving, including keeping an eye out for us riderfolk.

The Illinois Department of Transportation says motorcycle fatalities comprised more than 15 percent of all vehicle deaths in 2013, a rise from 148 in 2012 to 155. According to Bennett, a freshman legislator, the bill's language is general enough to grant schools and teachers enough flexibility to incorporate the changes with minimal cost. The legislation is House Bill 1410.

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