Proclamation presentation. Pictured L-R: Big Sandy Police Chief Tim Scott; Michael "Huck" Huckabee, Mavericks M/C Lake Fork; Mayor Sonny Parsons; Jesse "Hippie" Vann, 42 Taillights M/C Smith County and Patriot Guard Rider; Angie "snaps" Trayham, Wolverines M/C Wolfe City; Robert "Kracker" Whisenhunt, Desmadres M/C Tyler; Paula "Cookie' Parish, Steel Rebellion M/C; and Ray "Blinker" Vega, Southern Reapers M/C Wood County.

During the April meeting, the Big Sandy City Council joined with other governing bodies across the nation and proclaimed the month of May as “Motorcycle Awareness Month.” Members of the Texas COC&I Region 9. (Confederation of Clubs and Independents) were on hand to receive the proclamation. Most of the year, they voice their opinions on new laws and regulations coming up to our state officials, but during the months of March, April, and May, they meet with city and county officials promoting Motorcycle Safety and Awareness Month. More information can be found on their Facebook page “Texas COC&I Region 9“, along with photos and upcoming events.

Statistics from “The number of registered motorcycles doubled from 179,329 in 2000 to 445,395 in 2014. This dramatic increase suggests that crashes with motorcycles will continue to be a traffic safety issue. The counties with the most motorcycle registrations were Bexar, Collin, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Harris, Montgomery, Tarrant, and Travis, which corresponds to the most populated areas of Texas. In 2015, there were over 8,000 motorcycle crashes.  The severity of those crashes was classified as: 6% fatal injury; 22% incapacitating injury; 38% non-incapacitating injury; 21% possible injury; 14% no injury. The percentage of crashes classified as fatal or incapacitating is similar from 2010 to 2015. Overall more crashes occur in urban areas (70%) but rural crashes are more severe. Of rural motorcycle crashes, 36% resulted in a fatal or incapacitating injury compared to 23% in urban areas. The rate of fatal or incapacitating motorcycle crashes was 8.4 per 100,000 population in 2015.”

Jesse “Hippie” Vann, from 42 Taillights M/C Smith County and Patriot Guard Rider added, “Bikers are just people who love the freedom of riding a motorcycle and the money saved doing so. We are all husbands, wives, children, voters, veterans, preachers, business owners, politicians, firefighters, policemen, engineers, mechanics, and every other variety of individual you can imagine. Thank you to the city council for hearing what we have to say and giving us a chance to tell the public… Our lives matter. Please drive safe so we can all make it to work and back home to our families. Look twice and save a life.”