Authorities on alert as 50,000 bikers roll into Austin for rally
Bikers in Austin and across the country look forward to this weekend every year. That’s when about 50,000 bikers will be in town for the Republic of Texas Rally. The event, which takes up 20 blocks in downtown Austin, is good for the bikers and good for local business. But as bikers make their way in from all across the country, local law enforcement agencies have a top priority on their agenda: safety.
Forty agencies from Central Texas are teaming up for what they call their “Arrive Alive” campaign. They want this event to be free of motorcycle accidents, injuries and deaths. Last year, there were 175 accidents reported, with five people dying, three of whom were on motorcycles at the time of the accident.
This year so far has already brought five motorcycle-related calls. One of them happened just yesterday, when a motorcyclist hit a guard rail on Interstate 35. The driver is now in critical condition and his passenger, a woman in her 20s, died from the crash. Another incident involved a rider being hit in the head by an object that was thrown from a nearby car, and third call came when a car hit a motorcyclist.
Biker events can be a lot of fun, but can quickly turn tragic if negligence is involved. Police say they will be keeping an eye out for negligent behavior such as driving drunk, speeding, and reckless driving. The hope is that their campaign will protect riders from being victimized by this negligent behavior.
Source: KVUE News, “Police have new plan to keep ROT Rally safe,” Tina Shively, June 14, 2013 KVUE News, “Deadly motorcycle crash ahead of ROT Rally weekend,” Tina Shively, June 13, 2013