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      TxDOT campaign seeks to reduce motorcycle fatalities

      Today, The Texas Department of transportation is launched its Share the Road campaign that coincides with the first day of national motorcycle safety awareness month. Motorcycle crash fatalities went up 5% last year in Texas, killing almost 500 motorcyclists. This campaign by TEX-DOT urges drivers to share the road and look twice for motorcycles.

      Josiah West teaches a motor cycle safety class here in Amarillo. He says that many times, accidents with motor cycles can be avoided.

      ??People in cars don??t look for you, even if they look right at you, they usually glance over you or through you,?? said Josiah West. ??It??s really a dangerous road for a motorcyclist because people aren??t looking at you. ??

      TxDOT is responsible for maintaining the 80,000 miles of road in Texas, and they are also charged with promoting safe roads.

      ??Many times drivers can??t see the motorcyclist or they??re not looking for them, and so that??s when these crashes occur,?? said Paul Braun of TxDOT.

      Last year, there were 4,339 motorcycle crashes in Texas that involved at least one other vehicle. Many of the crashes occurred in urban areas and about one third of these deadly crashes occurred in intersections where cars and motorists meet.

      So next time you??re driving around town or on the open highway be sure to think about sharing the road with our fellow citizens who happen to use motorcycles as their primary means of transport.

      ??People really need to pay attention in intersections,?? said Dean Downey, a local motorcycle enthusiast.

      So for the rest us, who drive cars and trucks, the check your mirrors twice, and leave extra room between you and vehicles around you, and use those turn signals. The basic safety practices will not only benefit the motorcyclists that we share the road with, but will also assure that you and other motorists get to your destinations safely.