Police urge motorcycle, car safety

Six dead following weekend crashes
May 25, 2009 9:23:30 AM PDT
Police investigate weekend crashes and urge drivers to look out for motorcycles.The Illinois Chapter of Rolling Thunder is in Lisle for Memorial Day. They're gearing up for the parade and talking about motorcycle safety.

"A motorcycle stops faster than a car. So if a motorcycle, if you're following too closely and a motorcycle, a light turns yellow and the motorcycle has to stop or make a shortstop, a car that's following too closely, it's a good chance he's going to hit that biker," said "Harley" Steve Pletzke, member of Rolling Thunder

"Just because you can get somewhere, doesn't mean that you should be there. You really have to follow the rules of the road. The rules of the road are there for a reason. It's for all people," said Beth Pletzke, member of Rolling Thunder.

Six people have been killed in crashes across the Chicagoland area this weekend.

On Sunday, three people were killed in a crash involving several motorcycles along I-57 near I-80. Police blame the crash on a motorcycle rider who made an illegal U-turn. He was not injured.

In Kane County, police cited a driver in a crash that killed two motorcycle riders and injured 6 other people.

A sixth motorcyclist was killed in an accident in Calumet City.

Police are urging motorists and bikers to leave more room between the vehicles in case of an emergency.

"Drivers and riders of motorcycles have to be aware of the other vehicles around them and what their capabilities are in order to effectively and safely travel the roadways," said Master Sgt. Michael Kraft, Illinois State Police.

Rolling Thunder members also want to overcome stereotypes that motor cyclists are usually to blame for crashes; they say many can be avoided if drivers of other vehicles were more aware of them.

"We're doctors, we're lawyers. I'm a paralegal. We're professionals. We are just like everybody else. We have kids, grandchildren. We want to come home at the end of the day to them," said Pletzke.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month.


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