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Biker Deaths Increase

Illinois biker wrecks, deaths skyrocket
By: Mark J. Konkol

"Famous guys like Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, former White Sox star Aaron Rowand and Bulls guard Jay Williams have something in common with regular South Side guy Rodrick Frazier.

They're members of a growing fraternity -- people involved in motorcycle wrecks. In fact, the number of motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths has increased nationwide for eight straight years.

In Illinois, one of only four states without a law requiring bikers to wear helmets, the number of motorcyclists annually injured jumped 15 percent between 2002 and 2004 -- from 2,622 to 3,083.

Fatal crashes increased 36 percent -- from 97 to 152 -- during that same period, state records show. And already this year, 42 bikers have died in crashes on Illinois roads, according to state police."

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