Police Want Motorcyclists to Stay Sharp and Ride Smart

Motorcyle fatalities increasing

When he bought his Honda motorcycle a couple of years ago, David Slider would feel invincible on the roads. On North Texas highways, he would drive as fast as he dared, and he knows that many other motorcyclists do the same thing.   

"They just don't think they're ever going to be caught by the cops," said Slider, 22. "They don't think they're gonna wreck."

One summer morning last year, Slider left home late on his way to work. Witnesses say he started a racing a car, but didn't get far. He looked back, and didn't see a truck pull out in front of him. He ran into it going about 97 miles per hour.

"I compound fractured my femur, tibia, fibula, cracked my heel, cracked two vertebrae in my neck," he said.

Now Slider wants his tragedy to be a warning to others. He's teamed up with police from Arlington and other local cities to promote a motorcycle safety awareness program.

According to the NHTSA, Motorcycle fatalities rose 73% in Texas from 2000 to 2007. Motorcycle registrations have also increased significantly in recent years.

Slider said he and his friends would often try to elude police if they were spotted driving recklessly, because they know that most police departments will not pursue motorcyclists unless a felony or DWI is involved.

"Some of the riders do ride as fast as they can to get away, but riding at these high rates of speed is just incredibly reckless," said Officer Chris Holder of the Arlington Police Department. "Eventually something's going to happen."

Local police say they plan to crack down on reckless motorcyclists by issuing citations or towing when necessary.

This week, Slider will undergo his 16th operation, as doctors work to save his leg from amputation.

"I have friends who still ride, they see what happened to me, but they don't think it could happen to them," said Slider. "They think they're going to get away with it, I guess forever."

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