Motorcycle awareness campaign draws huge crowds in Austin



Posted on May 23, 2010 at 12:43 PM

Updated Sunday, May 23 at 6:07 PM

A horrific accident in Phoenix that killed four motorcyclists in March has touched hearts worldwide, even right here in Austin. 

Now bikers in this area are remembering their fallen friends and reminding drivers to pay attention while on the road.

On Sunday, the roars of more than 200 motorcycles sliced through the morning stillness at Barton Creek Square Mall, as riders of all ages with neon-colored shirts came together to spread a message.

"People seem to overlook us on the road alot and they really need to realize we're on the road and we're in more danger than they are," biker Lena Trumbo said.

It's all part of a campaign to make drivers more aware of motorcycles on the roads, and realize that one second of carelessness behind the wheel can end a life.

"I've been hit by a car three times. The last time was in San Antonio," Robert Ingram, a biker who has been riding since 1971, said.
Ingram knows he's lucky to be alive.

"I was hit in the rear at 75 miles an hour. I lost my helmet, I lost my boots, flying through the air 250 feet, hit the ground and fortunately only had a sprained ankle," he said.

Sunday's ride for the fallen reaches far beyond Austin.

"This started because four people died in Phoenix when some guy wasn't even looking and hit them while they were stopped at a stoplight," a man on a ladder said.

In fact, the movement has spread worldwide.

"The last count, there were more than 200 groups and 20,000 people participating," biker Larry Boone said.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2008, 47% of all motorcycles involved in fatal crashes collided with another type of vehicle on the roadway. 

It didn't take long for these motorcyclists to split into small groups. They spent hours honking and waving on downtown streets to draw attention to themselves, and show drivers that sharing the road is the best way for everyone to stay safe.

"We just want to raise awareness and say hey we're here look out for us cause we could be right behind you," Boone said.