|Contact||1883 N. Neltnor Blvd. (Rt. 59)||213-N Stratton Building|
|West Chicago, IL 60185||Springfield, IL 62706|
|Phone:||630-876-0703||Phone : 217-558-1037|
For Immediate Release
Date: March 29, 2007
Ramey’s Bill Promotes
Accountability, Funding for Motorcycle Safety Programs
Springfield, IL…With motorcycle injuries and fatalities on the rise, State Rep. Randy Ramey (R-Carol Stream) has passed a bill that will ensure motorcycle safety programs are adequately funded as proposed in the state budget.
House Bill 729 requires the State Treasurer to appoint a trustee to award contracts from the state-operated Cycle Rider Training Fund. Having a trustee in place, instead of the Governor, will allow for additional accountability to make sure funds are designated to organize motorcycle training courses, Ramey said.
“Illinois statistics have shown us that motorcycle crashes are on the rise,” Ramey said. “It is necessary that we offer rider training through a detailed curriculum that will help keep motorcyclists and other drivers on the road safe from injury.”
In FY07, the Cycle Rider Training Fund was raided by about $280,000 to pay for other state initiatives.
Comparing 2005 with the average for the previous four years, motorcycle crashes increased by 4.7 percent, according to Illinois Crash Data Trends from the Department of Transportation’s Division of Traffic Safety. The number of motorcyclists killed or injured has increased by 15 percent from 2001 to 2005.
“The reason we started the Cycle Rider Training Program in 1976 was to provide formal rider training to reduce crashes and injuries,” Ramey said. “Appointing someone other than the Governor to oversee the funds of this important initiative will enable this program to continue to function as a national model for motorcycle safety programs.”
Illinois currently has four regional training centers that organize motorcycle training courses at community colleges and public facilities. For the past two decades, almost 137,000 students have been trained through ridership programs. Up to 1,500 students per year are on waiting lists due to class size restrictions.