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Our View: Motorcycle safety must be stressed

Published: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:25 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 9:29 p.m. CDT

Last weekend’s tragic motorcycle crash that resulted in the death of a Mokena man offers a sad reminder of the need to be extra cautious on area roadways.

Matthew Domzal, 35, of Mokena, lost control of his motorcycle while riding with a group on Route 6 just east of Brisbin Road in Morris.

Domzal was riding toward the back of the group when, for an unknown reason, his motorcycle went down on the pavement. Domzal was not wearing a helmet.

During the summer months, motorcyclists abound on area roadways. Motorcyclists and those who share the road with motorcyclists must take extreme caution on the roads.

In addition to motorcyclists knowing and practicing the rules of the road, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation lists on its website five key messages for riders:

• Get trained and licensed;

• Wear protective gear – all the gear, all the time – including a helmet manufactured to the standards set by the department of transportation;

• Ride unimpaired by alcohol or other drugs;

• Ride within your own skill limits;

• Be a lifelong learner by taking refresher rider courses.

Of course, all the helmets and safety classes in the world will not protect a motorcyclist from reckless automobile drivers. The Motorcycle Safety Foundation has these tips for automobile drivers regarding motorcycles:

• Take an extra moment to look for motorcycles, whether you’re changing lanes or turning at intersections;

• Allow more following distance for motorcycles;

• Understand that motorcyclists adjust lane position for a purpose, not to be reckless or show off or to allow you to share the lane with them;

• Don’t expect a motorcyclist to always be able to dodge out of the way.

With a common sense approach to motorcycle safety for riders and automobile drivers, we, hopefully, can prevent any further tragic accidents.

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