ODESSA, Texas (Big 2/ Fox 24) Tex-Dot is launching their annual “Share The Road” campaign this month and they want to make Basin drivers aware of motorcyclists on the road.
According to TxDOT, the Odessa/Midland area has one of the highest motorcycle crash rates in the state of Texas.
Last year there were 37 motorcycle traffic accidents in Odessa and 28 in Midland, out of those crashes seven motorcyclists were killed. As this campaign rolls out, TxDOT wants both drivers and
motorcyclists to use more caution while on the road.
“I’ve had crashed and I’ve had near-crashes here,” Jim Basse a Midland motorcyclist said. “You just have to be ready and know what to do if you think you’re going to go down.”
For practically his entire life Basse has taken his motorcycle out on the West Texas roads, but he is always sure to be careful when doing so.
“There are some tricks that you use, like watching the front tire of a car,” Basse said. “You see the front tire move long before you see the car move, so you watch that to see if the car is coming over to try and take you out.”
With his long experience on the road, Basse said car divers here in the Basin have a problem in looking out for motorcyclists.
“All of it has to do with education,” Basse said. “Try to educate the four-wheelers they we’re there. We try to be lit up as much as possible, I mean I’ve got lights all over this thing that make me visible.”
“Our goal is zero, we don’t want anyone hurt, we don’t want anyone killed on a motorcycle or anything else,” Gene Powell with TxDOT said.
Powell said both drivers and motorcyclist have a responsibility to keep each other safe.
“If you’re riding a motorcycle make sure to have you headlights on that way people are more likely to see you,” Powell said. “If you’re driving a vehicle you know give motorcyclist plenty of room they don’t have the protective covering that we have in vehicles, they’re exposed and slow down.”
As for Basse, he hopes “Share the Road” will make drivers more aware of motorcyclists like him .
“Please watch for us, please give us a little room,” Basse said. “Give us a little respect for the road and we’ll do the same thing.”