NOLANVILLE — More than 1,500 motorcycle riders are expected to participate in the second annual motorcycle safety awareness event in April hosted by the Do You See Me Now? motorcycle safety group.

The event started last year after the group’s founder, Terri Benezet, lost a good friend who was struck and killed by a vehicle while riding his bike.

“I lost too many friends, and if nobody else is going to stand up then I have to,” she said.

Statistics gathered by Texas A&M Research report more than 1,700 motorcycle crashes and nearly 100 motorcycle fatalities in Bell, Coryell and Lampasas counties in the past decade.

Benezet has had too many close-call accidents while riding her motorcycle.

“I was riding to an appointment and there was a soldier texting and driving,” she said. “He was weaving all over the road and almost ran me off the road twice, so nobody is safe on the road anymore, especially with cellphones.”

The event will kickoff at Kay’s Motorcycle Mania at 11 a.m. April 28 with educational speeches, entertainment, food and a moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives while riding motorcycles.

“It’s to bring awareness to the community to show how many riders are in the area,” she said. “We are hoping to break a national record this year.”

About 1,500 riders participated in 2012, and Benezet hopes that number will exceed 1,700 this year.

“We actually have people calling from Corpus Christi, Tyler and Abilene that have agreed to come down for this ride this year.”

City Manager Stephen Pearl is working with Benezet to prepare for the ride.

“The city requires a special event permit for special events held in the city,” Pearl said. “The cost of the permit can be waived by the (Nolanville) City Council for community events held by nonprofits, and so they are asking for the special event permit fee to be waived.”

For more information about the ride, call Benezet at (254) 669-1541.

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