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Look twice, share the road

TxDOT launches motorcycle awareness campaign

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Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2015 4:30 am

In order to promote safety for motorcyclists the Texas Department of Transportation has launched its Share the Road: Look Twice for Motorcycles campaign.

 To spread awareness TxDOT officials will be traveling the state for campaign events and partnering with local law enforcement agencies to educate the public about motorcycles.

The Patriot Guard Riders, a volunteer organization that often leads funeral processions, will also be traveling the state with TexDOT to help raise awareness on motorcyclists.

Gene Powell, spokesman for TxDOT, said the campaign is increasingly important in the Permian Basin as traffic has increased with the boom in the oil and gas industry.

“We do see more cyclists out there and safety is always our goal,” Powell said. “Being able to raise awareness is always a good thing especially with more cyclists out there.”

TxDOT is reporting in the last five years 2,354 motorcyclists have been killed in collisions and of those 455 occurred in 2014.

Cpl. Steve LeSueur, spokesman for the Odessa Police Department, said in 2015 there have been four motorcycle crashes in Odessa. One was serious and the other three were fatalities, LeSueur said.

“It is important for the public to be educated about motorcycles,” LeSueur said. “We have had a lot of serious motor accidents and even some fatalities, so it is important for the public to be aware of them and lot of the little things like using a helmet, because that can be the difference between life or death.”

Powell said there are a number of things people need to be aware of including helmet safety, looking diligently for motorcyclists while on the road, and taking extra caution when traveling near a motorcyclist.

One motorcycle rider said he is relieved to see some awareness for riders in the Permian Basin.

Chris Bartlett got his first motorcycle three years ago from his grandfather and has been an avid rider ever since.

Bartlett said he will soon be pulling his bike out of winter storage to start riding again but is always aware of the dangers.

“For a while I didn’t have a helmet but after seeing a fatal motorcycle accident I decided to take it more seriously,” Bartlett said. “As soon as the boom hit it got really bad. People just don’t really pay attention, they drift into your lane and you have nothing protecting you so I think awareness is really important.”

Powell said an experience like Bartlett’s is the reason why the campaign originated.

The TxDOT campaign kicked off in Austin on April 23 and is expected to make a stop in Midland on May 15.

For more information on the campaign or safety tips regarding motorcycles visit www.txdot.gov.


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