It appears the movie ‘Wild Hogs’ is becoming a problem for state police in Texas. The Insite received a press release that indicates after watching the movie starring John Travolta some rusty bikers are trying to get back on the road. Rusty bikers whose skills are not what they used to be. Here’s a look at the press release from the state and you draw your own conclusions:
Born to be Wild, but not a Wild Hog
With May as Motorcycle Safety Month and the movie, “Wild Hogs,” playing in theatres, DPS wants to remind motorcyclists to think safety first. The movie accurately portrays a trend in motorcycle riding nationwide: unprepared riders are hitting the roads in increasing numbers. Returning riders are getting back on their motorcycles without brushing up on their skills.
“We’ve noticed an increase in wrecks involving returning riders — those who have not ridden recently but have previously,” said Clifton Burdette, coordinator of the DPS Motorcycle Safety Unit. “Their skills are a little rusty, but they think they can ride now with no problems. We encourage them to take an operator training course. They can brush up on their skills and increase their safety on the road.”
An advertisement for “Wild Hogs” says, “When they hit the road, they had no idea the road would hit back.” Unfortunately, that is true for many motorcyclists who haven’t taken the time to brush up on their riding skills. Last year, 32,267 Texans took either the basic or advanced course, setting an all-time record number of students taking advantage of the courses, but there are 803,116 licensed motorcyclists in Texas. Many of those drivers could benefit from taking a safety course. The basic course may be used to waive the licensing road test, and both of the courses may qualify for ticket dismissal and insurance discounts.
The DPS Motorcycle Safety Unit offers basic and advanced motorcycle operator training in 69 permanent locations and nine mobile sites. Motorcycle riders can locate the course nearest to them by visiting the DPS Web site www.txdps.state.tx.us/msb/.
In 2005 (latest statistics available), 360 people in Texas died as a result of motorcycle crashes, with 59.3 percent of those not wearing a helmet. While Texas does not require all motorcycle riders to wear helmets, the DPS strongly encourages riders to wear helmets to increase safety and save lives. Texas law states that in order to be exempt from wearing a helmet, a person must be at least 21 years of age. In addition, they must successfully complete a motorcycle safety course or be covered by a health insurance plan providing at least $10,000 in medical benefits for motorcycle-related injuries.