Motorcycle enthusiasts hold annual safety awareness parade

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — As warmer weather makes its way across the Stateline, more motorcycles can be seen on the roads.

That’s why some local residents want to draw attention to motorcycle safety in a unique way.

Driver safety is something everyone is taught when they first get their license, but still distractions become dangerous — especially for those on motorcycles.

“Everybody’s here for one reason, safety, and to be sure that everybody out there can see us and hear us and understand that we have a family at home waiting too,” said one motorcyclist Sam Lucchese.

Saturday, the A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois-Kishwaukee Valley chapter held their annual Safety and Awareness parade, starting at Carlson Ice Arena in Rockford.

Lucchese stresses the importance of paying attention to motorcycles while driving.

“I had the green light, I start my bike, the lady on her cell phone just did a u-turn, she didn’t care, she didn’t even stop,” he said. We got to keep it up because the new drivers with the cell phones, they don’t understand it no more, they don’t even see us.”

Activities coordinator Kurt Husen has been riding his motorcycle for 46 years. He says putting together the parade is something he truly loves to do.

“Oh, I love it. I mean, last year was a gut punch. We had to cancel everything. I mean this, this is just a little ride that goes down to Kegel-Harley Davidson, people love to do it,” said Husen.

Governor Pritzker declared may as Motorcycle Awareness Month in Illinois. According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, there were 153 motorcycle fatalities in 2020, an increase from 2019.

Husen wants to reiterate that riding for many is therapeutic and he wants everyone to be safe on the roads.

“I call it ‘wind therapy.’ I mean, you can be having a bad day, and we all have bad days, you get out there on a country road and it’ll help any ailment you have,” said Husen.

Learn more about the group here.

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