In between the few days of rain we get, the weather is basically perfect in East Texas. That means that more and more people want to get outside and soak in some vitamin D. Part of that soaking in time could be while riding a motorcycle. The entire month of May is dedicated to bringing awareness of looking out for our two wheeled friends on the roads.

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This past Saturday, April 30, Longview had two fatal motorcycle crashes just a few hours apart. The first was on Loop 281 in front of Cavender's and the second was at the intersection of North Eastman Road and East Hawkins Parkway. The cause of these accidents hasn't been determined but it wouldn't surprise me if distracted driving or reckless driving were the reasons for these tragedies.

This just reinforces the fact that too many drivers refuse to concentrate on the one important thing while driving, driving. I have to drive South Broadway in Tyler going to and coming from work everyday. I can't avoid it because of where my apartment is. I would say that about 20 percent of the drivers I am next to are doing something other than driving. Most of those 20 percent are buried in their phone.

PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE AND DRIVE. WHATEVER YOU ARE LOOKING AT CAN WAIT UNTIL ARE NOT DRIVING ANYMORE.

It can. The dangers of using your phone or doing something else while driving needs to be driven home more purposefully when teens are taking driver's education. Passengers need to call out the driver more often when they are doing something other than driving.

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month. TxDot wants to make sure you are paying extra attention for motorcycle riders. When you look left and right at an intersection, do it again just to be sure. It won't take that much longer to do so. Give plenty of room between you and the motorcycle rider, also.

The roadway respect goes the other way, too. Motorcycle riders, it is not okay nor is it legal to drive in between cars when everyone is stopped at a red light. I have seen this numerous times on South Broadway. Wait like everybody else. We are also aware that you can accelerate much faster than a car or truck can. That doesn't mean you can whip around someone and fly by. Its harder to see you so just that action alone could cause a serious accident.

Bottom line, respect everyone that is on the road with you. Put your phone away or use the handsfree options that are available in your vehicle. Doing just both of those will greatly reduce any issues we have on the road.

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